How do You Photograph Wildlife Like a Pro?
There are some simply stunning wildlife pictures that just stand out. We’ve all seen the National Geographic wildlife photos of unforgettable scenes of superb landscapes and wild animal encounters, those special moments, which are cleverly framed, that result from knowledge, experience and planning, but that are also original, beautiful observations of wildlife close to home or further afield.
If you fancy learning how to photograph wildlife like a pro, there are certain things that you can do to get yourself off to a good start…
So, what makes a great wildlife photo? According to the experts, you need to keep it simple if you want to photograph wildlife like a pro. So, don’t add any distracting and unnecessary elements. The chosen subject needs to stand out.
Another important photographer tip is to help your viewer connect with the subject. This may be because there’s eye contact with wild animals or because you’re telling a tale in your picture. Oh, and of course, you’ll also need to well use light and composition to enhance these special moments.
When shooting wildlife, it’s suggested that you follow the rule of thirds, which will help you take a more balanced, eye-pleasing image. Most modern cameras allow you to show a grid on your display screen, so you simply line up your subject on one of the intersections of the grid to create a balanced shot.
The key to fabulous wildlife photography is to keep everything looking as natural as possible, so you capture the way it actually looks in the wild – whilst you still are at a safe distance.
Photography Wildlife Pro Tips
Let’s be honest, wildlife photography is one genre that requires some of the most significant investments in gear – from telephoto lenses to the tripod.
If you want to photograph wildlife like a pro, you’ve got to have at least some of this essential equipment – a camera bag, the right lens and a tripod just for starters if you intend to take your wildlife photos to the next level like a pro…
But, it’s a good idea to learn about your target animal’s behaviour before you pay out on gear, as this will help you figure out the W5. What cameras, type of lenses you’ll need – long lens, or wide-angle, and how to adjust the settings.
It’s suggested to take a good natural photos one must
- The eyes of the target animal must be in focus
- You should try to be at eye level with your subject
- Take a lot of pictures. – One is never enough and too many things can go wrong, which you will miss in the field
How to Take Amazing Photograph of Wildlife
The name of the game in wildlife photography, whether you’re trying to capture a pride of lions in the grasslands in Etosha National Park in Africa, or a chipmunk in your own backyard, is patience.
This doesn’t mean waiting around time is a waste of time – you need to know your subject in its natural habitat, because the more time you spend with your subjects, the better you get to know them and their habits for that perfect shot.
In recent years, the quality of cameras for photographing wildlife has improved, and prices have dropped dramatically,
Wildlife Photography Tips
One of the first steps in photographing the very best wildlife photographs possible is to insure you have the best wildlife photography camera and equipment you can afford.
When taking photos, try to get out at the optimal lighting conditions – try to photograph wildlife either early in the morning or just before sunset. Noon hour sun brings harsh shadows, and it is a little more difficult to position yourself and the camera to minimize the shadows. I’m not saying don’t shoot at noon, just it can be more difficult to capture that perfect photo.
If you can’t afford a telephoto lens, the pros recommend a teleconverter, which can also extend the focal length but take warning warn they aren’t great for low-light situations. To assist you in taking sharp photos, use a lens that has optical stabilization (OS).
Some key features in a camera that you need to look for when you take photos include high megapixels, auto focus performance, shutter speed, battery life, high ISO.
Another item to look for if you want to photograph wildlife like a pro is fast continuous capture rates, and buffer size, which aren’t always critical but can be very beneficial for capturing the movement of animals.
When shooting wildlife, features like trigger speed, which is the time from motion detection until a photo is taken, can mean the difference between catching the whole animal or just the end of its tail.
Therefore, you should always go with the best camera you can afford, the best have shooting speeds of a half-second or less.
Most cameras offer both still and video settings, which require the operator to press the shutter. Remember, though, that you could miss that perfect still photo if the camera is set to video. Try to be conscious of what your camera settings are.
If night-time images are your photographing target, the pros suggest various flash types that’ll give different results such as infrared flashes with red-glow, low-glow and no-glow, which produce grainier photos, and produce black-and-white images. Whereas white flashes, which may startle some animals, although they may acclimate, offer color both during the day and night.
Burst mode is a camera setting that allows you to take continuous photos for as long as you hold down the shutter button and is adapted for capturing photographs of birds or action shots of animals. Burst mode will continue to take photos until the camera buffer fills.
Remote Shutter Releases
A remote shutter release is a device that allows you to trigger the camera remotely without actually touching it. This comes in handy when trying to take photos of wildlife and do not want to spook the animals. Price-wise, a remote trigger can be as low as $20 available from Amazon or you can pay up to $200 and more. My recommendation would be the Pluto trigger. I always have one in my bag.
How to Dress for Wildlife Photography
Clothing is very important during tough weather conditions. It helps to keep you warm and dry when it’s cold or wet outside. Clothing should have pockets for small amounts of gear which is often needed at a moment’s notice, such as your batteries, filters, microfiber cloth to clean the lenses, and a pocket full of snacks. Being comfortable in the wild will help you take stunning wildlife images. There is nothing that can ruin a photography outing quicker that being cold and wet.
Close to Home
Close to home is a perfect place to practice wildlife photography. Do a little research about the wildlife in your neighborhood. Ask your photo friends to tag along. It is cheaper than practicing on your next African Photo Safari . So before heading out on that once in a lifetime wildlife safari practice at home.
Research Your Subject
The best time to photograph wildlife is during mating and breeding seasons. This way you can take advantage of the animals’ natural behaviors. It’s important that you research where these animals live, what they eat, their nesting patterns, etc. You should also plan your trip accordingly so that you can find your subjects easier.
Photographing different wildlife is a lot more successful when it’s done in the right season for them.
As a wildlife photographer, I’ve learned that wildlife is always, always unpredictable. Anything can happen at anytime and it’s never guaranteed. It’s a culmination of what we’ve already discussed. You may need to return to the same spot day after day before anything happens. Even if you do, you risk of nothing exciting happening.
Photograph Wildlife Like a Pro – It’s all down to You..
It is actually possible to shoot photography on an iPhone. Still, suppose you want to capture stunning wildlife photography. In that case, a digital camera is really the best, because of the sheer quantity of photographs that are needed to get a quality image of wild animals.
Other recommendations include:
· A burst feature that allows you to photograph in bursts of multiple frames per second, especially if you want to catch just the right moment regardless of the weather. There are brands that have affordable entry cameras that still provide superior image quality.
· Consider cameras with a fast shutter speed.
· Photographers who capture extreme close-ups of nature, such as insects, should invest in a camera that will produce a good depth of field.
· The best camera will have fast auto focus so that you can quickly hone in and focus on fast-moving animals.
· Also, consider the ISO – typically, a better quality image is produced at a lower ISO, so you’ll want to find a camera that can produce an excellent quality image at a high ISO.
So, if you want to photograph wildlife like a pro, do your research, buy the right gear, and book your photo safari – or at least camp out in your backyard!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a Tripod Necessary for Wildlife Photography?
A tripod is not necessary for wildlife photography, but it can provide stability to your camera. A mono pod sometimes is a better option, but a simple trick would be not to spread out the legs of the tripod, just keep them together and it acts like a mono pod. And sometime a tripod and a mono pod is just a hindrance. I guess it is just personal taste.
What Lens is Best for Wildlife Photography?
The lens that you should use depends on the type of shot. A telephoto zoom with a focal range of 100mm-300mm will typically be the best lens for wildlife photography. This will allow you to get close-up shots of animals without disturbing them, and it’s also the most versatile lens in terms of framing up your shot. However saying that there is not perfect lens and caring both a wide-angle and a good telephoto should cover you for most wildlife photo situations.
Can You Make a Career of Out Wildlife Photography?
Wildlife photographers need to put in lot of hard work and a ton of effort before they can make it as a career. But all of this honesty pays off, because you have the opportunity for an amazing job, Where else are you able to see wild animals up close day-to-day? It sounds like heaven!