Five more wildlife photography tips

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Back in March I wrote a post giving you some basic wildlife photography tips. Hopefully those helped you out a bit if you were looking to explore the joys of shooting wild animals – shooting them with your lens that is!

Since it’s a form of photography that many people are curious about I thought I’d give you a few more tips to keep in mind when you’re trying out wildlife photography.

1. Remember your rule of thirds. As always, pretty much any photography rule can be broken for the sake of your art, and it can sometimes be quite striking to shoot your subject smack dab in the center of your photo, but generally speaking you’ll have a lot more impact if you offset to one side a little.

2. Give the animal room to move. What do I mean? Let’s say you’re snapping birds as they fly overhead. If a bird is entering your field of view from the left side, take your photo so that you have some empty sky mostly to the right. This gives the bird some room to “fly” in your shot, so to speak. It’s a nice composition trick that helps lead the eye.

3. Shoot as wide open as you can. The more you can open up your aperture, the more you’ll be able to focus on your subject while throwing the rest of the background out of focus. Shooting in the woods can mean a really busy background – lots of grass, plants, trees, etc. These can be extremely distracting if they’re all equally sharp. Blurring the background by shooting wide open allows your animal to really be the star of the photo.

4. Focus on the face, especially the eyes. Generally you’re not going to want a nice sharp lion’s mane with a non-defined set of eyes. Treat your animal subjects like you would if you were shooting portraits by focusing on the eyes (remember the long lens!).

5. Shoot in burst mode. When you shoot five or more photos in immediate sequence you may be pleasantly surprised when you get home and discover a fantastic shot with a great facial expression or movement that you might have missed if you had been shooting one frame at a time.

Have you got any wonderful wildlife shots to share? I’d love to see them!

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