Wildlife photography is constantly evolving in popularity. The easy availability of the digital SLR technology at affordable prices has also drawn in more and more photography enthusiasts to this genre of photography which was previously limited within a selected few.
So are you a budding photographer looking for a few tips as to how to improve your wildlife photography techniques? Then look no further than these ones right here.
#1. Learn to know your subject well
Now, this technique really takes a bit of time and patience to get it to perfection but once you adopt this tactic in your arsenal, you are sure to go a long way indeed.
Wildlife photography takes a lot of time and patience; there’s simply no doubt about it. Unfortunately, you have no shortcut to getting around it. The key to getting an extraordinary snapshot is to understand your subject well.
Remember your subject’s not going to give you the perfect pose for your photograph. But it might actually give you a split-second opportunity to capture its snapshot in any extraordinary action. So you have to always be on the hunt; study your subject well and guess what it is going to do next and you might actually get yourself a photograph that can actually be a standout among the crowd.
For example: Look at this photograph of the Sumatran Tiger below. Now, this is an extraordinary piece of work indeed. Just look at the ferocity of the tiger captured on this image.
The photographer seems to know his/her subject well and has captured it at exactly the right moment. Now can you do it?
#2. Shoot with the lowest ISO
The ISO value of your camera is directly related to the sensitivity of light. The higher the value of ISO, the less light it’s required to form an image.
Unfortunately, you must also realize that higher light sensitivity results in an increased noise which is considered undesirable from the photogenic point of view. Hence, it’s advisable to shoot with the lowest ISO as possible to capture a crystal clear photograph with zero distortions.
The image below can be a fine example indeed. It’s captured with the lowest possible ISO settings resulting in a crystal clear image sharpness and clarity.
#3. Use a tripod
This tip’s not limited to any particular genre of photography. From portrait to landscape to wildlife photography, the use of a tripod is applicable in every genre of photography to prevent the occurrence of camera shake.
Camera shake results in image distortion and reduces image clarity significantly. Therefore, some sort of a support is highly recommended at the time of your shoot which comes in the form of a tripod.
In case it becomes impossible for you to use the aid of a tripod at times of your shoot, some sort of an elbow support on the ground or a tree is recommended as an alternative. Small things like that can really work wonders.
#4. The dusk and the dawn are your best times of the day
Wildlife photography gives the best results at the aforementioned times. Hence, it’s advisable to know the place well before you go for your shoot in your designated area.
Are you permitted to access the area at the aforementioned times? If you do, get the permit, bag your SLR & tripod, pack a day’s worth of lunch and snacks coupled with two bottles of water and get on your mission ASAP. Here’s an example for you.
#5. Shoot in RAW
Whenever possible, shoot in RAW. A RAW image file is an unprocessed image file containing a huge amount of pixel information in comparison to that of a JPEG.
It also occupies more space on your camera memory card when compared to that of a JPEG. Such additional information aids you a lot in post processing adjustments thereby, helping you to post-process a stunning wildlife photograph with different effects as per your liking.
Some thumb rules-
- Avoid distracting background.
- Implement the rule of third.
- Focus on your subject’s eye (if your photograph is specifically based on a single subject).
- Try to capture an animal in action.
Lastly, I would like to repeat the thing that I had already mentioned before in this article. The key to a perfect wildlife photograph is there in your patience and commitment. Commit to the task at hand and you can certainly make something extraordinary out of the ordinary in no time.