How To Improve Wildlife Photography

Wildlife photography is a very popular area to specialize in, and for good reason.

It gives you a great excuse to spend extended periods of time outdoors, keeps you fit, and allows you to develop a real appreciation for the natural world.

But it can also be a very challenging field too, especially since your subject is often running away from you! Plus, wildlife is usually active in low light conditions at dusk or dawn.

If you are a beginner who is looking to capture beautiful wildlife photographs, you are in the right place.

We are going to share with you 14 of our top wildlife photography tips so you can start improving your nature photos straight away.

Shoot on Eye-level

When you’re standing up and shooting an animal on the ground, your angle of view is pointing downwards. This detracts from the photo, making the perspective seem strange. It also decreases the distance between the subject and the background, getting rid of your chance for that nice, soft creamy bokeh background.

Instead, get eye-level with your subject. It brings the viewer down to the animal’s level, creating a much more interesting perspective. It will most likely increase the distance between the subject and the background, removing distracting elements by throwing the backdrop out of focus.

Study Wildlife Behaviour
Getting to know the animal you’re photographing can be a really helpful trick. If you know about an animal’s typical behavioral traits, you’ll be able to predict movements or particular things you can focus on capturing.

Do some reading online, or in textbooks, to learn a bit of background about the animal you’re looking to photograph. In fact, you can do this quickly by watching videos to study how different animals move, behave and act.

Use Your Lens Hood
Lots of people ignore their lens hoods, especially for shorter focal length lenses. I’m not sure why, as they really do help.

Lens hoods are great at preventing annoying lens flare, something that is pretty apparent when you’re shooting towards the sun.

They also eliminate stray light coming from the sides, improving the contrast and clarity of a photo.

Experiment with Light
Light makes or breaks an image.

So you need to know how to use it to your advantage if you want to come away with something unique.

My favorite type of lighting for photographing wildlife is backlighting.

This is when the sun is positioned behind a subject, and you shoot towards it. It’s risky, as exposing the picture is difficult at times.

However, backlighting gives a nice halo to your subject, rim-lighting them and giving a very ‘magical’ feel to the scene. If the sun is particularly low, you can underexpose your photo to just reveal the golden outline of the animal.

Increase Your ISO
Be sure you know how your camera can really perform at higher ISOs. You will be pleasantly surprised.

I hear again and again of photographers who will absolutely refuse to put their ISO above 400.

But even the cheapest DSLR cameras are capable of going a bit higher than this and still spitting out usable shots.