YOU MUST GET LOW!
Getting down and dirty is a huge must for all types of photography. Getting low and on the ground allows the image to have a greater intimacy than it would otherwise have if it was taken from a higher standing angle.
A key example of this is the shot I opened this blog with of an Australian Pelican. To get this shot I had to put my tripod and camera down into the water and sit down on my knees in shin deep water.
For me, originally I never wanted to do this as it meant I would be getting cold, wet and dirty, but most of all risking my camera gear. It took a long time for me get over this by slowly pushing my boundaries in different scenarios. Initially I would just put my camera on the sand and sit my butt on the ground, but over time I would slowly edge closer and closer. First moving my camera to the edge of the sand and water. then further and further in until after a few weeks I was comfortable just walking straight in and sitting down in the water.
Getting low doesn't just apply to wildlife, yes it is especially important with creating images that separate the animal from their environment, but this technique can be used in all areas of photography. For example in portraiture to achieve the a great looking image with as little distortion as possible, squatting or kneeling and position subject in the middle is best. Another scenario is in landscapes. To draw the users eye through the image from the foreground to background often placing the camera low to the ground can set a starting point for the eye.
Getting low can be difficult physically but more often than not, it is worth it. The quality of the images that are produced from being lower to the ground create a sense of attachment and connection.
Thanks for reading,