Five tips for photographing wildlife, a quick introduction to wildlife photography

Whether you’re a professional or an amateur photographer, if you’re a nature lover, in most cases you won’t miss an opportunity to photograph wildlife and you’ll be happy to share your experience with others. Taking a camera and taking pictures while exploring nature can help us close the distance with nature and even help us understand the true meaning of nature.

But don’t go out yet. Taking an attractive wildlife photo is much more difficult than just incorporating the animal into the picture. If you simply snap the shutter at an animal in front of the camera, you’ll find yourself shooting something that’s either a disaster or visually unimpressive. You still have a lot to learn before you hit the road. Here are five tricks from professional wildlife photographers to help you get started faster, and how you can take better pictures.

1、See and learn

For someone who is new to wildlife photography, his experience in this field is probably zero, and experience is a necessary tool to become a master photographer. Therefore, as a beginner we should see more and learn more. First of all, we need to be aware that there are a wide variety of wild animals in the world, and their habits and characteristics may be very different. You can’t photograph all animals in the same way. But if you take the time to watch them, you can learn where they are going and know when to press the shutter button to capture the best moments.

The success or failure of wildlife photography depends on your ability to capture special moments, whether it’s flying, walking, foraging, or even eye contact and interaction with other animals. It’s like making friends. How can you get to know someone without spending enough time? Once you’ve observed and understood the animal’s behavior, all that’s left is to wait patiently for the moment to come. We tend to think of wildlife photography as exciting, but the reality is quite the opposite. Wildlife blockbusters are often made up of quiet waiting and tons of experience.

2、Use a high speed shutter

It may seem like nonsense, but the more obvious the truth, the easier it is to ignore. Predicting shutter speeds is not as easy as we might think. It is not known how many photos with great wildlife potential have been ruined by shutter speeds falling below the animal’s moving speed, and in most cases, the photos are burned and unreadable. It is important to note that, unlike landscape photography, the principle of wildlife photography is to have adequate shutter speeds at the expense of higher ISO and quality.

Even if your subject doesn’t move, you never know when they’re moving, and some animals are even more amazing when they don’t move, and it just might be the moment you’ve been waiting for. To be safe, the shutter speed should be at least 1/500s or higher.

3、Bring two cameras

In fact, wildlife photography is not as fun as we think, shooting wild animals can be said to be a test of our patience and physical strength. In addition to having to carry a heavy “cannon head”, if you’re aiming for a great moment, it’s best to carry two cameras to avoid anything you might regret. With one of the most used lenses on each camera, we don’t need to change lenses frequently during the shooting process. We just need to put down one camera and pick up another, which usually takes us no more than a second. The lenses I use most often are a 70-300mm and a 400mm.

4、Practice and don’t let your skills rust

Don’t get into the habit of not shooting non-rare animals. Practice makes perfect. We need to use some common animals in life to practice and polish our shooting techniques. Along the way, you may one day be surprised at how great you can already make pictures. If you prefer to shoot birds, try to shoot magpies, sparrows and other birds so that you don’t have to mess around when you meet a macaw.

To make it easier to film at home, we can set up a bird feeding area outside our window to attract birds and then practice.

5、Experiment with multiple compositions

Usually, when photographing wildlife, we tend to use a composition that shows the animal as fully as possible. But we should not go all the way to the black, sometimes a different way of thinking can get unexpected results. Learn to experiment with different compositions, such as highlighting only one part of the animal. We could just shoot the eyes, or highlight other interesting details.

Then zoom out to get some footage of the animals co-existing with their environment. In addition, we can also try to shoot at different angles, such as low Angle or eye level shooting.

All in all, the tools you need to photograph wildlife include knowing your subject, good shooting technique, and a lot of experience. If you have all these things, then congratulations you have laid a solid foundation for the best wildlife photography. The rest is up to your luck and creativity.

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