CodeGuard

Up Close or from Afar: Pro Tips for Photographing Wildlife

20 views This article is copyright free and is published in Travel and Leisure » Travel
Joined: Sep 02, 2016
2616 articles
imagine
For nature lovers, the dedicated wildlife holidays offered by specialist operators are quite often a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to encounter a wealth of incredible animal species in their natural habitat. Capturing these special moments through the lens of a camera (or even a smartphone) is a very important part of the experience, so it pays to be well prepared – and know how to take a jaw-dropping, pin-sharp wildlife image at a moment’s notice.

Getting the Best Shot on your Wildlife Holidays

Wildlife photography is unlike any other genre. Animals can be unpredictable, unexpected and you’ve always got to be on high alert if you want to get the best shots. You can’t control nature, but you can be in control of yourself – and that means being prepared and ready to react.

Get to Know Your Subject

Knowledge is always power and the more you understand about your potential subjects’ habits, the more likely you are to be able to pre-empt their behaviour and be ready to fire off some shots. While it’s not usually practical to spend large amounts of time with specific species on wildlife holidays, doing some research before the trip can go a long way towards understanding them.

Familiarise Yourself With Your Equipment

Some people definitely fall into the CatID of ‘all gear and no idea’ when it comes to photography; the bells and whistles are of no use unless you know how to correctly work them. You usually only have a very short window of opportunity to take your shot, so it pays to get all the trial and error over with before you’re leaning out of the back of an open-topped vehicle with a Cheetah in your sights and no idea which button does what on your SLR camera. Study your equipment’s settings and accessories and practice at home so you know how to use them to optimise your images when it counts.

It’s All About the Light

It’s a happy coincidence that a lot of wildlife holidays focus on trips into habitats in what’s known as ‘the golden hours’ (around sunrise and sunset). As these times are often when the animals are most active, the combination of the soft light and increased opportunities for sightings can produce some truly magical images. Conversely, the hard light in the middle of the day is the least favourable time to shoot.

Wider View, Longer Lens, Faster Shutter Speed

While all rules are made to be broken, it’s a wise idea to learn them first. A long lens is a must when shooting professional-standard images of wild animals, but it’s also important not to go longer than you can handle. The longer the lens, the more you’re able to ‘isolate’ the subject from the background for more striking and intimate composition, but you’ll also need a faster shutter speed in order to prevent camera shake. A wide-angle lens is very useful when you’re looking to create an image with context.

Patience Pays Off

Probably the most pertinent piece of advice for aspiring wildlife photographers is to cultivate the virtue of patience. It’s understandable to want to produce perfect, show-stopping images every time, but it’s simply not possible. Even the most seasoned professionals have hard drives full of mediocre, out-of-focus and downright bad shots, but practice and patience will always pay off.
As they’re dedicated to providing the best sightings in a range of habitats, specialised small group wildlife holidays are the perfect opportunity to develop the skills needed to capture memorable, high-quality photos.
About author: Desiree Michels

Marissa Ellis-Snow is a freelance nature writer with a special interest in birds. With a passionate interest in rare avian species, Marissa chooses the expert-led <a href="http://www.naturetrek.co.uk/">wildlife holidays</a> organised by Naturetrek, which have brought her unforgettable sightings of a wide range of flora and fauna in some of the most spectacular regions on Earth.

CodeGuard

Other article from Travel

‘Go Slow’ Travel: A Relaxing Encounter With the World’s Wildlife
‘Slow travel’, the concept of reducing the emphasis on ‘seeing it all’ in favour of a more relaxed, quality experience, fits in perfectly with today’s specialised wildlife holidays. This kind of experience allows the genuine ...
View by 25 people
Posted by Desiree Michels in ,
3 Must-Visit Towns Along the Yonne River
Sens, Joigny and Auxerre – these three interesting towns can be found on the banks of the Yonne River. A holiday on one of the best French river cruises will certainly include visits to each, allowing guests to discover the fascinating culture and ...
View by 28 people
Posted by Desiree Michels in ,
2 Castles to Visit While in Saverne
The atmospheric town of Saverne in Alsace Lorraine is a favourite stop for many French river cruises. With the Marne-Rhine Canal, which connects two rivers, running through Saverne its reputation has long been connected to its position near these waterways. ...
View by 31 people
Posted by Desiree Michels in ,
Tips on How to be economic and save on Maui Airport Car Rentals
Traveling to the beautiful island of Maui? Whatever be the reason, business or vacation, you can enjoy a lot with what the island has to offer. The very thing you'll look for, after checking out from the airport is the cheap, affordable quality car rental. ...
View by 22 people
Posted by Vikram kumar in ,
Dubai Tourism & Antilog Vacations Joint Partnership May See A 50% Growth in FY 19-20
India (November 14, 2018) - India’s leading travel company, Antilog Vacations has collaborated with Dubai Tourism on a new deal. Both are now working on a new strategy, which may come into effect soon after the deal closes, people acquainted with the ...
View by 31 people
Posted by Sumanta Dutta in ,