10 common wildlife photography mistakes we’re all guilty of (and how to fix them)

How to set up a hide for wildlife photography: step 6

Wildlife Photography Mistakes: 05 Subject looking the wrong way

Best camera settings for bird photography

Although it’s exciting to get a shot of an animal you’ve never seen before, it’s not enough just to get a record shot, you want to be able to see its most interesting features, and usually its face.

Wait until the animal is looking towards the camera, or at least its face is visible, before you focus and take the shot.

Just as you would with a portrait, have the animal looking into space in the image rather than straight at the edge of the picture.

This is especially important if the animal is moving as you want to give the impression of it having space to move into rather than that it’s about to step out of the shot.

READ MORE

Famous Photographers: 100 things we wish we knew starting out
Expose to the right: the camera technique every landscape photographer must know
44 essential digital camera tips and tricks
7 cheap photo accessories you really need to own

 

Wildlife Photography Mistakes: 06 Feeder in view

How to set up a feeding station

Although it’s perfectly acceptable to use food or nest boxes to attract animals into an area where they can be photographed, you don’t usually want the signs of human activity or intervention to be visible.

A few shots of the bird on a feeder may be nice, but as you get more adept at wildlife photography look for ways to conceal the fact that you’re feeding them.

You may be able to hide the food in the cracks of the rough bark of a log, for example, or you could push peanuts into the ground so they are not visible from your shooting position, but the squirrels and birds can still get at them.

Similarly, if you are shooting in a zoo you may want to avoid signs that the animal is in captivity.

This can be tricky, but if you shoot with a long lens and wide aperture you can blur the background, concealing the fact that it’s man-made.

In some cases it’s even possible to blur out the cage in the foreground.

READ MORE

Best camera focus techniques: 10 surefire ways to get sharp photos
Getting sharp images: every photo technique you need to know starting out
How to focus your camera for any subject or scene: free photography cheat sheet
Manual Focus: what you need to know to get sharp images