WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY For BEGINNERS – Tips & Tricks


heading off on another Safari and today
I want to share some wildlife photography tips so let’s talk about wildlife photography
I really want to share some wildlife photography tips with you today and I
should start by saying that I am NOT a professional wildlife photographer at
the start of this year I was a complete beginner if you’ve been part of this
community for a while either on this channel or on Instagram then you might
remember back in April when I went to Eswatini if you don’t remember that
because you’re new to the channel then I will put a link up here so you can go
see those videos and make sure you hit the subscribe button just below this
video if you want to see more travel more photography more wildlife more cool
stuff like that when I went to Eswatini that was the first time I ever went on
Safari that was my first ever Safari and my first real shot at doing wildlife
photography and I even bought this Sigma lens for my Canon 5D iii for that trip I had no
idea that I would actually be using this lens so much the rest of this year
because I’ve now been on Safari about 40 or 50 more times since I arrived in
Africa in October so yeah I was a complete beginner at the start of this
year but I’ve also had a lot of opportunity to practice my wildlife
photography here in Africa and I feel like I’ve learned a lot so I want to
share those tips with you today and if you’re just getting started or even if
you’ve done a fair bit of wildlife photography yourself I hope they’re
gonna help you take better photos whether you’re on Safari
or whether you’re just taking photos of the creatures in your back garden my first tip for wildlife photography is
similar to lots of photography and that is to get up early except in wildlife
photography you want to get up as early as you possibly can when you’re staying
in national parks like these ones in southern Africa then you’re going to be
restricted by the gate times the gates usually open about thirty minutes before
sunrise so if you can get out there on the top you’re gonna have a much better
chance of seeing some cool animal action you’re gonna have a much better chance
of seeing animals close to the road to seeing them getting up to all sorts of
mischief and that’s because most animals are nocturnal animals are most active
during the night but unfortunately it’s always kind of hard to see them at night
whether it’s because you have to be back in the gate at that time or whether it’s
just because you need so much gear to do night photography it makes it kind
of hard so normally you can go out on game drives in the morning or in the
evening but I’ve found the morning tends to be best just because the animals are
still active from the night before if it’s a hot day they might not get active
till long after sunset so get up early get out in the morning it’ll be worth it
we were getting up at 4 a.m. every single day in Kruger and honestly it
wasn’t even a struggle wildlife photography is just so much fun and so
rewarding when you’re out at that time and you actually get to see stuff that
it is totally worth it tip number two is get ready to delete a
lot of your photos you want a big SD card that can take a lot of photos when
you go out and do wildlife photography because a lot of the time you’re just
sort of burst shooting hoping that you get a shot and the reality is you’re
gonna take more photos than you normally would but you’re probably also gonna
delete about 98% of them and it’s a long painful process which is actually why
after Namibia i sat down with Brendan and we went through each other’s photos
you can see that video here if you want to see what came out of that and yeah I
just find that such a painful part of the process I now kind of try and focus
more on specific shots but if you only have a short time and you’re not able to
photograph animals as much you might want to just make the most of it
take loads of photos and then you’re going to delete most of them
unfortunately tip number three and I think this has
been the most useful thing for me in learning about wildlife photography and
it has nothing to do with photography that is to learn some animal behavior
most animals most wild animals are very predictable they have a set of behaviors
and they respond to certain situations in different ways and they have say
maybe five to ten behaviors that they display constantly and if you can learn
those behaviors so you can predict what they’re going to do you can be prepared
for that shot and you can get the photos if you know the elephants flap their
ears when they’re hot then you can go out when it’s hot in the middle of the
day and you can wait you can get a shot of the elephant with this massive ears
out like this if you know that leopards drag their kill ah pertree you might be
able to get a shot of a leopard dragging an Impala up a tree and even if you miss
that shot like I did you may be able to get a shot of the leopard coming back
down the tree which I did and that was probably my favorite photo from this
whole trip learn some animal behavior and it’s going to be so much easier to
get cool photos animals always look better when they’re doing something when
they are in action and they are the hardest photos to get so if you have an
idea of what an animal is about to do you’ve got a much better chance leading on from that and on a similar
note my next tip is to be safe and respect the animals yes it’s great to
take photos of animals it’s great to photograph wildlife but you have to
remember that these are wild animals and you are in their territory and you just
don’t want to disturb them or do anything that’s going to make them
uncomfortable because what’s the point of being able to share nature if you’re
also sort of damaging it and disrupting it so first of all make sure you know
some animal behavior so that you can stay safe especially with animals like
elephants and hippos that can be pretty dangerous if you don’t know the signs
that they give off and second of all make sure you’re not harming the animals
or scaring the animals in any way I’ve seen people who want to get a photo
start clapping or making noises to get the animals to move that’s gonna scare
the animals you don’t want to scare the animals so yeah just be a good person
don’t be mean and yeah just be really respectful of nature and that also kind
of leads me on to the fact that you’re gonna need to be patient there’s kind of
two parts to wildlife photography especially on safari the first part is
finding the animal and that can take hours that could take days that could
take weeks if you’re looking for a rare animal that’s really hard to come by but
even if you find that animal there’s no guarantee that you’re gonna get a good
shot it might be in bad light it might be in the shade it might be doing
something really boring you just don’t know what the animal is going to be
doing there might not be any kind of cool
position or frame that you can get so you might need to wait with that animal
for a while and again knowing animal behavior can help with this but you have
to be patient a lot of times on safari if you come across something cool or an
animal that looks like it might get up a move or hunt then you can sit with it
for maybe an hour or two waiting for that moment and when you get that shot
it’s gonna be so so worth it but you do have to be patient and have the camera
ready and yeah don’t expect things to just happen and there to be action all
the time while locator if he takes a lot of patience and it’s a lot of potluck as
well and that also brings me on to my next point which is to have your camera
ready if you’re in your own vehicle you might want to have a bean bag on the
side so that you can leave your camera kind of resting there and not hurt your
arms whether you have that or not you want to make sure you know your camera
really well I shoot most of my wildlife photography on AV mode but I also shoot
a lot of the time on manual wildlife photography is the one time that I shoot
on manual mode just because I want to make sure everything’s right and
sometimes I’ve just found like especially when it’s hot the camera has
a hard time picking the right settings and I can do a better job myself so it’s
the one time I shoot on manual you don’t need to shoot a menu I also shoot
wildlife photography on AV mode a lot of the time but knowing your camera and
knowing how to quickly change between what you might need to change between
how to quickly do those basic things and do it under pressure without looking at
the camera is going to help you so much when you’re in the moment and there’s
action going on and you don’t want to miss that shot another camera tip for wildlife
photography a lot of beginner wildlife photographers will zoom in as far as
they can on the animals and a lot of the time you do need to zoom your lens as
much as you can this one only goes up to 400 so I do spend most of my time with
it zoomed right in but you want to make sure you don’t seem too much actually
what you don’t want to do is crop off an animal’s fur or part of their tail so
that you Colin is the image it’s always better to kind of zoom out just a little
bit especially if they’re moving around and you don’t know exactly where they’re
going to go and then you can just zoom in on the animal when you’re editing the
photo so wildlife photography is also the one time where I don’t worry about
being super zoomed in or having the perfect frame because it’s kind of out
of your control and that will say brings me on to the next point which is
composition is hard you’re gonna have to work with what you’ve got with wildlife
photography and that is one of the big challenges of wildlife photography
sometimes an animal is just in a beautiful frame and the composition is
incredible the lights amazing and you get that great shot without really
having to think about it and that’s bull assume most of the time however when you
come across an animal they’re gonna be kind of in an awkward position you might
not be able to see the whole animal and you’re gonna have to get creative so if
you’re driving if you’re on a self-drive Safari it’s a lot easier to move the car
to an angle or position you need try and think about different angles and what
you can do to make that a photo rather than just a quick snapshot of an animal
so you might want to use stuff in the foreground there might be some grass or
some bush that you can blow out just to create a frame around the animal it
might be that you even just zoom in on part of the animal I found this is
especially true for elephants they’re just so big and they’re just not
photogenic but if you can zoom in on just a crop of their face especially the
behaviors that I can look pretty cool so yeah you’re gonna have to work a bit
harder to get a good composition with wildlife photography but it also means
you can get kind of creative and that does bring me uncie my final tip which
is to try and get at the animals I set for and I appreciate that this is kind
of almost impossible sometimes this again it’s just pot luck but if you can
get the animal eye level it’s just gonna tell a much greater story is gonna have
more emotion to the photo one of the hottest animals to photograph is a
giraffe because they’re just all the way up here and they just always look the
same by if you get your off coming down to drink water or eat a tree and you get
an eye level it makes such a difference so try and gets the animals in of all I
appreciate that’s really hard if you’re in a safari vehicle if you’re in a car
if again it’s just kind of potluck waiting for the right moment and trying
to plan ahead as much as you can if you’re doing a different sort of
wildlife photography and you have a hide with something it’s probably gonna be
easier but yeah always try and get at the animals eye level or maybe even just
below and that is it for my wildlife photography tips I wanted to share some
sort of wildlife tips for everyone whether you’re a beginner whether you’re
a bit more advanced I think I’ve learned a lot this year I’ve learned a lot on
this trip as well and we still have plenty of Safari to come here on the
channel as always thank you for watching if you enjoyed this video don’t forget
to give it a little thumbs up leave a comment if you have any tips of your own
that you’d like to share or if you found any of these tips useful I’d love to
know what you thought of them I post new videos on this channel every Wednesday
and every Sunday there’s always travel photography and yeah behind the scenes
of my life of food home travel so if that sounds good and you’re not
subscribed already make sure you hit subscribe the next video will be up in a
few days time and I hope

28 Replies to “WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY For BEGINNERS – Tips & Tricks”

  1. I love wildlife photography. With the weather lately I've been focussing on nighttime reflective city & street photography but I'm planning to get back out into the Peak District soon & hopefully I'll get some new wildlife shots while there.
    Great video as always ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Got a wildlife photography tip to share? Drop it below!

    Hereโ€™s the gear I use for photography: bit.ly/aljgear

  3. Great tips, thanks! Just picked up a Sigma 60-600 to shoot my sons games but might try and to take it on a hike, even though itโ€™s a beast of a lens to carry. So when are you going shark diving?

  4. I've lately become a fan of manual shutter & aperture with auto ISO, especially when shooting birds in sketchy or changeable light. I know what shutter & AV thresholds I require based on my long lens and subject. I'll probably get a very high ISO, but that's better than too low an ISO giving me too slow a shutter or a AV out of my lens' range.

  5. Great tips Jodie! I also prefer to use aperture priority mode for wildlife. That way if the lighting changes you don't end up with something blown out etc. I usually just keep a finger on exposure compensation while I track the animal. Cheers!

  6. Animal Behavior glad to know all those years watching those BBC animal programs will come in handy and bring a big lens along good tips.
    So which animals make you the most nervous? I still remember getting nipped-bitten by an Ostrich at an animal park they are bigger than you think. would love to get a shot of a Leopard or Cheetah one day.

  7. Another good set of top tips. I must say I would love a go at this. But it feels a long way off in cost.

  8. Great tips Jodie. Hope you enjoyed the Kgalagadi, my favourite place ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad to see that you guys have removed the headrests while in the park – it really makes such a difference! Just a tip for birds in flight – 1/1250 shutter speed or thereabouts will normally catch and freeze the motion. Also, something I have found useful …if you have Custom settings on your camera, set one to a shallow depth of field and one to a fast shutter – that way it is easy to switch between the two. (and one with low light settings also helps for those middle of the night "OMG there's a lion at the waterhole" moments ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

  9. Hi, I love your vlogs. But why always reflecting sunglasses. Sometimes I only see the camera in your big sunglasses. I want to see your eyes so I have contact with you. With the reflecting sunglasses you can also stand behind the camera and show us beautiful pictures. Your not the only vlogger with reflecting glasses. For example Brendan too and Greg Snell. Please I' want to see your eyes.

  10. switching between slow and fast action is my work in progress settings wise tricky !!weird i started with underwater photography some huge differences but similarities too Africa looks epic

  11. Lost me as soon as you said delete photos to make space lol Large SD cards and external HDs are cheap enough that this should never be an issue

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