Photography has been around for over a century and is still developing! Topics won’t ever cease! Consider these: portrait, landscape, wedding, and wildlife photography, to name just a few. In my opinion, one of the most exciting and satisfying types of photography is wildlife photography. It might take many hours before the ideal subject appears and you can capture it, however, the reward is immeasurable – it is definitely worth the wait.
Wildlife photography is without a doubt one of the most difficult pursuits in the profession.
You need to have enough time, the love of photography and incredible patience. Most wildlife shots are captured using a telephoto lens. The animal in question won’t simply walk around waiting for you to shoot. You may find that animals such as a fox, elk, deer, bear are acquainted with humans more often – they may cross your path – but if we’re talking about real wildlife that is feral animals they are often quite far away and are elusive and evasive.
Wildlife photography demands incredible patience. It is never a snap. You have to immerse and always have the camera at the ready. Often you wait and wait and hang on hoping you’ll get a good shot or any shot at all. Most automatic cameras work great - they are just that – automatic set it on automatic – especially if you are just beginning to learn about taking wildlife photographs.
Photography captures the moment – that second – the best photographers can catch that moment, that second with incredible agility somewhat like that of the animal they are capturing. I may be exaggerating a bit here!
Before venturing out to the wild world start with small, friendly, non-threatening subjects. Practice on your pet. Let him roam around naturally and take lots of pictures.
Practice and practice until you succeed in taking pictures that are not blurry. You’ll eventually catch all those wonderful, wild moments easily.
All great photographers have studied and practiced. They also, of course, take more than one shot. Making sure your camera features a quick shutter speed will allow you to take several shots as your move with the animal. When the subject is in your site, clearly, you must be in focus and snap as many pictures as possible before it moves out of site. This strategy is referred to as panning. You follow the subject – it doesn’t come to you! For those who have mastered taking pictures of pets – then you can start to look around the outdoors – there is a whole world of wildlife photography awaiting you.
Walk around with the camera around your neck – you’ll be amazed at what nature offers when you least expect!
In every circumstance be aware of the lighting. Another idea as to which animal to take shoot – (not literally! – never!) Try a squirrel foraging for food. If you stay silent and walk carefully you can often get pretty close. Should you be deciding on a larger subject such as a deer or bear you will want to stay far enough away to get the shot, and not draw attention to yourself. Bears are dangerous creatures, but they also can be photographed if you are using sound judgement and don’t tread on their territory.
Wildlife photographers have a code of ethics – an abiding respect for their subject. Follow safety rules and both you and the animal will remain safe.
Wildlife photography is a waiting game. It takes patience and a lot of practice, but the reward of getting a member of family or a friend say ”Where did you take that photograph? I would love to have one,” will make you beam with pride.
Now a pride of lions… that would be something! Dream on! Africa awaits you!