Our Top 10 Tips For Capturing The Perfect Wildlife Shot
The highlight of any nature-focused journey is seeing wildlife in its natural habitat—and the possibility of capturing that moment on camera, so you can share it with friends and reflect on it for years to come. However, capturing that moment is not always easy, so here are a few tips to help you improve your wildlife photography skills.
Rules of Composition: A good rule of thumb when framing a photo is the rule of thirds—mentally breaking down your image into two horizontal lines and two vertical lines. This guides the eye to the most important element of the photo (wildlife), while also offering perspective of the surroundings.
Travel Tripod: Nothing is more disappointing than to capture wildlife at the perfect moment and then realize your image is blurry. To help ensure your camera is steady when shooting, pack a small travel tripod or a bean bag. You can even pack a small empty sack and fill it with beans or rice when you arrive at your destination. Placing your camera on either of these items will help steady it.
Camera Bag: A comfortable camera bag that can hold all your gear can make a huge difference while you’re out photographing wildlife. And don’t forget to pack extra batteries and memory cards. Nothing ruins a photoshoot more than a dead battery or running out of space on your memory card.
Patience: Capturing the most stunning photographs can take some patience as wildlife is unpredictable. If you’re hoping for the perfect shot, you might have to return to the same location multiple times to get the shot you want. After a while, animals will get used to seeing you around and begin to go about their daily lives—offering you the perfect opportunity to capture it.
Blend In: If at all possible, try to blend in to your surroundings so wildlife doesn’t notice you and shy away. Wear clothing that is camouflaged to your surroundings, such as green in the jungle or khaki in the desert. Animals tend to shy away from bright colors.
Don’t Use the Flash: The bright light of the flash and the accompanying noise can frighten animals and scare them away, so remember to turn off your camera’s flash while photographing wildlife.
Zoom Lens: Because you can’t get too close to wildlife but want up-close stunning images, make sure your camera has a good zoom lens or pack a telephoto lens for your camera. This way, you can capture seemingly up close wildlife photographs without putting yourself or wildlife in danger.
Burst Mode: Set your camera to burst mode, and it will continuously take photographs as long as the shutter button is being pressed. Shooting more images per second gives you a better chance of capturing the perfect moment, especially when wildlife is actively on the move.
Macro: While it’s always exciting to capture photographs of huge, iconic wildlife, don’t forget about macro life. These little things (like insects or plant life) often go unnoticed, but when you take time to focus on your lens and enhance the small things with a macro lens, a whole new world comes alive.
Be Safe: Remember that these animals are wild, and you are invading their habitat. Always be aware of your surroundings and never bait wildlife for the “perfect” shot.
We hope these tips and tricks have given you a some great ideas for your next wildlife adventure! For more great wildlife photography tips check out these blog posts: