Beastly Headshots

Close-up portraits of animals take more than a long lens


*Brown Bear, Brooks Falls, Katmai National Park, AK:* You can tell Morello was photographing for the magazine market—he waited to get the bear, fish, and river all in one image. Nikon D200 with a 500mm f/4D ED-IF AF-S Nikkor lens on a tripod. Exposure, f/8 at 1/250 sec, ISO 200.


*Male Lion, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania:* After checking the histogram, Morello decided to increase the exposure by +0.3 EV, which opened up the lion’s face. Nikon D200 with 500mm f/4D ED-IF AF-S Nikkor lens on a beanbag atop a safari vehicle. Exposure, 1/90 sec at f/8, ISO 200.


*Walrus, Spitsbergen, Norway:* When walrus haul out on top of each other, it’s hard to tell where one ends and the others begin. Morello used a supertele to isolate individuals from the group. Tripod-mounted Nikon D300 with 500mm f/4D ED-IF AF-S Nikkor lens. Exposure, 1/60 sec at f/4, ISO 200.


*Mountain Gorilla and Baby, Bwindi National Park, Uganda:* Morello had just seconds to react when this mother and baby poked out of the dense forest, only to be hidden back in the brush again moments later. Handheld Nikon D200 with 80–200mm f/2.8 ED AF Zoom-Nikkor lens. Exposure, 1/180 sec at f/5.6 through UV filter, ISO 400.