Wildlife photography is a great way to connect with nature. However, it can also be difficult to master. Patience is a key skill to develop if you want to take great wildlife photos. You’ll need to be ready to wait for the perfect opportunity to arise, but it’s worth it in the end. Fortunately, you can follow a few tips to become a better photographer. Read on to discover nine of them.
Know Your Camera
Wildlife photography is one of the most challenging genres to master. It requires exceptional technical skills and excellent exposure, framing, and composition.
You must also understand the animal’s habits, behavior, and patterns. This will help you predict what you’re likely to see before you head out, keeping you one step ahead of the game and ensuring you get the shot you want.
The best sensor and lens combination for wildlife photography is a full-frame DSLR or mirrorless camera with a telephoto lens. This allows you to zoom in on subjects and take photos that look as if they’re right next to you.
Study Your Subjects
Whether you’re studying the behavior of a cheetah stalking its prey in a dense jungle or a panorama of a giant elephant in a lake, knowing your subject is key to being a great wildlife photographer.
Reading books and online guides is a great way to study your subjects. These will give you a better understanding of the animal and help you capture its most interesting moment.
Wildlife photography is a sport where patience is the key. There is often little control over weather conditions, how long a subject will stand still, or when it will move.
This can lead to frustration when not getting the shots you want, and it’s important to remain patient when taking photos of wildlife. By doing this, you are not stressing the animal, and they will be more likely to allow you close enough to capture a good shot.
Know Your Focal Length
Often overlooked, a focal length is an important tool for wildlife photographers. It can change the perspective of the image and capture different angles.
Focal length is the distance from the lens’s optical center to the camera sensor when focusing on a subject. You want to select a focal length that will give you the best magnification of the subject you’re trying to photograph. This is why many professional wildlife photographers use telephoto lenses.
Know Your Camera Settings
Knowing your camera settings is essential to wildlife photography, whether you’re using a DSLR or a mirrorless camera. This will help you get the most out of your gear and avoid underexposed images that are hard to correct in post-production.
Aperture priority is a great mode for wildlife photography, allowing you to choose the aperture and ISO settings (discussed above). At the same time, your camera takes care of the shutter speed automatically. This is especially helpful in low light conditions, where setting a fast enough shutter speed without introducing too much noise is impossible.