Wildlife photography is catching on like wildfire because who doesn’t enjoy the great outdoors after so many of us spend our days cooped up cubicles. If you’re a beginning wildlife photgrapher, here are a few ways to make photo expeditions better. It all starts with the right equipment.
The right gear or no gear
- DSLR camera: If you can get good shots with your smartphone’s camera, you are too close. Take a DSLR camera to shoot from safe distances.
- Zoom lens: A pair of zoom lens with long focal length, be it 300MM or 600MM, will let you shoot wild and potentially dangerous subjects from an appropriate distance.
- Monopod: Heavy lenses tend to become tough to hold on steadily for a longer period. Carry a light-weight monopod for the purpose, as photographing wildlife requires patience and perspiration.
- Window mount: In case, you are in your vehicle and need to shoot from its window, window mount will come in handy to provide support for your bulky lens.
Camera settings for better shots
You are most likely to find your subject in shady, poorly lit areas. Remember the triangle of photography—ISO, shutter speed and aperture. Attempt to get the best possible combination for optimum exposure.
For long focal length, the shutter speed needs to be fast, depending on the movement of your subject. If you want a shallow depth of field to blur the background, use a wider aperture, or stop down to your lens’ sweet spot. And then, work with the ISO. For low light, a higher ISO would be required but that could potentially introduce the noisy grains into your images. But click anyway. The noise can be taken care of during post-processing in Photoshop or Lightroom.
To prevent your camera from locking focus on a foreground object instead of your subject, use the back button focus feature of your camera. You will find this in your camera’s custom settings which will essentially free your shutter press from the focusing function. Once done, you can now focus with a button at the back of your camera. Now you can manually lock the focus on the desired subject and click away for as long as the animal doesn’t move.
~ Aatika, Write Wing Media