Travel & Photography

5 Simple Steps to Better Wildlife Photography

Ritam Dutta
05 Nov 2016
Read Time : 10 mins
5 Simple Steps to Better Wildlife Photography

Hey guys. Do you want to be a veteran photographer? Creating a beautiful image of an elusive creature is an exciting challenge for all nature and wildlife photographers. Unlike the controlled environments common in zoos and farms, wildlife is fleeting and unpredictable. Yes, that’s the beauty of it.

Since most opportunities last for just a few short seconds, there is little room for error when the subject finally appears to you. Equipped with these proven tips and techniques, you can relive yourself of bad experiences through photos you are proud to call your own.

  • Select the Right Shutter

Many amateur people often ask, “what is the correct shutter speed?” The surprising truth is that there is no single right or wrong answer. Ultimately, the ‘correct’ setting depends on how fast your subject is moving and what you are trying to achieve.

You can choose to either freeze a subject or reveal its motion. Automatic options like “sports mode” are unpredictable at best, typically serving up an array of blurry images. Instead of leaving this critical decision to the camera, set it yourself. To freeze most wildlife, you will need to be around 1/500 or 1/1000. If the animal is largely stationary, 1/250 will be sufficient.

  • Learn to play with ISO

Once you have selected the proper shutter speed and aperture, your exposure may still be too dark. If so, the solution would be to raise your ISO: a very effective method of perfecting the exposure.

Despite this, I talk to countless photography students who are afraid to adjust it. They fear the digital noise that occurs with extremely high ISOs.
The truth is, cameras on the market today can be used at extraordinarily high ISOs, creating just a fraction of the noise that previous models exhibited. Couple this with a bit of noise reduction available in most image editing programs and you have a non-issue.

  • Simplify the Focus

Like all moving subjects, using the center autofocus option along with the “AI Servo mode” will provide the best results. The outer points are difficult to adjust quickly and are not as sensitive as the middle point.

Keep your active focus area on the bird with your shutter button held halfway down. This enables the AI Servo mode to track the subject and automatically adjust the focus.
It works for subjects passing left to right as well as those heading directly towards you. Rather than using “One Shot” mode, select the continuous high speed burst option to capture more number of frames per second.

  • Look for Proper Background

A good background can make all the difference. If the area behind your focal point is bright and distracting, then the main subject will be lost.
To use something darker, however, will allow this same subject to really pop out of the frame. This is not overly technical, rather one of those techniques that helps photographers develop their eye. The actual background doesn’t have to be black.

In fact, heavy shade is the perfect way to get started. The trick is to find a subject in bright sun while the area behind it lies in shadow. By exposing for the main subject, everything else becomes darker.

  • Get Down & Always Be Ready

Walking up to an animal in the wild usually causes it to flee in fear. By crawling, you become far less threatening. Working from this bug’s eye perspective, the photo also gives more revealing portrayal of their habitat.

To add more impact, use a wide aperture like f/2.8. This will turn foreground elements such as grass and flowers into soft washes of color. To improve your chances of success, take your camera out as soon as you arrive at your location. The sounds of Velcro and zippers can scare a subject so this is best done ahead of time.

Turn the camera on and set the exposure based on the existing light. Should a photo opportunity arise, you you will bow be able to catch it rather than hurriedly digging through your bag. To keep a low profile, it’s preferable to turn the auto focus chirp off. The same is true with all audible notifications on your phone.

I see a number of photographers who prepare well, do their research and get in the right place at the right time only to miss the shot. Why?

They get distracted and take their eye away from the viewfinder while the subject proceeds to do something amazing.

This is most often the product of fixating on the LCD screen. While it’s helpful to immediately see your results, be sure to watch the scene in front of you. By remaining present you’ll be ready to capture the decisive moment. You must have patience to become a veteran photographer. So guys what are you looking for? Stay happy clicking !!!


Image Source: Google

Authored By Ritam Dutta

Ritam Dutta is an official partner of "Day On My Plate". He is an entrepreneur in mind and passionate blogger by heart. Moreover, he is also an academician, author, public speaker, investor, and internet personality.


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