Now that quality cameras can be found on almost every cell phone and digital cameras have become easier to use than ever before, more people fancy themselves to be amateur or professional-level photographers. However, one subject is still going to be hard for anyone to get quality pictures of: wildlife.
So the next time you’re out hunting with your gun on one shoulder and your camera on the other or you’ve taken a walk out into nature and would like to come back home with some documentation of all the beautiful animals you were able to see, here are three tips that will help you in taking some quality wildlife photography.
Research Before You Head Out
The biggest factor that will help you get any kind of photos of any wild animal is the amount of research you put in before you even head out into the wild.
According to Corinne Bagish, a contributor to Mashable.com, professional wildlife photographers know that you have to research a shooting location extensively so you can increase your chance of getting the photos you want. Doing things like learning about the animals, observing their behavior, and understanding how they live and where they move will all be beneficial to getting some good wildlife shots. You’ll also want to learn everything that you can about the actual area that you’ll be shooting and how both the animals and the light interact there.
Set Your Camera Up Right
Shooting wildlife is going to be very different from almost any other photography that you’re going to do. Because wildlife is unpredictable and there’s very little chance that you can get super close to what you’re shooting, you’re going to need to have your camera set up properly.
To do this, REI.com advises that you make some general setting adjustments on your camera. For example, you’re going to want a fast shutter speed so you can catch any movement the animal makes. Also, you’ll need to put your f-stop and ISO correctly for your setting. And if you have a longer lens, you’ll want to have that with you as well.
Arguably the best thing you can do to increase your chances of getting some good photos of wildlife, according to the U.S. Forest Service, is to practice patience.
Animals in the wild are generally skittish. This means, if you’re too loud or moving too much, they aren’t going to want to get close to you. With this in mind, try your best to sit still and just relax into nature in order to get a great wildlife photo.
If you’re wanting to try your hand wildlife photography, consider using the tips mentioned above to shorten your learning curve.