There is something special about mother nature that seems to leave an ever-lasting impact on us, especially when we talk about wildlife of any form. However, when we talk about wildlife photography, nothing but the wide-open planes of Africa with herds of antelopes, wildebeests, and zebras come to mind.
However, little do you know that this is just a tiny part of the natural wonders found on earth. Don’t get us wrong, going on a wildlife safari to Africa is a bucket-list-worthy adventure, and most wildlife photographers would do anything to experience it.
But, going for a hike at a U.S. national park with its wildlife that includes deers, eagles, bison, and bears is equally exciting.
That said, wildlife photography involves equal parts creativity, dedication, and hard work. But, despite the growing accessibility of high-quality camera gear and online photography platforms, making your photos look professional and jaw-dropping be challenging.
So, if you’re someone who wants to give wildlife photography a try as a hobby or as a profession, then you have come to the right place. With that in mind, let us look at a few excellent tips for getting started with wildlife photography today.
Learn about the animal you want to photograph.
There is no arguing that understanding the behavior of the animal you want to photograph is vital for being an excellent photographer.
Hence, whether you wish to snap different bird species or wild beasts, the more you know about them, the better your photos will be.
So, do some research and determine where you can spot wild animals. Furthermore, find out when is the best time of the year to see them and the time of the day they are most active. An easy way to look for such information is by visiting wildlife associations in your local area or looking for wildlife enthusiast groups on the internet.
In the end, if you’re passionate about a particular wild animal or bird, it will be worthwhile to understand their behavior before your grab your gear and go on a photography session.
Select the right photography gear.
The type of photography gear you have will ultimately decide whether your wildlife photography expedition goes smoothly or not. Not to mention, you need to have a camera to shoot photos in the first place, right?! So, purchasing the right gear is vital to your wildlife excursions.
For instance, if you’re traveling by your car, bringing along a couple of cameras with a long telephoto lens will be the best choice.
On the other hand, if you are going for a hike, consider limiting yourself to a single camera and a medium telephoto lens to keep things light.
Furthermore, if you want to get up and close with the wildlife, go for a lens with a 50mm or 80mm focal length. Finally, if you aren’t carrying a laptop,take a portable Hard drive or memory card to back up your photos.
In the end, the focus of your photography session is vital to know the type of gear you need to purchase and carry.
Never forget about safety.
When going on a wildlife photography adventure, it is crucial to prioritize your safety. It doesn’t matter if you’re hiking a national park for a great angle or going on an African safari to photograph different wildlife species.
Since wildlife can be unpredictable, you should never forget that you will be inside their territory. So, it would be best if you were respectful of that fact.
Rules and guidelines are there for a reason- two of which are your security and safety. So, ensure that you follow them to the ‘T’ to avoid getting injured or hurt.
Furthermore, if possible, always travel in a group because there is safety in numbers. So, the more people you have with you, the better it will be for you.
Practice your shot, and be prepared to wait.
Like any other genre of photography, wildlife photography requires a lot of patience and, most importantly, tons of practice. People spend hours upon hours waiting for that perfect shot, often in bad weather conditions like rain, cold, or gusting winds for that perfect moment.
So, depending on the type of animal or bird you want to photograph, don’t forget that you will have to be patient and wait for the right moment.
On the other hand, practice is comparatively tricky unless you live close to a wildlife area or a national park. However, a great way to practice photography is by visiting your local zoo and snapping a few shots of the local animals.
Once you know that your photography skills are up to par, you can decide to go on your first wildlife photography adventure.
Be considerate and always enjoy yourself.
Setting up camp to find the perfect shot is one thing. However, chasing after the animals to get a snap is another. For instance, if you’re shooting birds or ducks, avoid using bird calls as it is frowned upon in the wildlife community.
So, draw the line to what extent you’re willing to go for the perfect snap and stick to it.
While following the guidelines and rules is well and good, you must not forget one crucial thing when you go on a wildlife photography adventure, having fun!
Wildlife photography is all about enjoying yourself and taking in what mother nature has to offer. So if you can’t get the position for the perfect shot, don’t worry too much.
Just make do with whatever you can. In the end, any experience with wildlife or nature will undoubtedly make you a wildlife photographer.
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When you start in wildlife photography, you will grow closer to nature. You’ll get to experience various wildlife and bird species everywhere you go, be it the Amazon forest or the Sahara desert.
While there is a lot to the philosophical side of wildlife photography, it isn’t the only thing. There is a practical side to things as well. So, consider the tips above to give yourself a headstart in the world of wildlife photography, and hopefully, take amazing photos in the process.