Hey no worries, we are just talking about pictures! Animals are, in fact, one of our favorite subjects to portray, both at home or in travel.
A lot of us have pets in their houses, someone lives not far from parks with wild animals, while some others want to travel to discover new species; in any case, animals are perfect models to develop our camera skills related to moving subjects.
That’s why this post focus on how to capture animals and wildlife by giving you some tips.
Indeed the animal world is very varied and the techniques you should use to portray a cat, a butterfly or a giraffe are obviously different. Anyway, we want to give you some general practical advice that are useful in any situation, and that you should consider to follow when you want to capture an animal, being this both your pet or a lion in the Serengeti National Park.
First of all, when talking about animals, the first, most useful advice is being patient. You will undoubtedly need patience when trying to capture an animal, being this a small bird in the garden or a deer in the park. Animals tend to do whatever they want to and you can’t do anything at all to change this behavior, so take into consideration that shooting animals could require a lot of time, even more than you could think. By the way, indeed the more time you spend with animals in their environment the more you can understand their habits and the rhythm of the animal life.
Be prepared to shoot as soon as the animal move. Don’t think too much on settings and technical issues, otherwise you will lose the moment. It is better to set the camera in advance and just wait for the perfect time, adjusting some small things while waiting on the field.
Use a telephoto lens. Probably shooting your pet will not require this kind of lens, but when shooting wildlife this could be necessary as it allows you to portray animals you can’t move close to or small insects and flying birds, capturing their small movements by zooming in and out. This gives you the opportunity to capture even small details particularly interesting when talking about the “macro-world“.
As you could imagine, even in this case a tripod could come in handy. Otherwise, get creative and use whatever you find practical on the field to place your camera on, like rocks, trunks, your bag or any other support that could be useful to maintain the camera steady.
Remember that the longer the lens is, the highest is the blur that it can suffer; a tripod and the faster shutter speed could avoid, or at least limit, this blur effect.
Although, if the animal is calm and static you can easily choose to give priority to the aperture of your camera to better construct your picture with both animal and the surrounding environment.
One thing more, when talking about flying birds or winged animals, this subjects require a shutter speed priority mode on your camera of, at least, 1/1000th second.
When shooting an animal, try to capture its personality, don’t just shoot to obtain a nice picture, but try to tell something with your photographs. This could require more time and difficulties, but we are sure your pictures will gain a lot with the practice!
Finally, give importance at the background. Animals pictures achieve meaning when the subject is immerse in its natural habitat; bow to reach the same height of the animal, control the background, ask yourself if it is satisfactory for you and then …shoot!
We invite you to do your best and let us know about the results!