Creating attention-grabbing wildlife photography that makes a lasting impression is a difficult and demanding challenge. Typically you’re battling a number of uncontrollable and unpredictable elements, not least your subject’s behaviour, the weather, the environment and lighting. But, when it all comes together it’s truly magical! To ensure you maximize every opportunity and extract the most out of your wildlife encounters, there are a number of approaches that you can adopt to help you get ahead.
Here are tips to help you take your wildlife photography to the next level.
This sounds like the biggest cliche?…but you know it’s true. The really great action-packed moments in wildlife photography last on average (based on my experience) between 5 and 20 seconds. If you are not intrinsically familiar with the settings of your camera or the abilities of your chosen lens, you WILL either miss it or blow the images you do manage to capture.
- Know what the minimum shutter speed is at which you can obtain a sharp image with your camera/lens combo;
- Know the added margins that the in-camera or in-lens stabilisation gives you;
- Know how to quickly toggle between focus points or focus modes;
- Know how high you can push your camera’s ISO setting and still achieve acceptable results…
In general, I like to say you need to be able to make most, if not all, of the necessary adjustments to your exposure/focus settings without lifting your eye from the viewfinder. The action you see between the cheetahs in the following image lasted all of 10 seconds, even though we sat with them for more than an hour.