50 Amusing Pics Of Unsuccessful Attempts At Wildlife Photography (New Pics)

Some say that children and animals are the most difficult subjects to take pictures of (unless they’re sleeping, of course). That’s arguably true for many reasons, a couple of which are that they often just can’t stand still and don’t respond well to the photographer asking them to do so.

Today, we have prepared a list of beaaaautiful pictures of one of the two—animals, as shared on the ‘Crap wildlife photography’ Facebook group. Covering all sorts of scenarios, from the wild beings unable to stand still for a moment, to photographers messing up themselves, the list is filled with some impressive shots; but there’s no need to take my word for it, just scroll down to find them and see for yourself. Enjoy!

In order to learn more about animal behavior and the challenges those trying to capture it might face, Bored Panda got in touch with evolutionary biologist and Professor at the Department of Biology at Queen’s University, Robert Montgomerie, and wildlife and environmental photojournalist Steven Holt, who were kind enough to share their insight on the topic. You will find their thoughts in the text below.

This Little Guy Takes A Nap In The Same Spot Every, Single Day (And In Another Tree But He Loves This Nook)

since it’s been 100 f degrees..And it’s been 100f for about 2 months here in Austin with no rain. I have plenty of water around the yard.He’s really enjoying his nap! Siesta time!

Mirgun Akyavas Report

Well That's A Neat Trick

I Finally Found The Perfect Place For This Beautiful Photo

While vacationing in the Colorado Rockies, late at night driving down the road to our cabin:
Husband: ”OH MY… A Mountain Lion!!! Get the camera, GET THE CAMERA!!!”
Me: fumbling to get the camera and quickly snapping a pic before the mountain Lion is gone.
Husband: ”Did you get it, did you get it?”
Me: “Well, um… kind of”
I swear this is a mountain lion. The only one I’ve ever seen in my life, and the only picture I have to prove it.

Lisa Kaufman Report

Professor Robert Montgomerie of the Department of Biology at Queen’s University, a bird photographer who has been capturing the winged creatures—often poorly, as the expert jokingly admitted himself—since 1965, told Bored Panda that most birds and other animals are readily disturbed by the close approach of humans (or their pets).

“That disturbance can have detrimental effects on their survival and reproduction,” he pointed out, adding that it’s usually important to keep one’s distance and be constantly aware of any changes in the animal’s behavior evoked by a human’s presence.

“It is fairly easy to detect when a bird is becoming more alert, as it might stop foraging, freeze, start to move away from you, or begin alarm calling. Those are cues that you are too close and that it’s time to back off a bit; or a lot.

“It is also important to minimize the disturbance of a bird’s habitat, especially during the breeding season. Never trim vegetation just so you can get a better shot,” the expert said.


And Jean Was Never Seen Again. Authorities Suspect Fowl Play


Woman Pays A Lot Of Money For A Comfortable Seat On The Train, Elderly Woman Wants Her To Move


This Buck Was Having A Bad Hair Day


A person who has had more than one face-to-face encounter with all sorts of animals, wildlife and environmental photojournalist Steven Holt, told Bored Panda that he is often in the animal’s sight, but makes sure not to disturb them or come too close. “When I’m in a blind, I am usually completely out of sight. But much of the time, even if dressed in camo, I am in full sight of the animal I’m photographing.

“Each animal is an individual with their own level of comfort and some species tend to be much more wary than others,” he pointed out. “My ideal is to be seen but to have my presence fully accepted or at minimum to be tolerated by the animal at a distance.”


I Got Lucky Enough To See The Rare Northern California Sea Potato! Butter And Chives Not Included

In My Yard At The Same Time!

Last Year On A Hot Summer Day I Took My Hiking Boots Off Because My Feet Were Getting All Sweaty While Trying To Photograph Wild Foxes

 Not even an hour later the female fox had approached my boots and was sniffing them, before I could react she took off with my left hiker!

Here’s an award winning still from the video I took while running after her. She let me chase her for a minute or so before eventually surrendering the boot

Izzy Edwards Report

But even though having his presence accepted or tolerated is the ideal, Holt admitted that that’s not always the case. “Very early in my career, well over 30 years ago, I stupidly ignored the obvious signals of a mother moose and her baby running away across a field,” he shared, traveling back to the time he learned an important lesson.

“I drove to the far side of the woods and re-approached them from the opposite direction. The mother moose quite understandably became utterly incensed. Her eyes started rolling in her head—if you ever see the whites of a moose’s eyes I can advise you to get up a tree, stat.

“Sadly, the small lodge-pole pines surrounding me were not easily climbable. The mother moose charged straight at me. I stepped behind a small six inch diameter tree hoping to do-si-do with the tree in the middle. I was not feeling particularly optimistic that I could dodge a kick from a five-foot-long leg.

“Luckily, I didn’t have to find out how my dancing ability stacked up against this enraged mother moose. Her charge veered off at about 20 feet out and she trotted off with her calf having made her point completely clear to me. I was unethically foolish and damn lucky that day and have since endeavored to always listen when animals communicate any kind of distress,” the photographer said, seconding Prof. Montgomerie’s point that paying attention to the animal’s movements is crucial.

Almost A Cool Picture Of A Great Egret Catching A Fish, But A Bug Got In The Way

Screenshot From A Video I Took Yesterday! I Had A Praying Mantis On My Hand, Then It Flew Up And Landed On My Phone And Chaos Ensued. But I Cannot Get Over This Face

I've Been Trying To Get Them To Use This Thing For Weeks. Victory Is Mine!!!

Robert Montgomerie explained that as a human approaches, an animal’s reaction usually escalates from stopping what they are doing, to adopting alert postures and alarm calling, and then fleeing.

“Researchers have recently studied what we call flight initiation distance (FID) and the results are, not surprisingly, that this varies with species, time of year, and even among individuals. Even within species, some birds are very skittish while others appear to be relatively tame,” he pointed out.

“Most of the many species that I have studied pay little attention to humans in the birds’ natural habitats unless we try to approach them directly for photography or observations and as a result get too close. Negative reactions by birds increase dramatically if you are walking a dog, making a lot of noise, or operating a noisy vehicle.”

When You Think You’re Gonna Get A Great Photo But They Use You To Check Out Their Hair Instead

The Majestic Sea Lion Slumbers

Behold The Fabulous Pileated Woodpecker!

Steven Holt shared that—in addition to an occasional saving yourself from an angered mother moose—some of the main challenges animal photographers face are the same ones their wild subjects have to face nearly every day of their lives, such as bugs, sun, heat, cold, rain, snow, mud and similar unpleasantries.

“At least, we have technology that can help us against many of these challenges,” he pointed out. “But perhaps the biggest challenge for me is to consciously allow a bug to bite me when I know swatting it would possibly scare off the animal that I have gradually gotten to trust me.”

I Wanted A Dive But He Just Wanted To Hang Out

This fella lost his balance upon landing and ended up upside down. He stayed like this for a good 3 minutes (probably from shock / embarrassment) before pulling himself up and perching normally

Adam Maniam Report


When Panoramic Goes Pano-Wrong

For Prof. Montgomerie, the part that is particularly challenging when it comes to animal—in this case bird—photography is capturing them in action, when they’re flying, diving, or courting; especially in low light when, according to him, the most interesting behaviors seemingly occur.

But whether the creatures are moving or standing still, far from every specimen of animal photography ends up being an applause-worthy one (and this list clearly proves it). When discussing how often the shots don’t come out the way he expected, the expert said that back in the days of film, that wouldn’t happen that much as he was extremely careful not to waste expensive film. “Even so, probably only one in 100 shots was really a keeper,” he admitted.

“Now with digital photography I often take 1000 or more photos in a day out and don’t really like any of them. The new cameras offer a ton of creative possibilities so I often try to photograph behaviors and birds that would have been impossible for me to capture on film.”

My House. Not My Cat

Clearly Underestimated The Size Of His Backside When Planning His Getaway

When You've Been Parked For 1 Hour And 59 Minutes And The Parking Inspector Is Getting Ready

“While I aim to take photos that I really love, just the process of getting out to observe birds closely and trying to get a decent photo is a large part of the enjoyment, even if none of the photos are worth keeping,” Montgomerie told Bored Panda.

He shared that in addition to allowing him to express his creativity, photography helps him to focus his attention on the animal’s behavior and anatomy both while taking photos and movies and later when viewing and processing the material.

“To me this is much more satisfying than the endless twitching of new species. Through photography I feel I get to know the birds better, and I gain a greater appreciation of the interesting behaviors of relatively common species as they tend to be more available and easier to photograph.”

I Swear They Didn't Seem This Big On The Course

I Was Trying To Get The Graceful Landing Of A Barred Owl. Instead I Got A Drunken Pole Dancer. The Third Eyelid Being Closed Was The Icing On The Cake

This Bee Comes By My Brother's Ring Doorbell Every Day

“Spending time being accepted to experience just a small sample of the life of a wild creature is an honor I can occasionally enjoy and that makes any inconvenience all worth it,” photographer Steven Holt said, summing up all the joys and challenges of a wildlife photographer and adding that the life and health of the subjects must always be paramount to the concerns of the professionals working in the field.

Psycho Owl

My First Post Here

I Was Trying To Take A Photo Of An Adorable Jackrabbit, But It Got Possessed And Stood Up On Its Legs Like A Demon. Yes, I Went The Other Way

If animal content—be it professional photography or photos snapped with one’s mobile—is something you enjoy, feel free to visit Bored Panda’s category dedicated to all sorts of critters and enjoy the serotonin boost their pictures ought to provide.

I Was Trying To Get A Nice Picture Of Them All Lined Up On The Log…

No Bird Flies As Gracefully As A Sandhill Crane!

Such A Majestic Creature

Things I Never Expected To See In A Tree: Groundhogs

Very Good Shot Of A Cardinal

My Daughter Just Sent This From Her Vacation. It’s Been Unbearably Hot! She Deserves A Break. She Has Three Babies

Oregon Is Beautiful

Been A While Since We've Shared One Of Our Majestic Eagle Pictures Here. Having An Eagle Nest In Our Pasture, We Take A Lot Of *good* Eagle Pictures. Here Is A Recent One!

Please Enjoy This Exquisite Photo Of Bridger Butte. It Could Have Been Much Better But These Ridiculous Wild Stallions Fighting Got In The Way

I Got Mooned By A Peacock


This Mountain Lion Came Out Of The Bushes And Was Blocking The Trail Way Ahead Of Me

 I snapped a quick picture with my 600mm zoom and then yelled at my dog for us to go! Once I was around the bend and out of sight I ran all the way back to the car, about half a mile. When I was safe and sound, I checked the camera to see if I had a good picture of it….I ran from a fox. And I didn’t even get a decent picture of it

Brooke Edwards Report

A Once In A Lifetime Experience—seeing A Snowy Owl In The Wild. And By “Wild”, I Mean A Guardrail On Highway 20 In Upstate NY, Across The Street From The Drag Racing Track. I Think I Captured Nature In Its Purest Form Here

Backyard Bunny Handstand

I Finally Captured A Photo Worthy Of This Group! Behold! I Give You, The Elusive Headless Moose!

When A Deer Ran By And I Still Caught It On Camera... Well Most Of It

That Time I Was So Excited To See My First Wild Weasel (I’m An Avid Wildlife Photographer)… And Just As He Got Somewhat Close Enough, He Turned, Ran, And Gave Me Nuthin’ But Nuts

Raccoon On A Telephone Pole … A Very Comforting Presence

A Breathtaking Performance Of The Nutquacker

Frankly, I Don’t Know Why Natgeo Isn’t Returning My Calls

Imposter Alert!

Midair Froggy

Trying To Photograph Bumble Bee Sweetly Sipping Nectar

It's Wildlife. It's A Photo. It's Definitely Cr*p

Note: this post originally had 92 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.

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