This rather excellent article on Lightstalking seems to sum up all the difficulties that most people would prefer to ignore when approaching wild life photography. Don’t be put off by the explanation that you need to know your equipment, that you have to know your subjects and that you need endless patience because when you get a great shot of an animal it does all seem worthwhile. There is a most apposite line in the article : “The goal is to relax and enjoy the full experience, not to succeed immediately whenever you try. Once you have patience and are prepared for any subject that might cross your path, you’ll be ready to face whatever challenge comes your way…….If you’re under the impression you only need to go out for an hour or two and will come back with a slew of keepers, don’t bother going out at all. It won’t happen (unless your luck is supernatural).”
I am not much of a wildlife photographer, actually I am worse than that, I can’t much see the point, let someone else who has the gear, the learning and the patience do it, I will admire their pictures. I doubt I have ever taken a worthwhile animal picture in all the 50 years I have been photographing but I do understand that for many people it is their burning desire. This article is very good, if you are interested in wild life photography read it.
Photo by Michele Burns
Getting Started in Wildlife Photography
Many new advances in camera equipment have made better gear more affordable for everyone, bringing a lot of photographers closer to realizing our goals in photographing wildlife.
For those of you who have never tried a style like this before, don’t worry. Though wildlife photography is a demanding art form and requires practice to balance the many variables and technicalities involved, the rewards far outweigh any difficulties. These seven steps will help you as you begin your adventure in the great outdoors.
Understand Your Gear
Whether you’ve just upgraded to a new camera or you’re using one you’ve had for a while, you need to know your equipment like the back of your hand. In the wild, getting or missing the perfect shot often comes down to the span of nanoseconds. Consequently, the only way to succeed in wildlife photography is to know instinctively how each part of your gear operates and at what speed each function responds.
When out on a shoot, you will need more than preparation beforehand (such as micro-adjusting your lenses for focus inconsistencies) to carry you through successfully. You must know, among other things, the exact time required for a specific lens to focus when on certain settings, how much time you have in a burst before the buffer maxes out, whether the meter will be right, and how much you can recover the shadows and highlights if need in post-production.
Memorizing every little quirk of your gear is a crucial accomplishment for all types of photography, but has the most immediate benefits for action photography (wildlife, sports, etc.), since instantaneous movement is part of what you want to catch.
This might be a bit over the top, most lenses do have variations in focusing and it is worth knowing about it but micro adjustments will not make a great difference in most situations unless you are working at the shallowest depth of field but certainly knowing how best to use the exposure functions on your camera is essential. If you don’t try one of our DSLR Courses
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here are some more tips to help you