hippo with baby

Photography has become a very popular hobby, particularly in these past few years, mainly because of sophisticated digital cameras. Amateur photographers can now take interesting shots because most camera settings make it easier to get decent results. However, there are times when the overall quality of the pictures that people take aren’t always as good as people want them to be, and this is especially true of wildlife photography. If you want to get the best photographs on your wildlife photo tour, these are the things you should take into consideration:

#1 Get Comfortable with Your Camera

Professional photographers handle their cameras almost instinctively. They’re completely in tune with their equipment and are familiar with all the settings and strengths of the device. This allows them to focus on their subject instead of their camera settings and it can help them take some wonderful shots. Before you go on a photo tour, take some time to familiarise yourself with the settings and characteristics of the camera. Here are some tips worth thinking about:

  • The minimum shutter speed required for hand-holding larger lenses (it is generally recommended to have a shutter speed equal to, or higher, than your focal length)
  • Different focus modes needed for different situations. For example, the continuous focus mode is required for capturing birds-in-flight and other movement.
  • The extent to which you can push the ISO settings before ‘noise’ creeps in. This will depend on the camera you own, as each sensor will show up noise at different ISO settings

#2 Follow Instincts But Also Consider the Rules

One of the most important photography rules is the rule-of-thirds. Using this rule, you need to visualise a grid of three by three and position your subject accordingly in the optimal position. Such photography rules come from the keen observations of experienced photographers who have noticed that certain actions and ways to position the subject leads to the more impressive results in many cases. Most photographers will eventually develop the right instinct and compose shots well, but it does require practice.

However, if you look through your viewfinder and see the perfect shot, don’t focus on the rules. Press the shutter button fast! Sometimes these instinctive pictures are the ones that turn out the best.

#3 Try to Include Two or More Subjects

There are many pictures out there that focus on one animal and capture all their details. This is quite okay, however, there’s something unique and interesting about pictures that showcase animal interaction and socialisation. For example, a single hippo yawning will make for a great picture but if zoom out a little and pull back, you might capture the image of its young as well, as with the featured image.

Animal interaction brings playfulness, intrigue, and mystery to a picture. A person looking at it will often wonder what the animals where thinking at that point. Interaction adds a human element to the pictures that make them more endearing.

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.

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