Wildlife photography is very challenging, patience-requiring, and most of all rewarding to your passion. The experience that you get is captured as is and making it available to your audience as is requires a combined effort of your professional photography editing proficiency as well.
It’s all about exploring the nether reaches of the earth with your ultimate passion for the genre of animal photography and capturing breathtaking and amazing compositions for the people out there to witness nature in all its glory. It requires you to be expertly familiar with the ecosystem, animal behavior and habits, where to set up, and the right time to shoot.
You become a researcher and a scientist at the same time in this genre. Well, not entirely dependent on image editing services, this genre does have an intense need for it. While there are plenty of photo editing services for photographers out there, you should try building your post-processing skills with massive research and experimentation as well.
And we got some nifty tips to improve your wildlife photography efforts, that make it even more enjoyable. Well, to the wilderness then!
Learn Your Animal Photography Subject
This is serious business so you have to extensively study the species you want to photograph along with its ecosystem. As you make it a habit you’ll know how to effectively photograph them by learning their habits and traits, the time they come out, where they go, their availability so that you know how to act accordingly. And it’s not just limited to a single species but anything you encounter in that whole ecosystem as you will be familiar with all the species inside it.
Be Ethical and Responsible
Always respect the animals and their environment and never affect them in any way while you photograph them. Maintain your distance and never try to scare or startle them which will affect the animals’ behavior. Don’t reveal your presence to them and they will go about their business without any harm. Feeding or baiting animals, following them, or inducing their “fight or flight” responses – all are absolute no-nos.
The Right Outfit
Protection from elements is a must for you and your camera. So it’s better to use layers that can be avoided when it’s hot and put on when it’s cold. Stick to one area at a time, and get comfortable with cushions, blankets, and other things that help you kneel or sit on. Hiking boots, hats, and gloves offer good protection as well.
Equipment and its Protection
Your gear is expensive and it needs firm protection from the elements. So use rubber protectors for your camera body, and neoprene sleeves to protect your lens. Waders can protect your tripods when there’s a need to submerge them. All these protection accessories will protect your equipment and will help you maintain its resale value.
Master Low Light Animal Photography
Low light shooting is unavoidable in this genre, so make sure you know your cam’s low-light capabilities. Long lenses have slow shutter speeds and high ISOs and if you are aware of its limits, you have good images that need less of a professional photography editing touch.
Lenses with optical systems will provide you slight image stabilization when there are hand-shakes or windy disturbances.
At times pushing the ISO levels are important epically for quick-moving animals. And at the same time, you should know when too much ISO levels will kick in noise and grains. You can’t use such images, and it will be a hectic post-process when you try correcting them with your image editing services expertise – or it won’t work out well.
Experiment heavily and master this camera feature in all conditions. The continuous focus tracking along with the burst mode can capture fast-moving subjects so that you can select the best among the lot. Since it’s different in all cameras, you have to master the simplest autofocusing mode to switch between modes on the fly, and to capture sudden field happenings. Choose the settings that are best for you and keep them dialed in. The best results are always gained by focusing on the center in the continuous mode.
Scout the new area you just came to photograph by understanding the places where animals might congregate, like streams and lakesides. Discover excellent hiding spots that ensure safety and gives you the action you want. This recon session just doesn’t happen at the moment you set foot in a new area but through leisurely exploration or trips meaning it takes time. Since animals are habitual you wouldn’t have much trouble hanging around and photographing in that particular area and the best spots you’d find there.
Plan Your Composition
Since animals can’t be made to take or follow your direction, you have to plan your composition to frame and photograph them in the right direction by patiently waiting for their cooperation. Shoot with a telephoto lens from close to the ground just like animals tend to in that level and it will give you some of the best compositions.
Incorporating beautiful sceneries as background can bring an entire story to your image – like location information, season or time of year, or even the environment and ecosystem, apart from the animal.
Zooming out occasionally can make the animal smaller with the added scenery that blends wildlife and landscape photography to show the animal in their natural habitat – which are always the best compositions.
Patience is Key
Wildlife photography requires a hell lot of patience The best shots can be taken by learning a particular animal’s behavior and habit of it coming back to a specific location at a specific time. So study it, make yourself comfortable at a spot, plan the composition, and wait – and this waiting can sometimes take days. At times, if you’re after a specific shot, you might not get anything and that doesn’t mean you have to give up, as you might get shots that are something new or similar to the one you wanted.
Photo Blinds and Camera Traps
Blinds are like camouflage so that you can photograph animals by blending in with the backgrounds without being detected by them. For added stealth try hiding in bushes, behind knolls, or rocks as well.
Camera traps are set up to record video or stills of animals in a remote location and they are triggered upon sensing the animals’ motion. This is especially useful for close encounters without having you do it as long as the batteries last, or the weather allows.
Practice your techniques and get to know your gear deeply near your home or while you’re on a travel safari or adventure and explore new things.
Other Important Stuff
Don’t get distracted or else you’ll miss good photographic moments. Shoot little stuff with your macro lenses as well rather than long lenses all the time. Keep yourself alert all the time rather than looking through the viewfinder for movement and changes, signs of predators or big animals moving, birds about to take flight, or anything that seems fishy or interesting. Keep binoculars in handy to see farther and to analyze different spots.
So try out these excellent wildlife photography tips to ace your compositions, by curating the best works to build an ace portfolio and most of all to cherish the experience.