How To Photograph Wildlife

Here’s another great image from Marsha Hobert in Estes Park, Colorado. She just keeps rolling out the most fantastic shots!

So I asked her what hints she has for a shot like this, and here is what she said:

“How did I get this shot? I grabbed my camera and started shooting as fast as I could as it was on the run! Tip: Always have your camera ready to go and shoot in continuous mode.”

Ok. Great advice. A few other things to add to the above. If you have time, (and you should, because you are on the hunt for a great animal wildlife image), put your dial on shutter priority set to at least 250th of a second. That will stop the action and the camera’s computer will choose the aperture setting to balance the exposure.

Second thing. If you have time, take a reading off a tree nearby (assuming you are shooting a gray animal like this one), and use that reading for the exposure. That way the meter will not underexpose the animal in an attempt to shut down because of all the white snow.

To review, cameras are calibrated for 18% middle gray. Ok, its digital now, so the term is white balance, but the meter is still going for middle gray. So when the meter reads a lot of bright (white) in an image, it says, in effect, “yikes, I need to shut down a bit to balance the exposure.” When it shuts down, the animal gets even less exposure and comes out too dark.

So if you have time, always take a reading off the animal subject. It will really improve your exposure.

Good shooting!

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