Capturing Wildlife: 4 Tips for Amateur Photographers

Posted on Apr 1 2017 - 3:35pm by Jamie

While some people find their pleasure taking shots of landscapes and monuments, there are those who are much more interested in wildlife. Apart from witnessing some of the most interesting moments that occur in nature, this particular trend also has a significance from a historical perspective. Grim reality in which we live means that it is uncertain which of these amazing species will still be on our planet in the centuries to come and your video might be one of their rare legacies.

Unfortunately, the savage nature of man has made animals cautious and timid in their presence. Because of that, in order to see these beautiful creatures at their most natural, you must find a way to remain hidden from their eye and senses (not an easy thing to do). With this in mind, here are four tips that may help amateur photographers capture wildlife and to do so with the greatest efficiency.

1. Plain Background

Keep in mind that while capturing wildlife, your focus should be on the wildlife. The best way to do so is to select a single subject of your photograph and use them as a focal point of your shot. Although this may be a bit more difficult to achieve, you need to have as plain looking background as possible. In this way, you minimize the number of distracting elements which puts even more emphasis on your point of interest. One of the ways to achieve this with little to no trouble is to simply blur the background.

2. Take Photos at Night

In the introduction, we talked about approaching animals when they least expect it and this often means under the veil of darkness. However, for technical reasons, you will have to get an equipment that can deal with this sort of situation. We are of course talking about quality night vision camera. Things to look out for here are thermal imaging, near infrared or image intensification. You would also have to find the right spot to plant it, which may be more difficult than it looks. You see, with the regular photography, your position would mostly be determined by light, which is a factor you will now be expected to rule out.

3. Get Up Close

Of all photography tips, this is by far the most difficult (not to mention the most dangerous) one. In order to get a truly unique image, you will have to get close to your subject. This will sometimes even allow you to choose a single detail on their body (eye for example) to focus on. With timid animals, this means potentially scaring them off, and with predators it even means putting your life in danger. Be as it may, no one ever said that this profession is a hazard-free one. Still, the thrill alone is what makes some people fall in love with this art.

4. Always Be Ready

Photographing wildlife is much different than photographing humans or natural occurrences. Here, you are not the director but a bystander. Animals play by their own rules and they couldn’t care less about a guy standing in a bush with a camera. Every single one of their reactions will be 100 percent spontaneous and it is up to you to try and capture this. Things like lion’s yawn or a full muscle flex of a cheetah are occurrences that happen in a split of a second, which means that only those with lightning-fast reflexes will be able to capture them.


Photography is an art, which means that it all depends on a fortuitous moment of inspiration at the right time. Probably the most important thing you need to learn about capturing wildlife is that things will not always go as planned. Therefore, the greatest virtue that a wildlife photographer (or any photographer) should have is patience.

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