“Regarding the creative: never assume you’re the master, only the student. Your audience will determine if you’re masterful.”
― Don Roff
The one question I’m often asked is what’s you top tip for wildlife photography ? For me personally it’s a difficult question to answer, probably because I don’t think of myself as a wildlife photographer. In reality I’m much more of an armchair naturalist and very much a technically challenged photographer. Certainly not someone to pass on expert advice . But having been asked again by a dog walker I’m going to throw caution to the wind and go for it . So here are my top wildlife watching / photography tips. Please let me know you thoughts.
So in no particular order……
It’s all so quiet , it’s all so still
A simple tip to start with , you might get lucky thrashing through the woods , but in general most wildlife will see and hear you before you see them . Find a spot and settle down. Keep movement and sound to a minimum.
Blend in , don’t stand out
You don’t have to get all camouflaged , just simply avoid bright colours and try to match what your wearing to the environment your in . I alway try to wear earth colours , green , Brown and dark colours.
Layers and Wellies
If your going to be outside , or sat in a hide keeping warm and dry will not only make you day more comfortable, but will also extend the amount of time you can spend out spotting wildlife. I alway wear wellies, there’s nothing worse than cold wet feet. If you wear layers it’s easy to remove a layer or add one depending on the weather.
Proper planning prevents poor performance?
Get to know you local locations , look for signs of animal movements and take account of the weather and time of day. Most animals tend to be more active during the morning and evening. Alway have your camera to hand and turned on will also help you to not miss out on the chance to get that shot.
Get to know your locals
If you want to photograph any wildlife , get to know them first. Most of the best wildlife photographers are firstly naturalists . The more time you spend getting to know your subject the greater chance of getting the perfect shot.
Don’t worry about technical ability.
A modern DSLR takes time and practice to master. Ok this may not be popular with many , but there’s no problem using auto mode. Just bear in mind that nowadays with a digital camera , you can play with the settings without any additional cost. A great place to start experimenting is to use the AV setting . When your comfortable turn off auto ISO and you’ll be then we’ll on the way to mastering full manual mode.
Practice makes perfect ?
One thing all wildlife photographers need , regardless of experience is just a little bit of luck. But it’s always amazing, the more you get out with your camera , the luckier you get.
Enjoy interacting with the wildlife and environment around you.