On this video wildlife and nature photographer Steve Perry (from backcountrygallery) looks at 10 simple tips he uses himself to get better nature photos.
So here are the 10 tips – they might be simple – some might be almost obvious but if you make sure you follow them – you will get better wildlife/nature photos for sure:
- Get out early (or late) – sunrise and sunset are the time for best light – use them!
- Drop to eye level – if you are shooting an animal on the ground – go low.
- Watch your backgrounds – Try and make the background as important as the animal that you are shooting.
- Never follow an animal – always try to be ahead and anticipate its moves.
- To get closer, look distracted – don’t march right towards an animal, move in a zig-zag pattern and look at the ground (while still keeping the animal in your sight from time to time).
- Outsmart the wind – if you have a lot of wind – turn on IS and remove the hood which adds vibration (also – always work with the tripod with the center column lowered to the minimum).
- Shoot a longer sequence in slow shutter speeds – this sounds strange but if your are shooting at slow shutter speeds – any vibration might be noticeable – shooting a long sequence even of a stationary animal can make sure you get one right.
- Make your buffer last longer – use shirt bursts, faster memory cards if possible, go down to 12bit instead of 14 bit RAW files (usually you won’t see the difference) finally – if all else fails and you still need more- just shoot JPEG (as a last resort).
- Use AF point for composition – don’t focus and recompose (as much as possible) as animals move and you can loose focus.
- Use the center AF point for thought situations – the center AF point is usually the most sensitive – if you can’t seem to get an AF right with any other point – stick to the center one.