Animal Photography

Wildlife & Animal Photography

Joining the world of an animal is fun.  Think about wildlife photography as an amazing mission!  Your job is to bring the wilderness back home to your viewer.  It’s super challenging, but highly rewarding.

Animals Don’t Need To Sign Model Releases

There is no permission needed.  Take your photos.  This doesn’t make things easy though!  In fact, animals are going to do what they are going to do.  It’s your responsibility to be in the right place at the right time.

Waiting Is Part Of The Process. Be Patient

There is no such thing as “working with” animals. They tend to do whatever they want. When a situation arises where the subject, scene, and light are just right, pounce! Press the shutter button.

Practice With Pets And At Zoos

Go to where the animals are! Try out your new lenses and shooting techniques and zoos or at home. There is no need to be a world traveler to enjoy animal photography. This could be in your living room.

Be Mindful And Think About How Your Presence Affects Your Surroundings

If you are outdoors, away from home, think about the environmental footprint you leave. Think about how your interactions with the animals affect the animals.

Bad Weather Can Create Interesting Mood & Context

Sometimes rain, snow, or fog is just what a photograph needs. Do what you need to do in order to prepare yourself and your gear for the weather. Don’t skip shooting days for “bad” weather. Go where other photographers are too lazy to go.

Use Natural Light

Flash photography could scare the hell out of animals.  Shoot outdoors where the light is better is ideal.  Also, don’t worry about overcast clouds.  They provide a natural diffuser for the light.  Your photos will look great!

Focus On The Animal’s Eye

You may have heard about this in portrait photography.  The same goes for animals.  Focus on the eye!  The eye is the gateway to the soul.  No matter how close you are to the subject, it’s always a good idea to focus on the eye.  This also helps with exposing your photograph to the subject’s face.  Great expressions make for great photographs.

Get To Eye Level If You Can

Sometimes this means getting low.  Sometimes getting higher!  It’s always a great idea to get to the level and perspective of your subject.  It’s just more intimate there.  Your photo is now living in the universe of the animal.

Choose A Fast Shutter Speed

Freeze motion with a faster shutter speed. Animals can move around quickly. A faster shutter speed will catch them without motion blur.

Use A Higher ISO When The Light Is Low

Using a higher ISO leaves you with wiggle room. You can then use aperture and shutter speed to expose a great photograph. Even when the light isn’t optimal.

Use A Long Lens / Try A Teleconverter

Stay far away from the alligator! A long lens like 300mm will usually do the trick. Try a teleconverter. They give you even more reach!

Autofocus Can Save You Time

The faster your subjects move, the harder it will be to manually focus. In most shooting situations, there is no need to manually focus and miss shots. Try autofocus and continuous focusing techniques.

Try A Fast Prime Lens For Fish

It can get dark underwater. Try using a fast prime lens for fish photography. A wider aperture can get you the light!

Use A Tripod To Steady Larger Lenses

Long focal length lenses are bigger and heavier than wide-angle lenses. Tripods not only help with sharp focusing, but they hold up those big, bulky lenses.

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