Updated: Oct 5, 2021
These are 3 techniques that have helped elevate my wildlife photography, I hope you find them useful.
1) Get down low
Getting eye level or below the animal you are photographing is a great way
to create a powerful image. We are taller than most wildlife and often see them from a higher viewpoint.
Your job as a photographer is to show people something they can’t see for themselves, portraying this insect-like point of view is a great way of doing so. It can make a seemingly boring animal like a squirrel a lot more interesting.
2) Use a long lens... or a short one
If you google “best lenses for wildlife photography” you will be greeted with a long list of telephoto lenses and rightly so. They are the best lenses for wildlife photography but they might not be the lenses for the best wildlife photography.
Using a wide angle lens and remote shutter release can create some of the most incredible wildlife photographs you can imagine. It is a lot harder as you have to predict exactly where the animal will be and have no flexibility in terms of angle and zoom etc... but when it works wow, it’s amazing. I will do another blog post about how to properly use this technique to give you the best chance of success.
Another benefit of using this method is that telephoto lenses are very expensive, especially if you want a crystal clear prime. Using a wide angle and shutter release you can get amazing image quality for a fraction of the price.
There is no doubt telephotos are still the go to lenses for wildlife photography but there are other options that when used properly, can achieve even better results. It just takes a bit of practice and a lot of patience.
3) Take a step back
I absolutely love taking close up wildlife portraits. It probably makes up around 90% of my wildlife photography but resisting the urge to zoom in even further can sometimes yield great results. I feel a lot of the time people (me included) just want the animal to fill the frame and see everything else as just an annoyance.
However if you have 5 people focused on one animal and all are fully zoomed in, all trying not to get "that leaf" in the shot, you will have 5 good but very similar images. Sometimes its a good idea to take a step back, zoom out a bit and see how you can use the environment to create a more interesting image.
You can use the foliage as a natural border for your portrait, maybe just show half a face behind some leaves or include something in the foreground to give the photo some depth. Just play around with it, you can have a lot of fun using the surroundings to your advantage rather than just trying to cut them out.
Thanks for reading, please share if you enjoyed this post.
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