breaching humpacked whale

People on television and magazines make wildlife photography look easy and often produce stunning pictures of birds, animals, and insects. Unfortunately, such great results require considerable amount of skill and experience. No matter how sophisticated your camera is, you won’t get a great picture if you don’t know how to use it and take a picture. Here are some great tips for beginners who want to take stunning pictures of wildlife on their expeditions.

#1 Understand Your Equipment

You’ll only be able to take great pictures if you’re very familiar with your camera and equipment so if you have a new device, you should take your time to learn how to use it. Wildlife photography almost always requires a quick response and you need to be comfortable with your camera to do so.

#2 Lighting is Important

Lighting is everything. Most wildlife photography is done in natural light and you can’t rely on flash; so you need to make sure your subject is well lit before you take the shot. Great lighting will enhance the beauty of the animal and ensure all the colours and textures stand out; so be patient and wait for the best possible lighting for your shot.

#3 Quick Response is the Key

As we mentioned before, you need to react quickly to get a great shot of the animal, especially if you want to catch them doing something interesting. For example, a cute little leopard cub yawning would be a perfect shot but you need to react quickly to capture it. You should practice quick responses before you go on your expedition to ensure you’re ready.

#4 Eyes are the Mirror of the Soul

If you want to take an impactful picture, focus on the eyes. Almost everyone is naturally drawn to the eyes of human and animal subject; so if you focus your camera on the eyes, you’ll have a picture that would speak to viewers and make the subject more interesting. There are few things more powerful than staring into the eyes of large predators like tigers and lions.

#5 Keep the Subject in Focus

Animals are mesmerising, even when they’re sitting idle so it’s difficult to take your eyes off of them and focus on your camera. However, that’s exactly what you need to do when you take pictures. Animals won’t sit still for you to take a picture so you need to make sure that despite their motions, they’re completely in focus.

#6 Include the Environment

Wildlife pictures are compelling because you can see animals in their natural habitat when you look at them. While the animals are the most important aspect of the picture, the background adds dimension and depth to the picture and tells a story. You don’t need to focus on the background, but be sure to include it. Sometimes, the background just enhances the overall effect. For example, if you focus on just an elephant, you won’t be able to appreciate the sheer size and scale of it, but if you pull back a little and include some of the background, the majesty of the animal is revealed.

#7 Be Patient and Quiet

You also require patience and quiet movements when you intend to take wildlife pictures. Animals can react unpredictably if you startle them and they won’t follow your instructions and pose. To the best shot, you need to work with the animal’s natural behaviour.

If you have a passion for wildlife, nature or travel photography and would love to go on a small-number, professional photography adventure, please get in touch with Michael Snedic at WildNature Photo Expeditions. You can call him on 0408 941 965 or fill in this Contact Form and he will get back to you ASAP.

Teaching in Tassie

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