Animal photography is probably a major reason why many people buy dSLR cameras.
With the advantages of getting longer lenses and being able to control shutter speeds, it’s no wonder that SLRs are the choice of animal enthusiasts.
Before you enthusiastically take your camera and gear and hunker down for that elusive photo, keep in mind that your safety is paramount.
Animals are unpredictable and they don’t like loud noises or bright lights.
Always ensure that you are at a safe distance from your subject and that you have taken appropriate precautions.
With these in mind, here are some suggestions for tips that may come in when photographing animals.
- Telephoto Lenses
- Focus on the Eyes
Above all, do enjoy yourself and the process of creating some beautiful photos.
For animal photography, it is probably best to use long, telephoto lenses. A lens in the range of 300mm is great for this kind of photography.
The reason is that with this long range, you can observe the animal subject at a great distance.
This way, you won’t startle or cause the animal to get concerned.
A telephoto lens also has an advantage in that, it will create a nice shallow depth-of-field and will cause your animal subject to “pop” in the resulting photo.
Will you be shooting animal photos indoors or outdoors? Will your subjects be domesticated animals like dogs, cats, birds or will they be wild animals?
These are some of the questions you have to answer before you make use of a flash unit for your animal photos.
Flashes will most definitely startle a wild animal so be prepared for that. Once used, it is likely that you will no longer have a subject!
When working indoors (such as in a studio situation or at home), you will probably make use of flashes to better light your animal subject.
Keep in mind that you don’t want to aim the flash directly at your pet.
Otherwise, you’ll cause a situation known as “pet-eye” which is similar to “red-eye” in human portraits.
The best way to minimize this to aim your flash somewhere else.
Focus on the Eyes
The eyes are the gateway to your viewer’s heart! And, as with people, in animal photography, the way to ensure a great capture, is to focus on the eyes.
The eyes are the most expressive part of animals and the more your focus is on the eyes of the animal, the more your photos will appeal to the viewer.
Sometimes, you will have to be patient for the “perfect” shot but when you get it, the satisfaction will be great.
Love your camera. Love yourself. Love your photos.