The reality of watching wildlife is that you will not see the animals up close and personal. Only by logging countless hours, building a shelter of sorts and teaming up with rangers or researchers who know the animals and their habits will you improve your chances of getting that exceptional photograph of wild animals.
This is the art of wildlife photography. So, the next time you are on safari you should probably abandon all illusions about snapping pictures to rival those of dedicated wildlife photographers. Yet there are certainly things you can do to make your photos more distinctive and intriguing.
To use my orca photograph as an example, during a two-hour boat trip around the San Juan Islands, we spotted several of these magnificent creatures in the distance. It was tempting to zoom in as much as possible and make the animals the subject, using our cameras as binoculars.
But what if we zoomed out and deliberately included the spectacular scenery to make that our main focus? When I spotted the fishing boat I asked our captain to reposition us, hoping the orcas would pass between the two boats, with the Olympic Mountains as a dramatic backdrop.
When that happened, I had the orca in the natural habitat it has to share with humans.