It requires good practice and the right technique to capture beautiful wildlife images. So, I thought of sharing some useful tips which have helped me a lot in the field.
1. Understand Natural Light
When it comes to wildlife photography, you don’t have the luxury of lighting in your control. So, you are entirely dependent on natural light during the daytime.
Even though soft light is preferred over harsh light, I have been able to create some breathtaking images in harsh sunlight using the strong shadows.
So, for the best results, you need to have a good understanding of different types of natural light.
2. Capture Intimate Moments
Don’t restrict yourself to portrait shots of animals and birds. Try to capture some intimate moments and actions too.
To photograph these tender moments, you should have a good understanding of animal behaviour.
So, whenever you get free time, it will be useful to spend some time reading books related to animal behaviour. It will help to improve your shots.
3. Concentrate on your Photography
I have seen many photographers who keep on upgrading their camera gear since they feel that they are getting bad shots because of their current camera gear. But the real reason is something else.
The bad shots are due to lousy photography techniques. So, instead of gear upgrade, you should be concentrating on things like Image composition.
Whenever you get your first camera, you should play with the settings. Understand the different parts of a camera
. Learn what each part is capable of doing. Know the strength and limitations of your camera
For example, if your images are getting very noisy at 3200 ISO, then set 2500 ISO as your ISO limit.
4. Get the Maximum out of Dusk and Dawn
A couple of hours after sunrise and before sunset is the best time for wildlife photography also. Both animals and birds become active during this time.
The other advantage would be known to most of the photographers out there. You get the best light for photography during this time.
“Keep the Sun at your back during photography”- Most of you would have heard this famous saying about photography.
But, sometimes, you get the best photographic opportunity when the sun is on the opposite side during dusk and dawn. It gives you a chance to photograph beautiful wildlife silhouettes.
5. Follow Wildlife Photography Ethics
As a wildlife photographer, it is essential to follow the wildlife photography ethics.
Don’t be in a mood to do anything to get your desired shot. Make sure that the animal is comfortable with your presence. If not, then spend some time with the animal.
Still, if the animal is feeling disturbed with your presence, then it is better to leave it. You will be able to capture the best emotions and feelings of the animal if it is comfortable with your presence.
6. Play with Depth of Field
The main advantage of a telephoto lens is its ability to give a shallow depth of field, especially at large apertures.
So, when you are using a telephoto lens to compose your image, control the Depth of Field in a way such that it makes your subject pop out from the rest of the scene.
When it comes to Depth of field, the distance between the subject and the camera also matters. So, if you are close to the subject, then you should always be careful with your aperture settings.
For example, imagine a situation of a deer standing in front of your car, and you are using a 400mm telephoto lens at a wide aperture of f/2.8 to capture this scene. Here you may end up getting only the face or eyes of the deer focused, blurring rest of the parts of the body. This image will look good if you compose it properly.
In this case, if you want to get the whole body in focus, blurring the rest of the elements in the background, then you will have to step down the aperture by one or two stops to increase the Depth. So, choose the aperture according to your composition.
I hope all these wildlife photography tips which I have shared will be useful for you at some point in time.
So, understand and learn these tips and include it in your workflow; you will become a better wildlife photographer.