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10 Essential Tips & Tricks for Wildlife Photography


Keywords: wildlife, photography, photographic, disciplines, guides, tips

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As Nikonians Moderator of the Wildlife Forum, Philippe Clément, "Photophil", has contributed -over a long time- most interesting, valuable and entertaining content; plenty of excellent advice. With his help we begin here the Wildlife Series of Tips & Tricks. Below, his contribution to attendees to the 3th Annual Nikonians Photo Adventure Trip.


Mamma Bear

Mamma Bear - 3rd ANPAT - By Tom Trujillo (tjtrujillo)


1. Most animals have a "fear circle" around them. If you enter that circle, they are inclined to take flight (or fight). Unfortunately, you need to be within that fear circle in order to take frame-filling photos. So, take plenty of time, avoid eye-contact and don't approach the animal directly, Act as not being interested in them. Once you get close enough, talk to them in a calm voice. Always wait till you get "connection" with the animal, rather than shouting, as soon as it is in focus. If you want it to look into the camera lens or sit perfectly still for a moment, make a funny noise to attract its attention.

2. Take great care about your backgrounds. Move around! Especially when working with big lenses, only stepping aside a few feet can provide you a totally different and perhaps more pleasing background.

Standing bear

3. For those with shorter focal length lenses: making strong pictures of animals in their environment is often more challenging than shooting a frame-filler. If your subject looks small in the frame, make sure it fits in a composition of interesting shapes.

4. Take great care when you approach black bears. Personally, I am more scared of the relatively smaller black bears than of the big grizzlies. They look cute, but can be very aggressive, especially when defending their young. Keep your backpack on at all times to protect your back in case of an attack. Not that I want to scare you guys but you never know. Don't drop and play dead when a black bear attacks, but fight back.

Annoyed Grizzly

5. Slide film and per frame cost of CF cards is cheap. When you expect great action and you notice you're left with only a couple of frames, don't be stingy, change film or card while you can. Nothing worse than having to change film or card in the midst of heavy action. Or carry two bodies. Get into the habit of reloading film as soon as a roll is exposed, or change CF cards before they are full.

Pack of wolves

(5 Votes )
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Originally written on March 11, 2011

Last updated on March 27, 2015

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1 comment

Donn Griffith (DrDonn) on August 19, 2013

Where do choose to photograph wildlife? I like Yellowstone Park, USA.

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