Taking pictures of wildlife can be quite challenging as opposed to shooting non-living objects. They keep moving, and you need to capture them in their best form to make the images look amazing. Your position, the right lens, camera focus, angle, and numerous other factors go into creating an exceptional collection of wildlife images. If you want to do it just right and create an exclusive wildlife photography album for personal collection or to exhibit, you should follow the suggestions mentioned below.
Know your camera ins and outs
Although it sounds cliché, this is the foremost thing you should do to ensure your images come beautiful and nearly of the same quality as that of magazines and large-scale exhibitions. You surely won’t want to miss an exceptional moment, which may last for 5-10 seconds only.
Being aware of all the intrinsic features of your camera like shutter speed, focus points, focus modes, and altering ISO settings of your camera is integral to taking high-quality pictures. If you’re yet to buy your camera, make sure you go for a weather-sealed one to reduce the risks of harsh outdoor conditions. The additional layer of protection will be expensive, no doubt, but it’s going to be a worthy investment.
Choose the right lens
For taking pictures of wildlife, you should get a lens that allows you to shoot from a distance. These lenses are also known as telephotos and are exceptionally beneficial for wildlife photography. The birds and animals you want to shoot may get scared or agitated on noticing humans too close, then long-distance shots are the best way to capture them naturally.
The telephotos have optical stabilization (OS) that helps minimize blurring or shaking because of extreme magnification. In the learning phase, you can use a more affordable plastic lens to get acquainted with the same. Although they don’t have the required OS, you can use high shutter speed while fixing them on the tripod to reduce the chances of blurring.
However, if you want to take pictures of small organisms like insects, you should use a macro lens (100 mm lens) with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 to capture them up close. You can also use a telephoto zoom to zoom into your subject from a long distance for near-Macro effects.
Opt for photography workshops
Do you want to be an expert in wildlife and nature photography for professional reasons? You can take photography classes that professionals offer to learn new concepts and practice your skills. You can start your search with Google. Use search terms like photography classes Boise, for example, to find a professional teacher in the Boise region. Getting into professional photography can be a dream career option for you.
You will also get the chance to go on photography excursions and capture the native and exotic wildlife of North America. These excursions will also provide you with the opportunity to try your hands in landscapes, buildings, and architecture, Macro photography and a lot more to expand your skills.
Know the basic rules of wildlife photography
In your photography lessons and excursions, you will learn a whole set of rules for taking pictures of wildlife, and you should know them hard before thinking of improvising them or breaking them altogether. Yes, you’re going to do that eventually with experience, but firstly, you need to abide by these rules to realize where you can do better by breaking them.
Developing eye contact with the subject, knowing the right exposure, use of histogram and a lot of other rules will be taught to you in your photography classes. You will also learn about making the light work in your favor while taking pictures in the open. Once you get a grip on things, you can create your own rules to excel in wildlife photography.
Protect your gear from natural elements
While shooting in the open, you should take maximum protection for your photography gear. From the direct rays of the sun to rains, splashes of water, snow, frost, or hail, you should protect your camera and lens from these natural elements. Investing in some simple protective equipment, like waterproof camera backpack, rain cover, hat and raincoat for you, can go a long way to serve the purpose.
Observe your subject carefully
To capture exceptional photos of your subject, you need to first observe them and try to get an idea about their general behavior. Every species differs from each other, and most of them are quite unpredictable, hence the need for observing them. Once you get a rough idea about their attitudes in the open, you can click mind-blowing pictures of them.
When you’re taking pictures of birds, you should know when they are about to flap their wings and fly off, or when they are ready to swoop down and catch their prey. This knowledge will help you choose the perfect moments to take those perfect shots that you see on the pages of the wildlife magazines. You should follow the same pattern in the case of animals.
Wrapping it up
Wildlife photography is an interesting hobby and a dream ambition to pursue. If you can invest in the right gear, proper lens, opt for photography classes, and know the basic rules of photography, few things can prevent you from making a career of nature and wildlife photography. If you seek thrill and adventure in your life, this is something that will help you love your work more than anything else.