In our latest Professional Photographer to the Rescue post, our professional photographer shows our apprentice some simple animal photography tips that are relevant for any type of species you want to shoot, whether in the wild or in your local safari park.
Meet our professional photographer
Professional photographer Ben Hall is from Stockport. He’s been taking photos of predominantly British wildlife for ten years, supplying his shots to the RSPB, photographic publications and as stock to Getty Images. He also runs monthly wildlife photography workshops. Check out www.benhallphotography.com.
Meet our apprentice
Dave Chapman is a supermarket trading manager from Worthing. He’s been using a DSLR for over four years and enjoys shooting motorsports and landscapes, but his passion is wildlife photography. He asked for our help to improve his animal shots.
Before heading off, Ben suggested ways Dave could increase his success rate…
Try switching to Av…
Ben advised Dave to take control of his shooting mode to improve his results. “Dave was relying on his camera’s P auto shooting mode, so I encouraged him to shoot in Av (Aperture Priority) instead,” says Ben.
“By shooting in Av he can set wide apertures to blur distracting backgrounds and make the animals really stand out in his shots. His camera can then take care of the shutter speed, which will change dramatically today because the sun keeps going in and out.”
Increase your ISO…
“When photographing wildlife it’s more important to have fast enough shutter speeds and freeze an animal’s movement than to keep the ISO (light sensitivity) down for fear of noisy images,” advises Ben.
“Don’t be afraid to put your ISO up to around 400 or 800 to get faster shutter speeds for sharper, more dramatic wildlife shots. It barely matters because, even at that high level of ISO, you’ll still have minimal graininess thanks to Canon’s brilliant digital sensor technology.”
PAGE 1: Meet our professional photographer and apprentice
PAGE 2: Animal photography tips for during the shoot
PAGE 3: Final tips from our professional photographer
PAGE 4: Our professional photographer’s recommended gear
PAGE 5: Shot of the Day