How to photograph anything: best camera settings for wildlife photography

How to photograph anything: best camera settings for wildlife photography

In the fifth part of our Shoot Like A Pro series on how to photograph any subject you want we take a closer look at the best camera settings for wildlife photography. Getting sharp photos takes time to master, but here we show you all the best camera settings you should use to shoot both captive and wild animals to get great wildlife photos every time.

How to photograph anything: best camera settings for wildlife photography

Best camera settings to photograph captive animals

When shooting in a zoo or wildlife park you can predict reasonably accurately when and where you will be able to shoot them. The greatest difficulty is shooting through fences or wire mesh.

The best way to avoid this is to shoot at the widest aperture available on your lens, while getting as close as possible to the obstruction.

Best camera settings to photograph captive animals

Even though they are limited by their enclosures, captive animals will still move around. So set the Autofocus mode to Continuous or Servo focusing so that it will still focus if the animal moves, and try to position the autofocus point over the eye of the animal.

How to set up your camera to photograph captive animals

How to set up your camera to photograph captive animals

ISO   Auto (upper limit 800)
To save time changing the ISO when moving around, set the ISO to auto and then limit the highest setting to 800 – if this feature is available on your camera.

How to set up your camera to photograph captive animals: aperture

Aperture   f/5.6 (or wider)
When shooting through glass or wire fences set the widest aperture. Get as close to the obstruction as you can.

Exposure mode   Aperture Priority (Av or A)

Shutter speed   Set by camera, but at least 1/500sec

Lens   300mm or longer

Focus mode   Servo or Continuous

Drive mode   Continuous shooting

White balance   Auto

PAGE 1: Best camera settings to photograph captive animals
PAGE 2: Best camera settings to photograph wild animals
PAGE 3: Best camera settings to photograph garden birds

READ MORE

Wildlife photography in any environment: free photography cheat sheet
Zoo photography: a fool-proof method for capturing animals through glass
Wildlife photography made easy: simple techniques for pro-quality pictures