How to use and acquire good photo reference.

How to use and acquire good photo reference.


Reference Photos


As a realist Artist, I have to have detailed reference photos as I have limited access to large Zoo’s but live in a beautiful area of Australia, surrounded by sea and national parks. I see an abundance of wildlife in the wild. So armed with my trusty camera, I set out with a packed lunch to capture these creatures do their stuff in the wild. Sometimes I am lucky enough to see the birds or animals that I am after in a short time but it could take weeks. The camera I use has a great zoom s I don’t have to get too close, so I don’t disturb the subject to much. I also take videos so I can look back and see how the subject moves the noises and general ambiance fro the scene.

Then back in my Studio I go through the pic’s and video and cull the not good ones and file the required ones so I can have quick recall of that creature.


©Deb Bull

The other sources I use are Royalty Free photos from  and   these are great services and affordable. There are other ones on the net like  and  you can check these sites and find which one suits you best for value for money and your specific needs. These are valuable tools to have.

Another way I get royalty free reference photo is from Photographers I personally know. I am blessed to have two very talented photographers that live in different states of Australia. Belinda Mengersen and Lynette Goodes. You can find some of their work on facebook.

The Camera I use is a Nikon B700.  A 20.3 megapixel and 60x optical zoom. I have it mainly in the sports setting as my subject are always moving. I use the point this point and shoot camera as I am not a Photographer but the camera gives me fantastic results.

I find early morning or evening give me the best photos because the lighting on the subject and also the animals are usually busy at these times.  This gives me another dimension to convey in my paintings.

©Deb Bull (  Pastel Drawing from one of my Photos a Wallaroo Wallaby ) Serenity.


But as long as you have a high-resolution camera with a good zoom you can take your own reference photos. So if you are a budding Artist or photographer go out and give it ago.






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