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Top 10 Tips for Wildlife Photography

Posted: Friday 3rd July 2015 by Community

Whilst almost everyone has a camera of some kind, there's more to taking the perfect picture than just clicking capture. But don't worry - these top tips show that getting a good result can be easy, inexpensive, and fun!

1. Know your camera

You don’t need a professional or expensive camera to get good wildlife pictures, but you do need to know how to use your camera! Read the instruction manual in order to use it to its full potential.

2. Simplify!

Make things easier for yourself and use a tripod – no more shaky hands or blurry pictures! If you don’t have a tripod you can even use a substitute such as a bag of rice or bean bag.

(c) Rachel Scopes

3. Perspective!

Think about whether you want your picture to be portrait or landscape and what you want to include in your composition. Try taking pictures from different angles to create a different effect - don’t be afraid to experiment! If you are photographing flowers, bugs, or mini-beasts, using a macro lens or setting can be a great help and allow you to get closer to your subject (without disturbing any wildlife, of course!)

4. Focus on the eyes

Get on the same eye level as your subject as this can be very powerful and intimate, helping us to feel on the same level as them. However, having the camera looking up will make the subject seem bigger or more dominant.

(c) Adam Jones

5. Thirds and odds

Follow the “rule of thirds” to make your photograph as aesthetically pleasing as possible! As well as this, you can follow the “rule of odds” which states that an odd number of subjects is more visually appealing than an even number (unless it’s a large group and then it doesn’t matter!). If there are two animals in the picture, try including a third element as this will produce a similar effect.

6. Subject/Background

The subject of your picture is very important as the viewer will instantly look here. Consider where in the frame you want your subject to be and how much of the frame you want it to take up. The background is also an important element - make sure it isn't too busy or distracting.

(c) Gillian Day

7. Lighting

Consider the lighting and the weather and what atmosphere you are aiming to create. Sunrise and sunset are known as the “golden hour” as this is when the lighting and shadows are best for snapping those perfect pictures!

8. Framing

Think about how you want to frame your picture and opt for a natural frame where possible, such as trees, overhanging branches, or other animals. Subtly framing the subject helps to draw the eye into the main subject. However, make sure your frame does not clutter your picture.

(c) Elliot Smith

9. Be patient!

If you are photographing wildlife, you may have to wait to get the picture you want – find a good spot for taking pictures and return here. As with anything, the more time you spend doing it, the better you will get! So get outside with your camera whenever you can and experiment! See what looks best - take several photos of the same subject at different angles, with different lenses, or using different exposure settings.

10. Keep it simple and original

Remember – less is more. Be careful not to clutter your picture or the viewer will not know where to look. Be original – a photograph with a difference is a photograph that stands out!

Now you've followed these tips and have a great shot, why not enter it in our photography competition?

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