Now that spring has sprung and the sweltering summer heat has topped up our tan lines, there's no better time to get out there with your camera and capture some of the wonderful wildlife that's out there.
However, there's much more to it than just popping to the nearest river with your camera set on auto! To get the best animal shots you need to do some proper prep and a bit of thinking – that's everything from knowing when golden hour is, to picking the right tripod, to knowing how to use your camera and lenses to realise the shots you've got in your head.
The good news is that all of this information is already out there in the best photography publications, from brand-specific titles like PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine and N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine, through to the world's favourite photography mag, Digital Camera.
And the best news is that you can access them all via Readly – the 'Netflix of magazines' that offers over 4,000 titles all viewable on your smartphone, tablet or desktop computer.
Right now you can take advantage of Readly's spectacular summer offer of 2 months for just 99p (opens in new tab), which also gives you the chance to win an iPad, so there's never been a better time to sign up!
Here are some of the top animal photography tips, insights and interviews you'll find in the best photography magazines in the world, and on the Readly app…
Creatures in Close-up PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine #151
'The Apprentice' is a long-running tradition in the world's favorite Canon magazine (as well as its Nikon-oriented sister mag, N-Photo), where an amateur shooter gets to join a professional photographer on a live photoshoot, to see what it's like in a true shooting environment.
This 12-page feature is virtually the same as doing a one-to-one workshop on shooting small animals like harvest mice, Brazilian white-kneed tarantula and South American horned frogs!
Join the Apprentice in learning the optimum settings to use, recommendations on the best gear for the job, tips and tricks to get the most out of your camera, how to light the scene, and of course how to work with and 'pose' your subjects in a safe, enjoyable environment.
Deep and Meaningful Professional Photography #24
The self-described "experiential photographer" Shawn Heinrichs uses photography and video to elicit an emotional response from viewers. And the Emmy Award-winning cinematographer and underwater photographer uses his skills to campaign for the protection of our oceans and their inhabitants.
"Art is my passion, but conservation is my purpose," he explains. "The two are inseparable. I both use imagery and storytelling to make an impact and help save these last great species and places."
In this fantastic interview, Heinrichs recounts stories of his underwater adventures and the campaigns he's part of, and shares his experiences on the technical challenges of shooting underwater in his work.
Perfect your Pet Portraits Digital Photographer #210
This fantastic feature focuses on the techniques and technicalities of capturing creative, candid and sometimes just plain crazy images of our canine and feline friends!
From taming, treating and rewarding your pets for posing, through to tips for shooting both outdoors and in a studio setting, as well as introducing props and lighting – and of course, the all-important post-production after the fact.
Gear guides, top tips and editing education – if you want to take your awkward snaps to pro-standard portraits worth hanging on the wall, this is the best place to start!
Master Seabirds with Tesni Ward Digital Camera #216
One of the most popular features in Digital Camera magazine is 'One to One', where we head out with a professional photographer for a masterclass on their specialist area of shooting.
This issue focuses on wildlife photographer Tesni Ward – who is also the Wildlife Ambassador for Olympus UK, so she really knows her stuff! She leads us on a shoot at the RSPB's Bempton Cliffs Nature Reserve and shows us how to capture seabirds like gannets and puffin.
This is as close as it gets to tagging along with a professional photographer without getting a job as their assistant, as Tesni talks us through everything from the right gear for the job to the right time of day and the right way to compose and get creative. Definitely one not to miss!
Welcome to the Jungle N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine #96
Photographing game on the sunny plains of Africa is all well and good, but it's an experience that's sadly out of reach for most people. That doesn't mean you can't get great images of lions, tigers and other big cats, though.
This great photo project in N-Photo magazine shows you how to shoot images that look like they were taken on the savannah in your local wildlife park!
Learn the settings and techniques required to get that authentic-looking 'wildness', discover how best to shooting through fences and around physical barriers, find out the best angles and perspectives to work from, and pick up vital tips on how to use tools like exposure compensation so you can concentrate on getting the shots!
There are plenty more features, projects, interviews and tutorials on every aspect of photographing animals – as well as every other photographic subject – contained in the rest of the range of photography publications.
Sign up for the special summer offer of 2 months for just 99p (opens in new tab), and be in with the chance to win an iPad to read all your magazines on.
Head over to Readly now to see just how much camera-related content is on offer. It's one of the best photographic resources that money can buy!