How To Shoot Great Wildlife Photography

Sitting Back and Waiting for the Action To Unfold

Preparation, planning and patience are all key in wildlife photography.  

Wildlife photography is a beautiful pursuit for those who love to connect with nature. However, animals don’t always make the most willing of subjects, so patience is just one of the skills you’ll need to have in your bag when you decide to take wildlife shots. This guide will help you understand how to create quality wildlife pics that are a class above some of the stock images you might find online.

Connecting With Your Subject

Your first task as a photographer is to choose what you’re going to be shooting. This may be as adventurous as a herd of buffalo on the Serengeti, or the ducks at your local fish pond. Although these subjects may seem very different, the trick to taking stunning pictures of them is the same and it all comes down to knowing your subject well.

As your subjects are unlikely to pose for you, and may even be nervous of your presence, you’ll need to be prepared to stay with them, or hang out discreetly nearby for several hours at a time, learning their habits and how to connect with them. By understanding them, you’ll have a better chance of capturing the perfect moment when they do something interesting, but you’ll also be able to anticipate their actions in advance. Eye contact between your subject and the camera is hard to achieve but if captured, this can produce a stunning image.

Knowing Your Kit

You might be waiting around for several hours and only get twenty seconds of action from your wildlife, so when the moment strikes it’s essential that you’re ready. This is where knowing your kit inside out is vital. Make sure that you’re aware of where all the buttons and gadgets are on your choice of camera and that you can do everything quickly, with minimal effort. You won’t want to be adjusting your tripod or changing lenses in the middle of all the action.

Understand the Light

Wildlife photographers don’t have the luxury of sitting in a studio and manipulating the light, so you need to be prepared to get up early and work with nature. Usually getting up and out before sunrise is a good idea depending on the country that you’re shooting in, so that you can take plenty of pictures in the morning before the strongest light shines from midday until late afternoon. If it’s too sunny then this may disrupt the light in your shots, although polarising filters can help somewhat.

Lens Choices

Generally speaking, wildlife photography requires you to use a camera with an excellent telephoto lens, but this often depends on the subject. For animals or birds you’ll be capturing from a distance, this is absolutely essential so it’s important to invest in the highest quality camera and lens combo you can afford. But quality cameras don’t always come cheap, so if money is an issue for you, then you could always raise some extra funds if you have an old Nikon camera lying around for example. Simply visit a specialised sell my Nikon camera platform, or any other top camera brand, and you’ll receive a quote for your equipment. Once approved, you’ll receive a bank deposit on the same day which you can put towards a fantastic new camera with a top telephoto lens.

Wildlife photography is all about preparation, planning and patience. Plan what kit you’re going to take with you, be prepared to get to know your subject intimately, and be patient waiting for the action to unfold!