Here’s a question I’m often asked. “What kind of camera did you use to take that fantastic photograph?”
Quite frankly it’s the wrong question. Professional photographers know that beyond basic techniques, the skills needed for great images have little to do with the camera that is used but with the skill and vision of the photographer behind the lens.
Here are ten dynamite tips to improve your animal photography that don’t have a thing to do with the camera you use to make the photograph.
1. RELAX. Before you begin to make photographs, concentrate on slowing down. Take some deep relaxing breaths. Look thru the viewfinder and make that little window your whole world. Keep your mind focused on the present moment and only that moment.
2 READ. Read your manual and study it. The manual is your best source of information about your camera.
3. SET THE SHUTTER SPEED. Animals move, so you need to stop the action to produce crisp images. Set your shutter speed to 1/250 of a second or faster.
Always shoot at a shutter speed of 1/250 of a second, to freeze the action.
4. MOVE IN CLOSE. For pictures with impact, move in close and fill the viewfinder with your subject.
For pictures with impact, move in close.
5. FOCUS ON THE EYES. Always focus on the eyes. One of the best camera positions for small animals is to lie flat on the ground, weight on your elbows with your camera propped up to your eye.
Always focus on the eyes.
6. KEEP IT SIMPLE. Keep your pictures simple. Concentrate on one idea and one idea only. Do you want a photo of the flowers around your pet, or your pet? Decide. It is usually impossible to capture two ideas in one photo.
7. AVOID HARSH LIGHT. Shoot early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the harsh glare of noonday sun.
Shoot when the light is right.
8. ANTICIPATE ACTION. You know the cute things your pets do that you want to capture, so get set up, put your camera on auto focus, and watch. Now you are ready to push that button when the action starts.
Get down on the ground when you are photographing small animals.
9. USE PROPS. To capture dynamite expressions, use props. Try a battery-operated toy, a bright cloth flapping in the wind or a whistle. Be ready! Props only work until the animal gets used to them, so you have to work quickly and have other props in reserve.
10. KNOW YOUR FLASH RANGE. Memorize the flash-to-subject distance range for each ISO speed, and stay within the range.
Stay Tuned !