Master wildlife photography with these essential beginner tips

Mar 21, 2024

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Master wildlife photography with these essential beginner tips

Mar 21, 2024

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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wildlife photography tips for beginners

Wildlife photography is a perfect way to spend time outdoors, learn about the world around us, and, of course, take some stunning photos. But getting that perfect shot requires patience, knowledge, and the right techniques.

If you’re just starting out, Saurav Sinha has a set of tips to help you step into the wonderful world of wildlife photography. With tips from his latest video, you’ll get to take those fantastic photos in no time.

YouTube video

Gear up!

To begin with, Saurav discusses gear. I mean, you have to capture those photos with something, right?

Full frame vs. crop sensor: while full-frame cameras excel in lowlight situations, crop sensor cameras offer an advantage. Their smaller field of view effectively increases the reach of your lens. This can be a game-changer when photographing distant wildlife.

Focus on speed: when that perfect wildlife moment unfolds, you don’t want to miss it. Choose a camera with a fast frame rate and a large buffer size. This ensures you can capture a burst of shots without the camera slowing down.

RAW vs. JPEG: RAW files offer unparalleled flexibility during editing, but they take up more space. Jpegs are smaller and fill the buffer faster, but they lack the editing potential of raw. Consider your needs and strike a balance.

Lenses: invest in a lens with a long focal length (300mm to 600mm is a great starting point) to bring distant subjects closer. Zoom lenses offer versatility, while prime lenses provide superior image quality. Aim for a wider aperture (f/4 to f/6.3) for better low-light performance and strong background blur.

Double it up: if you can afford two cameras as a beginner, consider carrying two bodies with different lenses. This allows you to rapidly switch between capturing tight close-ups and wider shots that showcase the animal’s natural habitat.

Mastering camera settings

Now that you have your gear, it’s time to put it to good use.

Focus on the target: keep in mind that wildlife is rarely stationary. Use continuous autofocus mode to ensure your camera keeps the moving subject in sharp focus.

Take control: as for the exposure settings, Saurav advises embracing manual mode. It grants you complete control over shutter speed and aperture, allowing you to fine-tune your photos for the specific situation.

Freezing motion: a faster shutter speed is crucial for capturing wildlife in action. As a rule of thumb, use a shutter speed at least twice the focal length of your lens to minimize motion blur.

wildlife photography tips for beginners

Composition

As for the photos themselves, Saurav offers a few tips for getting the best out of them, composition-wise.

Blur out the background: create a sense of separation between your subject and the background by relying on a shallow depth of field and avoiding background clutter. You’ll achieve it using a wider aperture or shooting from a different angle.

Think beyond close-ups: while tight compositions showcasing the animal’s details are captivating, don’t neglect wider shots. Include the surrounding environment to tell a richer story about the animal’s habitat.

Use the crop mode: for full-frame cameras, crop mode can be a handy tool as it allows you to get a closer shot.

wildlife photography tips for beginners

Editing

After you’ve taken the photos, it’s time to transfer them to your computer and edit them. Wildlife photography is heavily influenced by natural light, and editing is crucial in enhancing your images. Saurav recommends selective editing using masking features. This lets you sharpen the subject while subtly softening the background, creating a pleasing separation.

Beyond the lens: Other essential tips

Remember, wildlife photography isn’t about merely taking photos. You interact with nature and the environment, so Saurav gives you a few more crucial tips to make this experience pleasant and safe. Both for you and the animals.

Respect the moment: the urge to review your photos might be strong, but resist! Focus on capturing the action in front of you. Reviewing images can wait until the animal has moved on.

Become invisible: remain quiet and calm to avoid startling the wildlife. This increases your chances of witnessing and capturing natural behaviors. Some cameras even have a silent shutter mode – use it to your advantage!

Embrace the experience: photography is a beautiful tool, but remember to enjoy the present moment. Savor the experience of being in nature and witnessing wildlife firsthand. Sometimes, putting the camera down and simply observing can be the most rewarding experience.

By incorporating these valuable tips, you’ll be well on your way to capturing breathtaking wildlife photos that showcase the animal’s beauty and tell a captivating story.

[25 Wildlife Photography Tips and Tricks for Beginners! | Saurav Sinha]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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