How to Photograph Wildlife


 How to Photograph Wildlife

"A photo is worth a thousand words. But a wildlife photo is priceless."

Wildlife photography has much to be learned from the best photographers. It's not easy capturing perfect pictures of animals, especially ones you may only have once opportunity to photograph. Below are 7 tips that can help improve your next wildlife photography session:

1) Observe the animal for some time before shooting, and then identify what makes it interesting, such as a particular pose or expression. 
2) If you're going to make multiple shots of one animal, take them quickly; if the animal moves or changes its pose, you'll probably want each image to show something different about it. 
3) Take photos of small details, such as the eyes, ears, and nose. 
4) Learn how to focus and compose your images. If you plan on taking a lot of images, consider getting a telephoto lens or using a remote control (this can be done with cameras with mirror-lockup). 
5) If you're shooting wildlife in photographs, remember that it's okay to crop out unnecessary parts of an image—remember that your goal is to capture the animals' essence. 
6) It's best to use natural settings, such as feeding stations, watering holes, or the animals' habitats. Shoot from a low angle for better perspective. 
7) If you're ever using flash with wildlife photography, never use it on full power. Instead, try using it at about ¼ to 1/8 power; if your camera doesn't have this option, set the flash to manual and set it to less than half strength.

In addition to these tips there are also some things you should avoid when trying to get the best wildlife photographs:
1) Don't stress the animal by getting too close (make sure you're at least 20 feet away).
2) Don't photograph the animal when it's feeding, sleeping, or grooming itself.
3) Don't photograph at all if you don't have the right lens for the animal.
4) Try to use a remote shutter release (this can be done with cameras with mirror-lockup).
5) Never use flash on wildlife photography.

Papagallo's tips for taking great wildlife photos: "First, take a deep breath together with your subject! It is essential for taking great wildlife pictures that you relax – even more important than for any other type of photography." "Second, back away slowly while focusing on a specific area in order to avoid having your subject startle on seeing you.
Third, focus on one eye since this is the most important organ in a wild animal's body. It has a very acute sense of feeling and even in an animal it activates the muscles that enable it to see and steer. The eye must be focused on until you are satisfied that your picture is sharp; as soon as you get that you should count one, two, three and shoot!
Fourth, set your camera for automatic focus by pressing the FN Button while looking through the viewfinder; press it again to make it go back to manual and take some test shots.
Fifth, turn off auto-exposure by pressing FN once more while looking through the viewfinder. Then recompose and fire away. "

Aquatic animals have different challenges in perspective and composition. In shallow water, perspective can be easily skewed due to the distortion of either the water's surface or the lens itself. With a telephoto zoom, it is easy to compose an image by looking through the viewfinder and lining up the lens with the subject at its closest before setting AF (automatic focusing). Typically this will be sharp from 1–10 feet away from any animal in shallow water. Understanding depth of field should also be present to understand what distance you should be focusing on when taking images underwater. The deeper you are diving for your subject, usually width will decrease and length will increase, which leaves more room for error when composing your image.

Underwater photography is a newer phenomenon, as newer cameras and housing systems have only recently been made available. Digital photography has helped to democratize underwater photography, as it is much less expensive than the previous techniques used. This has caused many amateur photographers to experiment with their hobby, and with practice it can produce rewarding images.

Aquatic animals are also very unpredictable. Because of this, it is best not to disturb them by getting too close or moving too fast when shooting. Instead, slowly approach your subject and try to remain as still as possible while taking photos. If you are in the water with an animal, try to mimic its movement until you get close enough for a shot.

Like humans, animals have their own personalities and traits. Getting to know your subject will help you quickly identify how it acts and reacts in certain situations. If the animal is calm, slowly approach and try not to make any sudden movements; if it is more active, try to record its movement before approaching for a shot.
If you don't know your subject and its behavior, ask someone who does; just be sure not to crowd the animal or disturb its habitat while you're there. A good rule of thumb is that if an animal seems disturbed by your presence (i.e.: running away or making strange noises), back off and let them have their space.

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For those who don't yet understand how to use a camera or have never used one before, it is advised to go through a beginner's course on photography. Some colleges offer classes that help people learn how to use a camera and how to take better photos.
A "what not to do" list for photography: 
Don't be too lazy to plan your shoot out first. (Just because you can bounce around from shot-to-shot doesn't mean you should.) 
Don't just snap away without thinking about what you're doing. Focus on the animal's attitude and how it looks. (You don't want to have blurry or discolored images.)
Don't be afraid of long exposure shots (works well for focusing on dark objects). 
Don't take photographs with high ISO/lens settings. (It may not be the best picture, but you can still get some good shots.) 
Don't spray that shooting mist in front of your lens; keep a distance of at least 2 feet. Also, stay in an area where no one can get wet. 
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Beside these tips, one should always remember to take a good tripod, flashlights, filters, lenses, and other equipment well in advance. 
If you are just starting out with photography, a beginner's kit would be most suitable. As opposed to expensive camera accessories such as tripods or lenses, one is cheap and very useful and can be bought bottom-up.
As the name suggests you can choose into different categories starting from a spare flash light to very expensive high-end professional bodies.

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