Tips to capture unique wildlife and nature shots

Swan 1

I’m no photography expert but I have been practicing almost daily for over 10 years now. I didn’t study photography through school or college and actually, I didn’t do any ‘creative’ based classes. However, I’m pleased to now say that photography plays a significant part in my career.

I’m always trying to learn and improve upon my skills. I do this through a little research online or in books and then by simply picking up my camera and getting outside. I take a lot of photos and over the years I’ve learnt what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to getting the shot.

Kitty - Cat

I particularly enjoy photographing animals and being out in nature. So when The Case Farm got in contact and asked if I’d like to share some of my tips I thought it would be a fun idea. If you haven’t heard of The Case Farm before they create durable covers and protective cases for laptops and photographic equipment. I really must get ’round to picking up one of their nifty little memory card cases soon.

I’m now going to share some of my tips for shooting wildlife and nature shots. These are tips I’ve picked up over the years and learnt through trial and error (one of the best ways to learn).

Southwold

Before we start, I think it’s always important to make use of the tools you have. I say this all the time but I know just how easy it is to lust after a new camera or lens. This will ultimately put mental barriers up and prevent you from getting outside and creating. Get started with whatever you have to hand and do it as often as you can. New and exciting equipment will come with time.

Patience: With almost anything you do you need to have patience, especially when it comes to wildlife photography. It’s not easy but it’s something you have to keep working at over the years. Animals are unpredictable and you need to be ready and waiting to hit your shutter button just at the right moment. It’s also important to remember not to get upset if you don’t get the shot you were hoping for. Prepare your kit and go back to the same spot the following day.

Lighting: I only ever use natural lighting when working with wildlife and nature. So, set your alarm and be up and out before sunrise (I love shooting landscapes on a misty morning) or alternatively hit the golden hour in the afternoon. I also really enjoy being outside around twilight. There are more blue and purple tones and they can create some really unique photographs.

I’ve recently been trying to get out early and take a photo of the same subject at different times throughout the day. I’ve not quite completed the project but I’ll be sure to share it with you when I have. It’s very interesting to do and it makes you realise just how important lighting and timing is. Saying that, the perfect lighting will always depend on the shot you’re hoping for and of course, your subject.

Keep the background simple: As you can imagine, this is not easy and of course, you won’t always have the chance to do it. However, if you have a specific shot in mind then get comfortable (remember to be patient) in a place where there aren’t too many background distractions. This will help to make the main subject of your shot stand out.

Symmetry: This is more of a personal preference but I love symmetry and reflection. If you’re by a lake, pond or if it’s simply been raining then you’re in for a treat. Think about how you can capture your subject in a reflection and get creative.

Burst mode: If possible, shoot in burst mode aka continuous shooting. This is pretty handy when you’re photographing a moving subject. It will allow you to shoot multiple frames per second and hopefully enable you to capture your subject swiftly.

Bonus tip – If possible, carry an extra battery and memory card. Always. Oh, and don’t forget to charge them at the end of each day. You want your kit to be ready to go whenever you need it.

I hope you find a few of these tips useful and please feel free to share your own in the comment section below.

Thanks to The Case Farm for collaborating on this post.

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