Wildlife Photography Tips #1: The Pros and Cons of Using Long Lenses
When using long lenses, you won’t need to get too close to your wildlife subject. This simply means that it’s okay to stay a comfortable distance from your subject and still get the shot you want. This works very well with timid and skittish wildlife subjects.
Another thing to keep in mind is that long focal lengths tend to reduce depth of field. This causes the subject to be isolated from the distracting background as the background becomes blurred.
Long lenses can also compress space. This makes the elements within the frame appear closer together than they really are.
The narrow angle of view, coupled with the limited depth of field, makes it more difficult for photographers to achieve a “sense of place” as long lenses tend to clip and blur most background elements.
Wildlife Photography Tips #2: Keep your lens steady for sharp results
HAS) shoot from a vehicle
When shooting wildlife from a vehicle, I’ve found the food-sized bean bag to be the best support for keeping my camera lens steady.
b) shooting from a hiding place
However, when I am shooting wildlife from a blind, a tripod is best suited as it is sturdy enough to hold my camera and lens. Photos always turn out sharp when I use a tripod to shoot images.
VS) shooting in the field
When shooting in the field, I use a tripod whenever necessary. Sometimes when I can’t use the tripod, I’ll use a monopod instead. Otherwise I’ll just hold the camera.
When you have to hold the camera by hand, you need to lower the center of gravity to take the photo and keep the lens stable. Press the shutter at the bottom of your breathing cycle. Another important thing to keep in mind when holding your camera to photograph wildlife is to turn on the Vibration Reduction (VR) feature.
Wildlife Photography Tips #3 – Get the best out of your telephoto lenses!
When it comes to telephoto lenses, they seem to be optically sharper when set to mid-range apertures. For example, f/8 and f/11 are mid-range apertures.
So keep these mid-range aperture settings where possible and avoid using the widest and smallest apertures.
If you’re not using a monopod or holding your camera in your hand, you can reduce vibration when using a remote control to release the shutter. Using the mirror lockup feature also helps minimize vibration.
Using the bean bag or tripod is better to keep the lens stable. Any movement is further reduced.
Wildlife Photography Tips #4 – Teleconverters as Essential Lens Gears
If you’re on a budget and can’t afford a new lens, you can opt to purchase a teleconverter and use it with your existing lens.
Keep in mind that while the combination of a teleconverter and your existing camera lens can help double your focal length, it will reduce the amount of light that can reach your sensor.
The amount of light reaching your sensor can be reduced by up to two stops with a 2x teleconverter. This means using a wider aperture setting, a slower shutter speed, and a higher ISO. Therefore, it is very important that you keep your camera stable.