8 Wildlife photography tips for better pictures

Winona Griggs

8 Tips to Capture Amazing Wildlife Photos

There’s something truly magical about being in the wild. Falling asleep to the sound of a lion’s roar, witnessing an African sunrise peeking through the trees, and the anticipation of spotting something incredible around the corner.

If you love being out in nature and want to improve your wildlife photography skills, you’ve come to the right place. I’m here to share some valuable tips that will help you capture unforgettable moments during your next adventure.

1. The Rule of Thirds: A Simple Way to Create Stunning Compositions

One technique that never fails to create visually appealing photos is the rule of thirds. To use this technique, imagine dividing your frame into a 3×3 grid. Aim to place your subject in one-third of the grid to create a balanced and engaging composition.

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Get Close: Unique Perspectives Make for Captivating Photos

Don’t be afraid to experiment with unusual cropping in your wildlife photos. If you have a powerful zoom lens or you’re close enough to the animal, focus on capturing a specific detail or feature. This will give your photo a unique and captivating touch.

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3. Backlighting: Adding Depth and Drama

When you’re out capturing photos of animals, don’t just stick to the usual approach of shooting with the sun behind you. Instead, try positioning the sun behind your subject. This technique, known as backlighting, can enhance your images and create a truly captivating effect.

As the sunlight filters through the animal’s fur, feathers, or scales, it illuminates them from behind, creating a breathtaking glow. The backlight adds depth and drama to your photos, revealing intricate details and unveiling a whole new perspective.

4. Foliage Frame: Nature’s Artistic Touch

In a leafy or bushy environment, it can be challenging to capture the entire animal in one frame. Instead of feeling discouraged, use the surrounding foliage to your advantage. Let the natural elements of the environment frame your subject, effortlessly adding an artistic touch to your composition.

By positioning the animal within the leaves, branches, or flowers, you create a visual frame that not only highlights the animal but also adds texture and context. This technique allows you to tell a story and showcase the animal in its natural habitat, giving your photos a sense of place and purpose.

5. Capturing the Big Picture: The Beauty of Wide-Angle Shots

Zooming in close and capturing the intricate details of an animal’s features can be rewarding. However, don’t forget to step back and appreciate the bigger picture. If you don’t have a powerful zoom lens or are using a cellphone, try taking a wide-angle shot.

Instead of focusing solely on the animal, take a moment to assess the surroundings. Look for a compelling background that complements and enhances the subject. A wide-angle shot provides a broader perspective, allowing you to capture the animal within its environment. This technique invites the viewer to explore the scene and appreciate the animal’s place within the larger context.

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6. The Power of Perspective: Getting Low

When photographing animals, it’s easy to fall into the habit of shooting from an upright position. However, don’t be afraid to get down on their level. By getting low to the ground, you create a unique and intimate perspective.

This change in perspective allows you to capture the animal from eye level, providing a glimpse into their world. It adds a sense of connection and authenticity to your photos, as if you’re experiencing the animal’s point of view. So, get down on your knees or even lie on the ground, and see how this change in perspective elevates your images.

If you crouch down low, you can take a really cool picture of the grass in front of you and the sky above. The animal will look even more majestic because it will be higher than you.

8 Wildlife photography tips for better pictures

Elephant photographed by David Lloyd

7. Look out for soft lighting

When I take a picture of an animal, I avoid doing it during the hottest part of the day. This is because the sun is brightest then, and it creates harsh shadows and makes the photo less clear. However, if there are clouds, they help to soften the bright sunlight. When an animal is in the forest, the sun doesn’t affect them as much. That’s why it’s easier to capture a good photo in the early morning or late afternoon.

8. Capture interesting animal behavior

When you capture a bird flying, a squirrel eating, or two bull elephants fighting, it adds a lot of interest to your photo. You should try to take a picture of the animal when it’s doing something interesting.

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