Animal photography is continually growing in popularity, thanks to the accessibility of digital cameras nowadays. I’ve been a wildlife photographer for almost seven years now, and a professional for the last few of them. Over time I have picked up some really valuable techniques and tips, specific to wildlife photography, gained from either experience or learning from others in my field.
Here are some the top tips for Animal photography.
#1 Get to Know Your Subject
I cannot stress this enough – Animal photography is all about time and patience, much of which should be spent studying and paying attention to your subject. Instead of just showing up at a location once, return time and time again to photograph it. Watch an animal’s behavioral traits and try to pick up on clues it gives as to its next movement.
With practice, you’ll often be able to predict where an animal will move to next, or what it will do.
#2 Use Your Lens Hood
That bit of plastic that comes with your lens isn’t just for decoration. It prevent stray light from hitting the lens, helping you produce clearer pictures, but it also provides physical protection for your lens. Too many times I see photographers with it on, but the wrong way round. Make sure you take a few seconds to attach it properly before shooting.
Check this link about how to use Lens Hoods properly!
#3 Don’t Be Shy From Aperture Priority Mode
Recently, I’ve found a lot of photographers are shooting in manual mode because they believe that anything else is “cheating” and makes a shot unworthy. I don’t know any professional wildlife photographers that don’t shoot in aperture priority mode – although don’t get me wrong, manual does have its uses in some situations. However, in general, aperture priority is great for wildlife photography.
#4 Be Prepared for a Wait
I mentioned earlier that wildlife photography is all about patience. When starting out in this field, you need to remember that rarely do wildlife photographers get a great shot in just a few hours of waiting. You may need to return to a spot time and time again, waiting for hours on end, before you will capture a unique image.
This may sound daunting, but it makes any images you capture that extra bit more rewarding. If you’re waiting in a hide, take a book with you, or a film on your smartphone to pass the time. Just remember to keep looking up and checking the scene in front of you.
#5 Think Outside of the Box
Finally, with so many people taking excellent wildlife images nowadays, it is important to think outside of the box. Look at images others have taken and think “how can I do it differently”. If you want your images to be noticed and stand out, give them the wow-factor by taking a photograph that no one has ever seen before. I don’t mean a rare animal, but instead a rare style of photo.
A Post By one my favorite wild photographers: Will Nicholls
Watch the full album of my animal photography here
Thank you for reading!