Tips on Being a Wildlife Photographer
Well, my Alaska trip report is (finally) done, so I’d like to make a post about my actual photography learning experience. So, here are ten tips for wildlife photography, all of which I had to consider while in Alaska. Warning: it starts to unravel at the end.
1. Know their schedule.
Animals like to come out during dawn and dusk.
2. Use the “1 over” rule.
I may have made up the name, but I didn’t make up the rule. If you’re shooting at 200mm, your shutter speed should be at least 1/200, even faster if you’re unsteady like me. Even faster if you have a cropped sensor camera. Even faster if you’re on a rocky boat.
3. Use spot focus on their eyes.
Don’t use matrix focus. You don’t want to see the focus on the shrub in front of them…. unless you’re going for artistic.
4. Know your camera.
Shooting with someone else’s camera can lead to disaster if you don’t know what you’re shooting with, like shooting at f/20 instead of f/4.
5. Watch your settings.
It’s morning, and no longer night time, so change your settings back to daylight, since you don’t want to be fumbling with it when an animal pops up and then pops away. And be sure to set it back if you do something drastic. Especially if you borrow someone else’s camera. Sorry Drel.
6. Always bring your camera.
And your super zoom while you’re at it. You never know when you might see random animals in the water. Like a porpoise.
7. Go to where the animals are.
Or, in our case, stay on land to see water animals, and head out on water to see land animals.
8. Have no fear.
Or be crazy and walk up to a huge male moose as the he stands by a cow and calf. That should bode well.
9. Don’t get distracted.
Just because a train is coming does not mean you should take a picture of the train instead of keeping your focus on the elusive bald eagle.
10. Bring Alenka along.
She’ll spot any animal. If you want to spot crazy people, bring Andreal along.