by | Oct 22, 2023

The Art of Wildlife Photography: Tips and Tricks from Lyn Hancock

The Art of Wildlife Photography: Tips and Tricks from Lyn Hancock

Wildlife photography is a fascinating and challenging field that requires a unique set of technical and behavioral skills. The ability to capture the essence of an animal in its natural habitat is a talent that few possess. Lyn Hancock, an award-winning Australian-Canadian photojournalist, wildlife photographer, and author, is one such individual who has mastered this art. Inspired by her work and her love for animals, particularly her famous raccoon, Tabasco, this article aims to provide aspiring wildlife photographers with valuable tips and tricks to excel in this field.

The Importance of Patience

One of the most crucial aspects of wildlife photography is patience. Animals are unpredictable, and capturing the perfect shot often involves waiting long periods. Lyn Hancock’s experience with Tabasco taught her the importance of understanding an animal’s behavior, which can only be achieved through patient observation.

Know Your Subject

Understanding the habits, habitats, and behaviors of the animals you photograph is essential. For example, if you photograph a bird, knowing its feeding times and favorite perches can significantly increase your chances of capturing a stunning image. Lyn Hancock’s intimate knowledge of Tabasco’s behavior allowed her to take some of the most captivating photographs of the raccoon, which contributed to the success of her book “Tabasco the Saucy Raccoon.”

The Right Equipment

While skill and timing are crucial, having the right equipment can make a significant difference in the quality of your photos. A camera with a fast shutter speed is essential for capturing quick movements. A telephoto lens can help you get close-up shots from a distance, minimizing the risk of disturbing the animal.

Composition and Framing

The rule of thirds, leading lines, and framing are some of the fundamental principles of composition in photography. These rules are even more critical in wildlife photography, where the subject often moves quickly and unpredictably. Lyn Hancock’s photos often showcase excellent composition, where the animal is the focal point, but the surrounding environment adds context to the image.

Ethical Considerations

Maintaining a respectful distance from the animals you photograph is essential. Using baits or calls to attract animals is generally frowned upon in the wildlife photography community. Lyn Hancock’s ethical approach to wildlife care and photography sets a standard that all aspiring photographers should aim to follow.


While the aim is to capture the perfect shot in-camera, post-processing is an invaluable tool for wildlife photographers. Programs like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop can help enhance colors, adjust exposure, and sharpen images. However, as Lyn Hancock emphasizes, the goal is to improve the appearance, not to create something that wasn’t there.

Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Wildlife photography has challenges, including harsh weather conditions, difficult terrains, and unpredictable animal behavior. Being prepared and adaptable can help you overcome these challenges. Carrying weather-resistant gear, understanding the terrain you will be working in, and studying animal behavior can go a long way in ensuring that you are prepared for any situation.


Wildlife photography is a rewarding but challenging field that requires a unique blend of patience, understanding of animal behavior, technical skills, and ethical considerations. Inspired by Lyn Hancock’s work and her deep knowledge of animals, particularly her experiences with Tabasco, the raccoon, aspiring wildlife photographers can learn much about the dedication and skills required to succeed in this field. By following these tips and continually striving to improve, you too, can capture the beauty and essence of the wild in your photographs.

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About Tabasco the Saucy Raccoon

By Diana Lowery

Tabasco lives up to his name as he creates plenty of spicy adventures for his caretaker.

Adopting a three-week-old raccoon is a challenging responsibility even for an experienced wildlife researcher, but the rewards for keeping him hid from her landlord and smuggling him onto planes for a tour of Canada are worth the effort. Tabasco becomes a treasured asset to the author’s lecture circuit as she promotes animal research.

In Tabasco the Saucy Raccoon, author Lyn Hancock presents a chronological description of each stage of development as her pocket-sized, adorable critter grows into a full-sized raccoon. This memoir is a testament to Hancock’s patience and her concern for animal welfare. Her intention is to teach Tabasco the skills needed to live on his own. The situations that arise between the teacher and her pupil are both humorous and educational. Hancock’s writing skills are evident in this easy reading, 165-page story. The short chapters make this suitable for young readers. The descriptive passages make it enjoyable for an older audience.

The best part of this book is the realistic dialogue. Lyn’s conversations with both humans and animals add humor to the already comical circumstances that occur when raising wildlife inside your home. The trick-or-treat scene is one of my favourites. I also enjoyed the way that the author explains the various clicks and chirps that Tabasco uses to converse with her.

This book would be a perfect read-aloud in an elementary classroom. The students would be captivated by Tabasco and would be learning some zoology in the process. I was drawn to the story because I used to have a raccoon that knocked on my kitchen door at night asking for his dinner. After reading this book, I am glad I never encouraged my nocturnal friend to come inside.

Tabasco the Saucy Raccoon deserves 4 out of 4 stars. It is exceptionally well-edited: I found no errors. The cover is attractive, and the illustrations are clever. The black and white photographs at the end are endearing. The book will appeal to a wide range of readers. I recommend it specifically to nature lovers who appreciate the bond between animals and humans.