Nature is the backdrop of our lives. As we stand on the top of the hill we understand how blessed we are to have such awe-inspiring beauty surrounding us. We lose ourselves in the beauty of it and find ourselves by the sense of calmness it provides. It is pure magic. From the stillness of the ocean water to birds chirping in harmony we experience the alchemy of nature. Nature compels us to capture the best of it.
Wildlife photography is all about that one click when the environment and animals are in perfect harmony. Here are some amazing animal portraits which can give you a good idea.From capturing the mighty lion to a powerless cocoon, it all comes down to one shot, the one that is perfect.
- Selecting the right lens
The key to a perfect picture is choosing the right lens. When you are out in the wild, you want to capture its beauty as well as an animal, for this purpose having a long lens proves to be useful. Not everything in the wild matches the range of your eye level. Many of them are above it, like the majestic birds, lazy sloths relaxing on the branch of the tree. This is the main reason why we need to be careful while choosing the correct lens. The ideal lens used for wildlife photography is telephoto lens, it has a focal length of 135-300mm.
- Stay back in the line
If you are in the wild with a group of people, always try to stand in the back, it will give you a clear view of the things that you want to photograph. Standing in the front is to risk having the subject underneath (incase of a water animal) or too low below your photography level (incase of a small animal). So it is advisable to stay back and be cautious of your surroundings. The farther you are, the greater are the chances of you getting a picture of your subject at a better angle.
TIP: Carry a waterproof backpack. We can never predict the weather conditions in the wild.
- Camera Settings
It is very important that you first understand the settings of a camera. The burst mode, the focal length, the ISO setting- all of these settings help in the creation of a perfect picture. The single most important tip you will ever need is how to use the burst shot. Burst shots are very useful especially when working with constantly moving animals. Burst shots gives us the flexibility of having more frames per second, in turn increasing the chances of getting that one magnificent shot. The focal length is important too, it goes without saying that greater the focal length, greater is the number of things that you can include in the frame. Try to keep the ISO as low as possible in the telephoto lens as it minimizes the digital distortion.
- Don’t overexpose
If you are shooting in an upward direction and your subject too is above, there are good chances of a shadow forming on them, if the exposure is not taken care of. We should be conscious of not using too much exposure to brighten the picture, because then there is a risk of the background been blown out of the picture, making the animal appear white.
- Flash Photography
Capturing photos while in dark is really very difficult, You need to carry a flashlight or a speed light. The most common mistake that every beginner makes is that he uses the flash directly from the camera, the result of such photos is that it either has a red-eye or the white light is reflected. Avoid making such mistakes. Make sure you have the subject facing the source light for better pictures.
Using tripod can always help you to get a sharp image. It is not recommended while working with moving animals, but can work wonders for a herd of deer grazing the grass.
Shooting in the wild can really be dangerous. It will require patience, commitment and lot of practice to master the art of wildlife photography.