Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

How to Photograph Wildlife

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Tips For Photographing Wildlife
by Roberta Hochreiter

To get good shots of animals and birds, you will have to learn to be quick in setting up and framing your shots. Waiting until you get out in the wilderness to learn these tricks is not a good idea. What I found to be very helpful was practicing on my cats and on birds in my yard or local parks. You learn to anticipate their behavior and react fast to get the good shots. Here are some tips on how to get the best shots of animals and birds in the wild.

Practice taking shots of moving targets. Learning how to pan moving targets will allow you to take dramatic photographs with a sense of speed.

Keep your camera handy and set up for unexpected encounters. Make sure you have fully charged camera batteries and plenty of film or memory.

Before you go into an area, read up on what kinds of animals and birds are commonly found there. Learn all you can about these animals and birds. This will help you know where to look to find them and what kinds of behavior to expect.

Learn to walk and move quietly and practice freezing your position so that your presence is not startling or threatening to the animal.

Learn to be observant of everything around you using all your senses. With a little practice, you will gain the ability to be aware of small movements, unusual colors or sounds, even smells that can tip you off to the presence of an animal or bird even when they are well camouflaged. I cannot believe how many times I’ve watched people walk right by wildlife without noticing them. Hiking with an awareness of your surroundings enhances your experience immeasurably.

In the wild, telephoto lenses are basically a must. This brings you in a little closer without scaring the animals. The use of a tripod is not always mandatory, if you have enough light you will be able to shoot at a fast shutter speed to eliminate shake. Some telephoto lens have vibration reduction technology but are considerably more expensive.

When you photograph animals and birds, make sure the focus is sharpest on their eyes.

Shoot small animals from a lower angle.

The best times of the day for viewing and photographing wildlife are early in the mornings and just before dark. This is when wildlife is usually most active and the light is the most dramatic.

Try to keep the sun at your back so that the light falls directly on your subject.

Using all these tips will help you improve your nature photography. The very most important thing is practice, practice, practice and don’t forget to enjoy yourself!

Roberta Hochreiter lives in the Pacific Northwest in Washington state and is an avid photographer, hiker and backpacker with 5 years experience.

http://www.womengophoto.com


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Where there is no vision, the people perish.
Proverbs 29:18

The earth is the LORD’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.
Psalm 24:1-2

He makes springs pour water into the ravines; it flows between the mountains. They give water to all the beasts of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. The birds of the air nest by the waters; they sing among the branches. He waters the mountains from his upper chambers; the earth is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
Psalm 104:10-13

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Matthew 6:26

How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number living things both large and small.
Psalm 104:24-25

Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter.
Ansel Adams

When you photograph people in colour you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in B&W, you photograph their souls!
Ted Grant

While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see.
Dorothea Lange

When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.
Ansel Adams

Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.
Henri Cartier-Bresson

You don’t take a photograph, you make it.
Ansel Adams

Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.
Matt Hardy

Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times…I just shoot at what interests me at that moment.
Elliott Erwitt

Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.
Imogen Cunningham

You’ve got to push yourself harder. You’ve got to start looking for pictures nobody else could take. You’ve got to take the tools you have and probe deeper.
William Albert Allard

If I saw something in my viewfinder that looked familiar to me, I would do something to shake it up.
Garry Winogrand

I always thought good photos were like good jokes. If you have to explain it, it just isn’t that good.
Anonymous

Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.
Ansel Adams

It can be a trap of the photographer to think that his or her best pictures were the ones that were hardest to get.
Timothy Allen

 


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