Professional wildlife photographer Jayne Bond unveils her essential photo kit

Jayne is a nature and wildlife photographer based in Poole, Dorset on the south coast of the UK.

She first dabbled in photography in 2015 after buying a Canon EOS 5D Mark III, although she has now switched to mirrorless kit with the Canon EOS R5 and Canon EOS Ra bodies.

• Read more: The best cameras for wildlife photography

In 2019 Jayne was shortlisted for the British Photography Awards and last year she was a finalist in the Natural World category for the Natural History Museum’s Photographer of the Year. We recently caught up with her to find out how she got into photography, her approach to wildlife photography, the kit she uses and how she’s doing with her new mirrorless cameras.

“I have always considered myself an artist which is fortunate as I taught art at GCSE level in a secondary school for over 30 years! This made any type of travel difficult but in 2015 I retired and was able to fulfill a lifelong dream of visiting Borneo and seeing orangutans in the wild.

“I had a Canon EOS 5D Mark III at the time and was frustrated with not knowing how to get the best photos out of it. It inspired me to learn and hone my skills. To do this, I continually trained on masses of gulls and geese in my local park.I also joined a Facebook photography group which was a great place to get feedback and advice.

(Image credit: Jayne Bond)

“We have incredible wildlife in the UK and there is nothing I enjoy more than sitting at one of my local fox sites for hours spending time with these amazing creatures. like to capture beautiful portraits, although the current trend is to aim for more storytelling. I like to combine the two, but ultimately I want viewers to see the beauty of our local wildlife and admire these creatures as much as It’s relatively easy to find bird hides near you using a search engine, so it can be a great place to practice when you’re just starting out.

“I keep my editing to a minimum, as I like the image to be as natural as possible, although I remove distractions if they distract the eye from the subject. As for the orangutans, I’d love to come back…one day!”

(Photo credit: Canon)

“I recently upgraded to the EOS R mirrorless system and I love it. My previous camera, the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, was great, but the R5 was a game-changer for me: the shutter and silent eye recognition are incredibly useful. The tilting screen allows me to descend without having to be a contortionist. As it has a 45MP sensor, it also gives me the extra pixels for more room to crop: a boon for shooting wildlife from a distance!”

(Photo credit: Canon)

“This lens is the best investment I’ve ever made. It’s a beast and I often pair it with a monopod or skimmer plate for low level shots. It’s fast and produces the bokeh the most sublime, which really makes the subject stand out from the background.I now attach it to my EOS R5 with the Mount Adapter EF-EOS R and haven’t seen any obvious loss in quality.

(Photo credit: Canon)

“I call it my ‘portable’ lens. It’s a superb, well-balanced and versatile optic with great sharpness and fast autofocus. Although the widest aperture is f/7.1 at 500mm, the 5-stop IS, EOS R5’s IBIS allows me to shoot handheld, even at slow shutter speeds. I love using the lens for panoramas and birds in flight.

04. Canon EOS 5D Mark III

(Photo credit: Canon)

“It was the first camera body I bought and while other cameras have come and gone I have always kept it as my backup. Today my EF 16- 35mm is permanently attached to them. I admit the pair have been a little neglected lately, but a recent family holiday in Scotland has reinvigorated my desire to shoot more landscapes with them.”

05. Canon EF 1.4x III Extender

(Photo credit: Canon)

“There are times when I need as much focal length as possible so as not to disturb wildlife. The RF 1.4x extender paired with my RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1L IS USM lens gives distance 700mm focal length when fully zoomed in – that makes a huge difference.It’s a great combination to use on local lakes or for birds in flight.

• Learn more: The best teleconverters and how they work

(Photo credit: Canon)

“The new Canon RF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM lens is the newest addition to my bag and one I’m very excited about. Using it on my EOS R5, I can get low angle shots with the most sublime depth of field. The 26cm minimum focusing distance is fabulous for floral work, but I’ve also used it for portraits and landscapes. The details you find are so clear and razor sharp!”

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Wildlife

(Image credit: Jayne Bond)
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Wildlife

(Image credit: Jayne Bond)

Read more:

The best Canon cameras
The best Canon lenses
The best professional cameras

Jack C. Nugent