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ANIMAL PHOTOGRAPHER - Description

photographers spend film scientists

Imagine that you are far out at sea on the SS Reef Otter, a large research vessel designed for scientists who study marine life. You're a self-employed, freelance underwater photographer on assignment for National Geographic magazine. Your mission is to follow the scientists everywhere they go and take photos of them and the animals they encounter. High on the waves, you strap on your scuba gear. You watch as two researchers disappear beneath the surface. You take a few deep breaths, check your gear—your special camera, your lighting equipment, your gauges and valves—and plunge over the side and into the water. You're off to work.

Animal photographers work in all types of environments. They snap shots of lizards and snakes in the Southwest desert, majestic bald eagles along the shores of Alaska, breaching whales in the middle of the ocean, and lions and hippopotamus in the jungles of Africa. They also do portraits of dogs and cats for their owners and document the happenings at circuses and zoos. As a matter of fact, there are photographers for just about every kind of animal—from ants to zebras!

Photography is an art. And good photographers spend huge amounts of time perfecting their work. They'll shoot dozens of rolls of film every day and spend countless hours developing that film and working in the lab to make prints. If they're lucky, they'll have assistants who can do some of the work for them.

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