7 Tips for Taking Great Animal Photos
When travelers head out on eco-trips, the goal is generally to come back with a better connection to nature. And for those who want to maintain their newfound nature connection long after the trip ends, photography is probably the easiest way to go.
However wildlife photography can be a daunting thing for newcomers. Between skittish animals and new environments, it can be difficult to get a really great shot.
But have no fear. We’ve gone before you and we’ve learned. Whether you’re on a wild safari or just photographing dogs in your backyard, here’s what you should know next time you want to take a picture of an animal in action.
1. Lighting is key
As with all photography, the most important thing is good lighting. Trying to take a picture in a place with bad lighting will cause the camera to try to “make up” for the light. Typically a camera in automatic mode will use a longer shutter speed (how long the camera lens is open and capturing the picture) to “create” good lighting. The problem with this is that the longer the shutter speed, the more time an animal has to move. By keeping photographs well-lit, photographers can better ensure a sharp action shot.
2. Try different angles
A picture of a small animal from up above is not all that interesting visually. Trying getting down on an animal’s level to look for new ways of seeing it.
3. Make the animal the main subject
Make sure the animal is front and center. By making sure that the living subject is the main subject of the photograph, try to take a picture that makes it stand out from the background. The bigger and more distinct the shape of the animal is, the better.
4. Get close
Get as close as possible. Although a great lens can do wonders for photography, an animal will always look better the closer you can get. Just bear in mind safety when photographing on a wild safari!
5. Step back
Take a step back. Sometimes the best pictures are the ones photographers weren’t even trying to get. Although you should be focused when taking a picture, take a step back every so often and make sure there’s nothing better happening outside of the frame.
6. Turn off the flash
Not only can flash scare an animal mid-picture, it can bounce back into the camera and create that weird red eye effect.
7. Avoid poses
If possible, try to capture the animal doing what it normally does. Photographers who can be ultra sneaky and snap pictures without an animal even knowing can get some of the greatest shots.