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Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Tips and Tricks to Taking Photographs of Wildlife


1. Use the right equipment.
Digital cameras can be found everywhere from inside a MP3 player to on the back of a cell phone. While these cameras can certainly take decent photographs sometimes, the general rule is that the better the camera, the better the picture will be. This means that the old fashion camera-camera is best for capturing wildlife and other photos.
It's also worth noting that while many point-and-shoot cameras do have a 'wildlife' and 'nature' scenery option, these cameras often lack the technology to take a truly stunning photo. For those, more expensive cameras with better ISO technology, shutter speed, and optical zoom are needed. A quiet camera is also nice, as it's less likely to scare off the creatures being photographed.
2. Makes necessary equipment quietly accessible.
There's nothing worse than the battery warning sign coming on right as those baby tigers are about to pounce. While these minor inconvenience can certainly make the shot harder to capture, photographers shouldn't allow it to ruin the shot completely. Instead, keep necessary items, such as batteries and memory cards, in pockets. This makes the replacement process much quieter and faster, allowing for more time to photograph the creature.
3. Steady the camera.
Some photographers go looking for wildlife shots while others stumble on them by mistake. Regardless of how the creatures were found, it's extremely important that the camera be held steady. If it isn't, the picture will blur and the shot will be ruined. This is even trickier with wildlife because they tend to move suddenly, blurring cameras with slower shutter speeds.
Someone who purposely went looking for wildlife shots may have brought a small tripod. These are excellent for all photographers and many are now designed to be so small they fit on top of a soda bottle. Those who stumbled on the creatures by mistake, however, will likely not have a tripod handy. In this situation, leaning against a tree can be used to stabilize the camera. Sitting down quietly and placing the camera on the knees may also help to steady the shot.
4. Don't depend on the LCD screen.
When most people take pictures, they rely heavily on the LCD screen. In fact, many cameras don't even have a lens to look through anymore. Regardless of this, it's important to rely on human eyes, not human technology.
Animals travel extremely fast. By the time the photographer has a chance to view what is happening on the screen and react, the shot is gone. Instead, photographers should turn on their camera's continuous burst mode option. This feature has been designed to capture lightening fast imagery without blurring the borders. Now, whenever the photographer senses movement from the animal, they can press the shutter button and capture every second of the action.
5. Be aware of the animals behaviors.
Learning the behaviors and personalities of the animals that are being photographed can go a long way to getting a great shot. For example, a dog may kneel down before jumping up in the air while a bird may defecate before taking flight. If the photographer knows to look for these ques, the shutter can be set to take images as the action shot happens.
6. Remember eye level is important.
One reason that wildlife photos are so amazing is because of the eye level. This level allows humans to see a much more vivid version of the creator that would otherwise go unnoticed. While there are some exceptions in certain situations (such as a large group of animals or extremely tall creatures), using the eye level trick improves the photo dramatically. Simply kneel, make eye contact with the animal's eye through the camera lens, and start clicking.
7. Macro photography is essential.
This may be more of a beginner tip, but photographers still forget to check it often. No matter what the situation, photographers should always make sure that their camera's macros setting is on. This allows users to have more control of the lens, which results in sharper images. When done properly, the photo shows enough details so that it actually feels like the viewer was right there in the photo.
8. Always try and tell a story with the photo. Wider shots help get this message across.
It's easy to tell a story with photos and wildlife, but many make the mistake of doing just the opposite. Some photographers focus on specific details of the creature, such as the hoofs, teeth, or eyes. Instead, the camera man should step back and take a wider shot that shows more of the animal's surroundings. When done properly, you should see a moose with icy blue eyes eating red berries as opposed to just blue eyes.
9. Use photo editing software to enhance details or colors.
Shooting wildlife means photographers are outside. This can make for difficult lighting situations. There's no shame in using photo editing software, such as Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop, to fix these minor problems. These programs allow the photographer to adjust everything from lighting to changing the background image. Just remember, less is more when it comes to editing photos.
10. Catch typical moments too.
A bear swatting at a fish would make a great action shot, but there are also some pretty cute moments in less exciting life too. While most people think of wildlife as elephants, hawks, tigers, and sharks, smaller creatures make good practice shots. If a photographer has any pets at home, they can practice learning their behaviors and capturing some of the cuter moments of the day. After all, there is nothing more adorable than a kitty batting at it's toy or a dog excited to see his master.

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