Wildlife photography is probably one of the most beautiful genres of photography but also one of the toughest. You not only need a certain amount of patience to capture timid animals but also expensive gear and lenses with long focal lengths to show excellent wildlife shots.
I am a wildlife photographer for 6 years now and have learned a lot about this type of photography, let me share my knowledge and those 8 tips to hopefully help you to create more beautiful wildlife images.
Especially if you want to photograph very timid animal species I would definitely recommend a camo tent or at least a camouflage net in order to be less visible to certain species. Camo tents are usually not that expensive, they are available under $70 and furthermore usually come with carrying bag.
I personally own the “Walimex Pop-Up Camouflage Tent” and can really recommend this tent whether you are shooting in a forest or in the fields. Be invisible to wild animals will automatically mean that you will have better chances to get better shots, as the animals will feel much safer and relaxed when there are no humans are around.
Camera Body: Canon 60D, Lens: Sigma 120-300, Shutter Speed: 1/2000, Aperture: f 2.8, Focal Length: 300 mm, ISO: 640
Study the animal you want to photograph. Different wild animals show different behaviors, there are animals that are only active in the night while others are active during the day. For example, if you want to photograph a badger, you will probably only have success when you shoot during the night, as they are night active animals.
Camera Body: Canon 550D, Lens: Canon 100-400, Shutter Speed: 1/3200, Aperture: f 5.6, Focal Length: 310 mm, ISO: 1000
A smooth and clear background often look much better, because a busy and noisy background can destroy the whole look and feel of an image. Consider using an open aperture to get the background as blurry as possible and also to be able to use a fast shutter speed to get more sharpness in conclusion.
Your subject will just stand out more when it is completely isolated from the background.
Camera Body: Canon 550D, Lens: Tamron 180, Shutter Speed: 1/500, Aperture: f 3.5, Focal Length: 180 mm, ISO: 100
When you are about to take action shots of wild animals there is no way around to set a fast shutter speed value. I would recommend setting the shutter speed value to at least 1/500s in order to freeze the action. The faster the shutter speed value the better, but always be sure to set the lowest ISO value possible to avoid grain and noise in your images. Also, choose a camera which can provide a high rate of frames per second to capture fast movements of animals and get out the most of an action sequence.
Camera Body: Canon 60D, Lens: Sigma 120-300, Shutter Speed: 1/8000, Aperture: f 2.8, Focal Length: 300 mm, ISO: 1250
A lovely scene of a wild animal couple will automatically awake emotions in humans, but also funny images will get their recognition. Try to capture emotional scenes and you will see people will just love it!!
Camera Body: Canon 60D, Lens: Canon 100-400, Shutter Speed: 1/1250, Aperture: f 7.1, Focal Length: 310 mm, ISO: 1000
Camera Body: Canon 60D, Lens: Sigma 120-300, Shutter Speed: 1/2000, Aperture: f 2.8, Focal Length: 300 mm, ISO: 800
The more images you take, the more images you have to choose from and the higher the chances are to receive an eye-appealing wildlife photograph in the end. So always be sure to bring along as much memory cards as possible!
As always, I really hope you have found the tips and ideas in this article useful!
Thanks for reading & see you next time!
All images by Julian Rad