One of the most important aspects of wildlife photography is getting shots as close to eye level as possible. Unless you are photographing a bird flying in the sky, generally looking up at wildlife or down over the top of them, simply doesn’t look right.
Over the last 15+ years of presenting wildlife photography workshops and courses, I have always told participants to get down low when taking shots of birds and other wildlife. Either lie on the ground, or at least squat down to a position that’s comfortable. Shots taken at eye level look so much more natural and appealing to the eye.
If an animal is up a tree, the angle can be quite severe, so one trick is to step back to reduce the steep angle. Also, depending on where you are, if there is a nearby hill or steps, head on up and get as close as you can to the height of your subject.
Backgrounds are important as well. Nobody wants to see a shot of an animal that has a busy, distracting background. Before I take photos of wildlife, I regularly look at the background to see if it’s busy. If so, and the situation allows, I will move around until I have a clear background. This, coupled with a wide aperture (i.e. small number) will help separate the animal from the background and make it stand out.
Lastly, it’s very important that there aren’t any distracting trees, poles, buildings or other objects sticking up directly behind the subject you are photographing. There is nothing worse that a tree ‘growing’ out of the head of the subject you are photographing!
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.