I bet it is true that every human being has an inner connection with the natural world that no one can resist wildlife attraction. This is evident in the interest of many in wildlife photography. Even non-photographers find wildlife photos captivating.
If you are new into photography, and you want to use your first DSLR camera in taking pictures on safari, then you need to know the do’s and don’ts first. You can take a look at the following important tips for beginners which can help you enjoy your wildlife photography experience.
1. Research and plan out first.
Before you head to Africa’s savannah, be as informed as possible about the situations you might encounter in the wild. Although no one can predict everything that could happen out there, at least you can be prepared enough to secure your safety.
Here are some of the information that you need to find out:
- Kinds of animal you may encounter in a certain area
- Best season or time of the year to do wildlife photography
- Nearest hotels or places to stay in during your trip
- Permits required by the wildlife sanctuary
- Operation hours of the place
- Restrictions while in the sanctuary
Related Article: 10 Common Photography Mistakes Newbies Make
2. Prioritize your safety.
One of the reasons why you need to research about your trip first is your safety. Remember, you are going out into the wild, and animals out there are unpredictable. That is why you need to abide by the rules and regulations in the national park or wildlife sanctuary where you will be taking your shots.
Moreover, it is advisable that you go with a group and with someone who knows how to give first aid treatment. Going alone could be dangerous since no one will be there to help you in an emergency situation. It is best if you go with experienced trekkers for better security.
3. Pack the necessary things and equipment.
Wildlife photography will require you to be out of your comfort zone. Therefore, make sure that you bring all the important stuff you will be needing while on the trip. You can prepare a checklist of all the things you need to bring so you do not forget anything.
When it comes to your photography kit, see to it that you have the following:
- Camera- Best if you have a DSLR, but if not, just make sure that you bring with you a high-speed camera.
- Tripod- Make sure you never forget your tripod because, without it, your wildlife photographing will be more difficult. The tripod is necessary to provide stable support to your camera. This way, your gear will stay in one position and unwanted blurs due to movements will be avoided.
- MIOPS Smart Camera Trigger- This unconventional camera trigger is a big help for every wildlife photographer. This can be controlled using your smartphone application or used as a standalone device. This will allow you to release the camera shutter without touching the camera, preventing any movements. Using this will help minimize the chance of disturbing the animals too, so you will have a better chance of getting perfect shots.
- ND filters- You need filters to control the amount of brightness entering your camera’s aperture. Sometimes, too much sunshine could diminish the quality of your photos, so minimizing the brightness with a filter will help.
- Wide-angle zoom- For wildlife photography, a wide-angle zoom lens will help you capture a broad shot of jungle herds or a panoramic view of the wildlife. This is also best if you want to create a timelapse video of the wild.
- MIOPS Capsule360- Together with a Capsule Slider, this compact motion box can serve as your motorized slider for necessary movements in following your subjects, especially for timelapse shots.
- Cleaning kit- Always be ready with your cleaning tools to keep your camera, especially the lens, dirt-free. The kit should include a lower, lens tissue, and sensor-cleaning sticks. The dust particles and other kinds of dirt can ruin the image of your beautiful images.
4. Find a less distracting background.
To highlight your animal subject, it is best to choose a plain background. Using a shallow depth of field to blur surroundings will help create a striking effect on your subject. You can also experiment with your position until you find an angle which gives you a view of a non-distracting background.
5. Do not forget the rule of thirds.
Wildlife animals could be so captivating that you might get hooked on capturing their images without minding the frame’s composition. Make sure that your subject is not right in the frame’s center. As much as possible, use the photography’s rule of thirds, and look for elements that could create balance in the image.
If you are new in photography and you have no idea about the rule of thirds, then this is one of the art’s concepts that you must master. This rule states that all frames are divided into 3 equal portions (vertically or horizontally), and your subject should be in either the first or third part—never the second or middle.
6. Capture the eyes of your subject.
If you want to increase the focus on your subject, the best element to capture is its eyes. Just as how it is said that the eye is the window to one’s soul, it also gives your subject life. Do this by increasing the depth of focus, and you might need to move closer or zoom in more too. For a better capture, use a single autofocus point, but make sure that you keep the frame’s composition striking.
More than Photography
The best thing about wildlife photography is it gives you an exciting adventure. It is not just about taking shots of animals in the national park or wildlife sanctuary. It brings you closer to nature and makes you see the beauty of life right in its rawest form—in the untamed wild. However, since not everyone has the chance to experience this first hand, it is the role of photographers to bring this beautiful world to them.
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