12 Best Tips On Wildlife Photography For Beginners

Welcome to our Tips On Wildlife Photography page:

Some people have an innate ability to take pictures. There are many different areas of photography, looking at things from unique angles, finding beauty in the ordinary, and finding adventure. Wildlife photography is one of the most challenging and rewarding ways to capture nature at its best.

Using these tips you can work towards getting that perfect shot that might earn a little income!

Lighting is Everything

Whatever you are shooting, lighting is a primary consideration. Cloudy days can act as a softening agent when taking photos since it diffuses the sunlight. It also eliminates shadows that might interfere with your pictures.

You will have to adjust shutter speeds and the ISO so the pictures retain clarity when shooting in cloudy conditions, so be prepared to make those adjustments and be familiar with your camera before going out.

On Using a Flash

If you have never thought of using a flash outdoors, then you might want to experiment. On bright days, using a flash can be for an alternate reason besides illuminating your subject. You can use it to fill in shadows outside.

  • Don’t use a flash in front of the glass. * Use caution when using a flash around animals.

Anticipate the Next Move

Just like humans, animals are a little unpredictable. When taking pictures of wildlife, you need to be watching the action taking place with one eye, while keeping your other eye out for interactions. Many times the action directly in front of you isn’t where you need to be looking.

Always be Prepared

Keep your equipment handy. Memory cards, batteries, and your flash need to be accessible. You don’t want to be conspicuous in your target photos, or you will lose the moment. Many wildlife photographers choose to wear a vest to have pockets handy on the front. This gives you multiple places to store items, and you can still keep your bag with you for larger items.

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Capture the Eyes

When photographing any living creature, you need to capture the eyes. This is where the emotion of the picture lies, as they are the “window to the soul” and can convey more in a picture than in any words. It draws the viewer in and makes them feel as if they are part of the picture.

Stay at a Safe Distance

When taking photos of wildlife, you want to remain at a safe distance, while still allowing for good shots. This means you may need to have a fence or other type of barricade, with plenty of view space. You will also want to wear clothing that won’t be a distraction to your subjects. In order to compensate for the distance factor, there are several tricks you can do with your lens.

Use a Telephoto Lens: Tips On Wildlife Photography

If taking pictures of animals behind a fence, you can use this lens with at least 100mm on the telephoto lens, and you can actually focus the fence out of the picture. This works best when the fence is flat colored, as it is difficult to focus the reflective nature out of metal fencing. You might have to experiment with a different angle to get the picture right.

Choose Wide Apertures

Experiment with your camera, and become familiar with adjusting the aperture. This is a magic trick when you start to photograph animals in landscape scenes. You can adjust your settings to blur the landscape and bring out the animal into a clear focus. These pictures give the best results during the dawn or dusk when the light is soft and animals are active outside. Your aperture setting will directly impact the shutter speed on your camera.

Frame your Shots Well

Use composition and simple framing to improve or enhance an image. This can be done using photo software after taking a picture (cropping a picture), but when actually taking a photo, use a mental grid. Imagine a tic tac toe grid in front of your lens, and try to line your subject up in a crosshair.

Use a Tripod if Possible

Using a tripod isn’t a luxury in the field. It’s the only way that you can guarantee your camera will consistently capture non-blurry photos. Combined with a shutter release cable, having the camera mounted to a tripod helps you concentrate on the subjects instead of keeping the camera from shaking. Eliminating the shaky camera with a tripod gives you an extra arm to take the best shots.

Stock up on Supplies

While this seems like a no-brainer, you never want to run across a good shot and then find out you don’t have enough film or memory. Always take extra batteries as well. Keep your items in an easily transportable bag so you can grab them at a moment’s notice.

Take Lots of Pictures

Digital photography offers the luxury of not having to process pictures that aren’t perfect. So instead of trying to capture one perfect photo, any expert knows that you don’t sweat the wrong shots. Take as many photos as you can find, and evaluate them after you leave the field. Memory cards are very inexpensive and easily stored. Liberally shoot and that one photo will be worth it!

Photography is a passion, and it takes a special person to go after those National Geographic-type shots. Your photos will get better over time, with a lot of practice. Many times you can capture priceless moments while waiting for that photo that many people never get the fortune to witness.


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