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Summer's arrived at last here in Europe, so for us keen photographers it's time to get outdoors and enjoy the nice weather while it lasts, and what better way to do that than with a bit of amateur wildlife photography. It gets you out in the fresh air, involves a bit of exercise, and if you do it right you'll be rewarded with some memorable photos.
As usual, I'm approaching this subject from the point of view of a complete amateur. Professional wildlife photographers have expert knowledge, spend thousands of pounds on specialised equipment and are always flying off to distant locations for weeks at a time, stalking through the Amazon rainforest or braving the icy wastes of Antarctica to capture a shot of some rare and exotic creature. While that's all very well for the likes of Heather Angel, Frans Lanting or Jim Brandenburg, most of us have proper jobs and don't have either the time or the money to indulge our hobby to that extent.
Nevertheless it's perfectly possible to get yourself some good wildlife shots without taking out a second mortgage. There are plenty of locations right here in Britain, or in the nearer parts of Europe, where you can see and photograph some world-class wildlife, and you don't really need much in the way of special equipment. Read on to find out how you can get started in nature photography.