Today we bring you a post focused on tips for photographing wildlife.
We have been taking photos of wild animals for about 6 years now, it first started off as a hobby but we later decided to turn our passion into a blog.
So let’s get right into it,
The first thing you will need is obviously photography equipment. We recently upgraded to the Canon 77D, when we first started off we were using a Canon 600D and a Canon 1200D. Those are really great entry level DSLR cameras for when you are just starting off.
Use a long lens
We mostly use our Tamron 150-600mm for 98% of our photos.The quality on these images are better then when we use our Canon 18-55mm and 75-300mm lens. We have all 3 lenses fitted on 3 different cameras, we use the 75-300mm lens when the subject is in close proximity, and the Tamron lens for detailed shoots.
Sometimes the animal is not at a very close shooting range and that is when the long lens comes in handy, when you taking photos in places like Kruger which are bushy it does a great job in blurring out everything besides your subject of focus. We recommend using a high-quality lens with an entry-level DSLR body at the beginning.
You should always wait for the perfect shot to present itself, don’t arrive at a sighting of a lion pride and expect to get award winning images as these are still wild animals and unfortunately you can’t ask them to look this way, do something cute, or stand where the light is better. You have to be ready, when they decide to look cute or do something interesting. We waited approximately 3 hours for these shoots.
Avoid shooting around midday
We prefer taking photos during dawn and dusk, most animals are only active during these times, the light for shooting at midday also tends to be too harsh. Our favorite is when its overcast and the clouds act as a big softbox.
Use a fast shutter speed
The unfortunate thing with using a longer lens is that they are heavy and when taking photos sometimes the smallest movement can cause a blur, the solution for this is to use something to rest your lens on to prevent any shakiness. Using a fast shutter speed also avoids blurry photo because using a fast shutter speed eliminates motion.
Know your subject
You have to almost predict what the animal is going to do, this refers mostly when you are photographing birds, photos of them on trees are good but catching them in-flight are much better so the tip is try read the subjects body language.
Be respectful of animals
Always look out for their behavior and see if they are uncomfortable, we have been at many sightings where cars gets to close to animal and they end up chasing them away.
Add emotion to your photo
Don’t be clicker happy and take 100 photos of the subject doing the same thing but wait for the moment that is going to add character to the photo.
Don’t always center your subject
When you are taking photos of animals, don’t always take photos where the subject is in the middle of the frame, try including the background so you get a better feel of the surroundings.
For us there is nothing better than being out in the bush so as great as it to get amazing photos, don’t overthink it too much and just be in the moment and take in your surrounding and enjoy it.
Also read our tips for self-drive in the Kruger National Park