5 Wildlife Photography Tips for Beginners
Tips for a Successful Wildlife Photography Trip
I would like to give you, what I feel, are 5 important tips you need as a beginner in wildlife photography. One of the most important thing to remember is to "Plan Your Shoot and Shoot Your Plan". To maximize the outcome of your outing, you want to develop a plan. Know where you are going and what you are going to shoot. Once you have developed your plan, follow through and shoot your plan. Here are 5 tips for beginners in wildlife photography.
Ask Yourself a Few Simple Questions
1. Where have I seen wildlife recently?
2. What type of wildlife pictures do I want to take?
3. What is the best time to take these pictures?
4. What equipment will I need?
5. What will the weather be like?
Where Have I Seen Wildlife Recently?
What wildlife have I seen lately? Think about what type of wildlife you would like to photograph. What were they doing when you saw them? Were they grazing at what may be a regular "dining" place for them or were they just passing through? You would prefer to find a place where they spend a little time. This will give you more opportunities for photographing them. Next, find the best vantage point to shoot from. You want to be somewhat camouflaged with your surroundings, but you want to have a clear view fo your subject. Look at what will be your background. Choose a location that will give you an attractive background, not one that is going to detract from your subject.
White Tailed Deer
What Type of Wildlife Pictures do I Want to Take?
Am you trying to document habitat and behavior of the wildlife or the natural beauty of the animal? If you are trying to document habitat and behavior, you will want to back off in order to include their natural habitat in your photo. If there are more than one of the same location, capture how they live together in the wild. If you are trying to document the animals individual beauty or emtion, you are going to want to get in close. You want to capture the emotion in the eyes of your subject. Of course, if your subject is cooperative, try to take at least four different aspects of the shot. Turn you camera so you can get some horizontal shots, some vertical and always try to get the close up.
Rafter of Wild Turkey
What is the Best Time to Be At This Location?
At what times of the day have I seen the animals there? Normally the best times to photograph wildlife is within the first 2 hours after sunrise and the last 2 hours before sunset. During the middle of the day, the wildlife tend to be resting in the shade of thickets or trees.These are the times the lighting is best and the animals are out moving around looking for food. Be sure to get there early, you want to be prepared a little beforehand. Get where you need to be, get as comfortable as possible and get settled in so you can be as quiet as possible.
What Equipment Will I Need?
What type of equipment will I need to accomplish my goal? Do I need to take a wide-angle lens and a telephoto? I usually use my 70 - 300mm zoom lens, this way I have both. Do I need to have a blind of some type? Blinds are wonderful especially if you are taking pictures of birds, but you need to have something small that you can carry with you. Otherwise, just remember to wear clothing that is not going to stand out. Do I need to take a tripod? This is a personal option. Some say "never leave home without it". Others say they hardly ever use a tripod. I will say I believe that the BEST pictures are taken using a tripod. Always take an extra battery and an extra memory card.
White Tail Deer
What Will The Weather Be Like?
What type of weather do you need to be prepared for? Check the weather forecast for that day, you want to be prepared for either hot, cold or perhaps rainy weather. You don't want to go out prepared for a nice warm, dry day and end up cold and wet! If you are going out early of a morning, do you need to be prepared for wet grass and fog? Be sure and take a healthy snack and plenty of water, especially in the warmer summer days.
Slide Show of Nature Photography Trip
The more questions you ask yourself, the better prepared you will be. Be prepared to take advantage of any opportunity you subject gives you for a great shot. Now, the next time you are planning a wildlife photography trip, remember to “Plan Your Shoot and Shoot Your Plan”!
Do you plan ahead for your photography trips?
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