7 Helpful Wildlife Photography Tips

Wildlife photography is not a genre that the average person will have the opportunity to practice all the time. The choice of subjects makes it very challenging but the results can be well worth it. Here is a list of tips that every wildlife photographer needs to know:

Have lots of patience – when dealing with wildlife photography, you have to posses the virtue of patience. Wild animals will not listen to direction, and they will not willingly pose or sit still until you get your shot. Since they can be very shy and skittish, you might end up with blurry shots as they abruptly move just as you are pressing the shutter-release button. You might not get adequate images first few times around but with large amounts of patience, you will have a better chance of getting great shots.

You cannot dictate to Mother Nature – the weather conditions, geographical patterns, and habits of wild creatures are all uncontrollable elements that you will have to work with. Creatures in their natural habitat will be much harder to capture in an image since they can quickly hide behind bushes or just disappear in the dark shadows of foliage. Instead of imposing your presence in an effort to get your shot, why not use these elements to your advantage by understanding how they work. You can then include them in your composition which can make the image brim with vitality.

Opportunity knocks only but once – if you are carrying your camera, this means that you are prepared for anything. Wildlife subjects are not like models that you can direct in a pose. Many opportunities to get the award winning shot are missed by not being prepared. Always anticipate what you least expect.

Bird talk can contain information about their behavior – birds are very intuitive animals. Most of the time, they give you distinct signals for the best opportunities to capture a moment you can miss at most times.

Eagle eyes are outdoor eyes – eagle eyes are, by definition, having keen eyes and the ability to observe more closely and pay attention to detail. If you use this trait to notice even the minute details that is oftentimes missed, you can get the ideal shots and capture the essence of wildlife.

Focus on the eyes -just as the saying goes, the eyes are the doorway to our souls. The eyes of wild creatures can be very expressive and also fascinating to look at with all its myriad details. From an observer’s point of view, when your subject looks straight at you and you capture that moment, it’s like actually making eye contact, thus having the same effect on the viewer. Try to include catchlights in your image. These are points of light that are reflected back to the camera and make the eyes appear alive and well. Without catchlights, eyes can look dull and dead and leave an overall negative visual impact. 

Distance yourself from large wildlife – large wildlife is just that, large. They are large enough for you to be able to distance yourself from them and have a better chance to observe them in their natural habitat and capture them unaware. This will provide you with natural and realistic photos that capture a truly natural setting.

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