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Why a gimbal head is so important in wildlife photography

Gimbalkopf in der Tierfotografie

Benjamin Feldmann is passionate about animal photography. In an interview, he explains how he came about, why he has agimbal head used by Rollei and what was his most impressive moment in wildlife photography.

1. How did you get into nature/animal photography??
2. Is wildlife photography your main job?
3. Why is a gimbal head so useful for wildlife photography??
4. What distinguishes the Lion Rock gimbal head?
5. What was the most impressive situation you have experienced so far on your photo trips
6. How long does it take on average for a good picture?
7. What equipment do you always have with you on your excursions??
8. What about wolves? Are they easy or difficult to photograph?n?

Tierfotografie stehender Bär


1. How did you get into nature/animal photography??

I have always been very close to nature, from an early age, my father always went into nature with the dogs and me. Then we built caves and tree houses. Or we played hide and seek with walkie-talkies. I've always found animals interesting.

Tierfotografie Bär

When I was 20 I thought I'd get a camera.
I just wanted to capture what I see with the shot. That's how I got into wildlife photography.

Tierfotografie sitzender Bär

Then I traveled through Europe: to Poland, the Czech Republic, Spain and Austria. Spain above all because I really like birds. But also Scandinavia and Sweden.

Tierfotografie Schlange im Fokus

At some point you know where the animals are sitting, but of course nature photography is also about the right moment and a bit about tricks.

For example, I use loose, so to speak, whistles with which you can make a certain sound that the respective animal finds interesting, pauses briefly or turns in my direction. At that moment the picture comes.

Tierfotografie Reh im Feld


2. Is animal photography your main job or do you do it more on the sidei?

I only do animal photography for myself. I've already thought about whether I should do it full-time and I've also thought about going to the forestry office.
But then I would have had to retrain and I didn't want that. My main job is a team leader in a sales department.


3. Why is a gimbal head so helpful, especially for animal photography?

gimbal heads are very good for large telephoto zoom lenses that are needed in wildlife photography. For example, I have a Canon 400 f2.8.
That already weighs six kilos and then of course there is the camera. A lot of heads don't take that very well.

Tierfotografie Rollei Gimbalkopf

With this head you have very good control and also great stability.gimbal heads are mostly used in hide photography, I would say. Of thegimbal head is also heavier than normal ball heads. Either you sit in the forest yourself, camouflage yourself and then wait for game. Or nowadays there are hide huts where you sit and wait for the animal to then photograph it.
I do hide photography, but I also walk a lot because sometimes I want to change places for a picture.

Tierfotografie Wildschweine auf Feld


4. What distinguishes the Lion Rock gimbal head?

First impressions are very important to me. If I do thatgimbal head in my hand, I think about how to assess the value:

  • If the head is heavy, there is quality behind it?
  • Does it crunch when you turn the locking wheels, or does everything flow smoothly into one another??

I've had the head for a little over a month and have really tested it extensively.

Tierfotografie mit Lion Rock Gimbal

The value is very high, which convinces me very much.
Everything can be operated and changed easily and well, the handling is very good overall.


5. What was the most impressive situation you have experienced so far on your photo trips?

The encounter with the badger. Badgers are animals that are very difficult to photograph in the wild, but are a great subject.
They are extremely cautious and only come out of the burrow at dusk.

Tierfotografie wilder Dachs

It took a good two weeks until I got a badger on the photo. The problem was that the building wasn't particularly easy to photograph. I first had to find out where his path to construction is and then I also had to find out the time when he is active.

That was about a little after five, then he went to sleep. I only made a short beeping noise once, so that he turned around. And then he was gone.


6. How long does it take on average for a really good picture?

This is very different, the times can vary greatly. When it comes to animal photography, I always have to think about what kind of motif I actually want to have.

Tierfotografie Eule

Sometimes the photo comes right away. For example, I was lucky enough to spot a barn owl up in an old barn recently.

Tierfotografie Eule

The inclusion of the black deer was also a lucky coincidence. I had already mounted the camera on the gimbal head and just quickly photographed the deer through the window.

Tierfotografie schwarzes Reh

You can't plan an animal.

Tierfotografie Vogel auf Ast


7. What equipment do you always have with you on your excursions??

Of course I always have a cameratripod andtripod head and also usually a camouflage cloak.

Rollei Lion Rock Gibmalkopf

I always have a locker with me. So basically whistles for foxes and badgers or even deer. Memory cards too, of course. Thephoto backpack I don't always have it with me. Because if I run longer distances, it can be a bit annoying. But when I hide in a hut, I usually take one with me.

filter I don't need it for hide photography, rather forPhotographing landscapes. I try to be as minimalist as possible so I don't have to carry a lot with me.

Tierfotografie Bär und Wolf  

8. What about wolves? Are they easy or difficult to photograph?n?

If you are looking for wolves, you need luck and patience above all else for a good picture. Because it's not like you just sit there, a wolf comes by immediately and you take the picture.

Tierfotografie Wolf

Last year there was even a whole pack there. The last time I was there, there was only one wolf to be seen and it only came for five minutes.
When it's hot, they're more likely to withdraw. Extremely exciting animals.

Tierfotografie zwei Wölfe

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