"I had pressed the camera shutter at just the right time"

Wildlife Photography
(Image credit: Ujjwal Mukherjee)

This wildlife photo demonstrates how preparation, observation, and extensive knowledge of the subject are key when it comes to capturing the perfect moment

Titled Center of Attraction, photographer Ujjwal Mukherjee shot the scene with a Canon EOS 50D and a EF 300mm F/2.8L IS USM lens (at 1/4000sec, f/3.5, ISO400). 

1. The right moment

Ujjwal’s initial goal was to capture the extraordinary, but wildlife photographers can often wait for hours for that perfect moment. “Good wildlife shots are the ones that have some elements in them that stand out from the more familiar and common scenes,” Ujjwal says. “I was happy I had pressed the shutter at just the right time, otherwise this image would have lost its uniqueness.”

2. Crucial focus

The focal point is clearly in the centre of the shot, which is important for creating some kind of balance for the eye in this busy environment. Sharp and out-of-focus elements make the impala in the middle stand out, directing the viewer’s gaze towards it. To achieve this result, Ujjwal adjusted the camera settings. “I used a longer focal-length lens and a larger aperture and, hence, I could keep the background blurry and soft mostly by using the in-camera settings,” he explains.

3. Decisive composition 

 The standout element of the shot is the impala in the centre, even though there are many other subjects in the frame. “This image is an example of where a considered composition of breaking the ‘Rule of Thirds’ has produced a better image,” Ujjwal says. “The Impala making eye contact with the viewer while the rest of the herd is evenly distributed left and right breaks the pattern and gives the image strength.”

4. Defined crop

Without Ujjwal’s decision to tightly crop the original shot, the image as a whole would lose its effect. The repetitive shapes are essential and it is through these that a connection is made between the viewer and the eye contact from the impala. “It was important not to keep much empty background space behind the impalas,” he says. “That would have gone against my visual strategy and affected the overall balance of the composition.”

Wildlife Photography
Ujjwal Mukherjee

Indian-based photographer Ujjwal Mukherjee focuses on travel, landscape and wildlife subjects. As a photographer for the past 24 years, he has been fortunate enough to travel to many parts of the world, providing amazing photographic opportunities.

“My inspiration for creating photographs always comes from the observation of the wonders of nature”

Image

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Kim Bunermann
Technique Editor

Kim is the Technique Editor of Digital Photographer Magazine. She specializes in architecture, still life and product photography and has a Master's degree in Photography and Media with a distinction from the FH Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences in Germany. While studying, Kim came to the UK for an exchange term at the London College of Communication. She settled in the UK and began her career path by joining Future. Kim focuses on tutorials and creative techniques, and particularly enjoys interviewing inspiring photographers who concentrate on a range of fascinating subjects including women in photography, the climate crisis; the planet, its precious creatures and the environment.