How to Take Better Wildlife Photos

re just starting up with wildlife photography, composition can be a daily challenge. It gets even more difficult if you’re dealing with a moving, uncooperative subject. There’s not much to learn on how to deal with such a subject. However, experience will teach you how to be quicker and improve your chances to catch the right moment.

There are a few tips to help you improve your composition in wildlife photography. First of all, photograph the animals in places where they are used to having people around. They don’t necessarily have be closed spaces such as a zoo. You can try a picnic ground or camping in a national park, where animals may even come close to look for food. Then you can approach them slow enough not to scare them away. Secondly, prepare your exposure in advance so you won’t lose precious time when you’re near the animal. If you have constant light, you can position the camera in the right direction and set the shutter speed and aperture. Then all you have to do is focus on the composition.

However, the composition itself is a challenge and many don’t know where to start. Let’s start by breaking it into two types of photos: close-ups and non close-ups. If you have a close up, the subject fills most of the photo. Many people wonder whether to position it in the center or towards one side. You can place it in the center, just make sure you do leave some space around it or the composition will look cramped.

This option is particularly good if the animal is looking to the camera or just a little to one side. If the subject is facing left or right, consider positioning it to one side of the photo. You can use the direction of its look to decide on which side to place it. If it faces right, place it towards the left side and viceversa. However, don’t position it too close to one side or another: you don’t want half of your picture to be empty.

Things can get more complicated with non close-up photos. In these cases, it is better to think of the composition as a landscape. You can use the Rule-of-Third, which is a tried-and-true technique, to decide where you position the subject (google it in case you haven’t heard about it). For landscape photos, the composition can look quite unbalanced if you position the subject right in the middle. It is best to place it towards one side or the other. Now the direction of the subject’s eyes is even more important.

When we look at a photo, we tend to look in the same direction as the subject. So if your subject is facing right and you place it on the left side, people will look towards the center of the photo. Otherwise they will look outside the photo. It would be nice to have something interesting in the center of the picture or towards the opposite side from where you place the subject. It can be just about anything – a beach, a tree, a beautiful sky – as long as it has a strong visual impact. If you can’t find anything, you can zoom in so that you don’t leave to much empty space.

These small guidelines are aimed to give you some ideas in case you get stuck. However, you should use your own judgement and sense of balance to take the best out of any situation. As long as you can position the subject right, everything else will just fall into place.

By: Alex Don

About the Author:

Alex is a writer about photography techniques for http://reshade.com . Reshade works in the field of online picture processing programs and offers a free online photo resizer web-tool. It’s also possible to purchase a photo resizer application for Windows. Give it a try !

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