When to Treat Wildlife Photography Like Human Photography

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When you’re taking photos of the world’s most interesting wildlife, you should expect to go through several memory cards because the results can be so amazing. In fact, the results can be just as good if the wildlife isn’t so interesting.

Animals can do so many wonderful things at any given moment and this is why most photographers take so many photos of them. They’re just so unpredictable and you never know what they’re going to do next.

When to Treat Wildlife Photography Like Human Photography

The facial expressions that some creatures can pull off are simply fascinating and you can literally spend hours watching wildlife in their natural habitat, in a zoo, or in your own backyard. If you trycontinuous shooting and have some extra batteries on hand then you’re all set for at least a few hours of fun. However, sometimes you will have to be patient as your favorite animals may be tired or listless.

When engaging in wildlife photography, there are some aspects of human photography that you might want to incorporate into it. This is especially true if you’re interested in taking portraits. As with human portraits, you might want to take the same approach when taking shots of an animal. The eyes are the window to the soul of course so you will need to make a good connection with your subject by starting there.

If you find that circumstances make it hard to capture the shot you’re looking for it’s a good idea to at least try to get the animal’s eyes in focus if nothing else. This is because humans almost instinctively look into the eyes of a photograph whatever the subject may be. If the eyes are hidden or are out of focus, the photo may not attract the same interest from the viewer. If you’re lacking in light, don’t forget you can always try utilizing fill flash.

If you understand the animal you’re photographing, you will have a bit of an edge, especially when it comes to larger creatures. It’s also important that you understand the creatures you’re shooting as a safety measure too. Many animals are known to be unpredictable or aggressive and you have to keep this in mind. You should never put your life or the animal’s life in danger when taking photos of it.

This means you may have to take a lot of your shots from a distance and use a telephoto or zoom lens to get in close to the action. For instance, you never want to get in close range of animals such as alligators, crocodiles, bears, lions, and tigers etc. unless they’re in a zoo or in some type of secure setting. Many animals won’t be interested in your presence, but you can bet they’re aware that you’re there.

Of course, animals can sometimes act like people and you may find some of them clowning for the camera and hamming it up with their friends for your amusement and pleasure, If this happens it’s a good idea to just keep shooting. But be aware that friendly gestures from animals have sometimes turned into tragedies, so don’t be tempted to approach the animal.

With some types of wildlife, such as birds, you don’t need to worry about your safety as much, but if you get too close or startle them they’re not going to hang around and pose for you. Unless you’ve got a pair of wings on your back too you need to keep a good distance from them so you don’t scare them away. As mentioned before, if you do a bit of research about the animals you’re photographing you will know how close is too close.

Posted in: Digital Photography Tips and Tricks

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