Here are 10 digital wildlife photography tips to help you master this exciting area of photography. The natural world is a great subject for photographers of all levels and you don’t have to be in the Serengeti to take amazing images!
These are tips for beginners, which will hopefully give you some ideas for photographing the wildlife near you. Whatever local wildlife you have access to, it can all look beautiful and spectacular when photographed well!
1. Get To Know Your Subject.
Get hold of a little guide to wildlife in your local area. This is not being overly keen and involved – it’s actually fairly essential! Check out the favoured habitats of the species you want to shoot. Find out what times of day and year they can best be found.
Discover whether any animals around you have interesting behaviours – like hunting methods, fighting, feeding, nurturing their young and so on. Armed with this info you’ll have a much better chance of getting that brilliant shot. Without it, you’ll basically be standing around hoping for the best.
2. Capture The Action!
Wildlife is a dynamic, fast moving, exciting subject. What does that mean? You’re going to need some quick shutter speeds. Set your camera to manual or shutter priority mode and select a really fast shutter speed.
A fast shutter speed inevitably means a wider aperture. Be carefully that it doesn’t become so wide that the depth of field is really small. You need to account for the movement of your subject towards and away from the camera. There’s nothing wrong with increasing the ISO if it enables you to keep a fast shutter and convenient depth of field.
Once you’ve mastered this, try getting creative and using a shutter speed that’s just slow enough to produce a little bit of motion blur to illustrate movement and drama. This can be used to to either blur part of the animal itself, or the background by panning whilst taking the shot.