Some of the most striking photos you will ever come across are the ones of wildlife. Sometimes the animal in the photo just pops out in a way that seems as though it’s standing right in front of you. You can almost feel threatened by a lion’s menacing look, or feel sad for a lost penguin standing alone in the vast, cold emptiness of the Antarctica. That’s the type of emotions that wildlife photography has the power to evoke in a person. So, if you have set your heart on creating a collection of breathtaking animal photos, the following tips will get you off to a good start.
Gear Up with the Right Weaponry
When you’re shooting wildlife, you need to get into the mindset of a real hunter, which means loading up with proper weaponry. Think of your camera as a gun – you need to hold it tight in your hands and be able to pull the trigger fast. If the camera is the gun, then your ammunition for making the perfect shot must be the lens. And just like a bullet, it needs to be sharp, reach long distances and be precise in capturing your desired target. Telephoto lenses are designed with all of that in mind. What makes them perfect for photographing nature is their super zoom function, which exceeds normal zoom lenses.
There is always something interesting going on in nature, and sometimes your desired object could be hundreds of meters away from you. With a telephoto lens you can zoom in on that moment, without loosing the shot quality due to distance. Moreover, shooting from a distance means not risking disturbing your subject, as all living creatures are fearful in nature. Pay a lot of attention when going through the vast choice of telephoto lenses, they are your most reliable accessory in wildlife photography.
Get into the Mind of the Animal
The whole philosophy of this type of photography is to capture fleeting moments in nature’s course. Since every course consists of cycles repeating themselves, it’s easy after some time to get a basic understanding and be able to predict how an animal will behave beforehand. Also, try to avoid cliches. For instance, if you want to capture a breathtaking photograph of an eagle, don’t just snap it in mid air. Instead, try capturing it when descending down, beak wide open and eyes with a threatening look, just in time before it catches its prey. The simple act of observing will also instil in you a habit of patience, something you’ll depend on a lot in days with slow activity. Because shooting in nature can sometimes take hours, be prepared with some extra batteries and additional camera accessories.
Nature is always changing on its own course, or unfortunately, due to people’s activities and negligence. That’s what makes the role of wildlife photographers so important. They get to capture a moment in time, capture a creature before going extinct, memorise a habitat before it gets destroyed. There’s so much depending on your skills which is a reason more to up your photography game!