Wildlife photography by John Devries, Kent UK. Inspirational images
Wildlife and nature photography hints and tips
Although some of these tips are universally applicable to whatever
camera you are using (particularly the first one), the majority
are intended for users of a modern SLR cameras.
They assume that a) you are pretty serious about taking good
quality wildlife images b) you have the ability to change lenses
and add accessories c) the camera permits settings such as exposure
compensation or manual control and so on. As I am a digital
devotee, there will be a big digital bias creeping in !
I will endeavor to add more hints and tips to this section
over time so please bookmark these pages and re-visit from time
to time if you would like to keep up to date.
Ethics of wildlife photography
"Take nothing but Photographs,
leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time"
This is essential ethical advice. No species should suffer
in any way as a result of taking it's picture - no image is worth
that. This means that we must take extreme care that we don't
disturb sensitive animals or birds - particularly at a breeding
site, also when photographing plants great care needs to be taken
that small or emerging plants are not trampled when setting up
tripods or lying on the ground. It also means leave no litter,
and don't take souvenirs such as flowers or eggs.
I would strongly encourage you to read about the ethics of wildlife
photography at the following links before setting foot in the
countryside with your camera.
The first tip I will provide is not original - it is the old
addage of " f8 and be there". This is pretty sound
advice as setting the camera to f8 is usually a good compromise
aperture to obtain reasonable depth of field without forcing
the camera to set too low a shutter speed to compensate. If
you are not there, i.e. have not researched your subject, travelled
miles, got up at the crack of dawn, or whatever else your subject
demands - you won't be there to get the shot !
I would go further to say have your camera
ready set in "Action Mode". By this I mean set to
motordrive, programme mode (or aperture priority - with the
aperture set to f8 or even wider for birds and other fast-moving
subjects), evaluative metering selected (matrix in Nikon speak).
If you have AI servo (predictive autofocus) then set this too.
Now you have the camera set ready for anything. If you suddenly
round a corner and an eagle snatches a rabbit off the path in
front of you you will stand your best chance of capturing the
image in point and shoot.
Once you are at your location and you have time to change settings
to something more suitable - you can do this at your leisure
Copyright Ophrys Photography 2012