Top Tips for Photographing Wildlife

by Lesli Heron

  1. Be on guard: always be prepared you never know when you will come across an antelope leaping out of the brush with a lion hot on its heels. Have your camera switched on and ready.
  2. Getting technical: a telephoto lens will get you that amazing close up – get the lens in advance and practice using it. Don’t forget with a telephoto engine vibration can cause camera shake. If you are using a compact camera instead compose your shot with the animal off center. Move your camera an inch or so in one direction or the other to get rid of what you don’t really need.
  3. Make your own luck: practice and hone your photographic skills – experiment with moving your camera to blur the background for an effective shot. Try to create pictures combining animals, vehicles, environment etc. Shoot early in the morning or late afternoon light. Fortunately you are usually on safari then.
  4. Do try this at home: spend a little time snapping your local wildlife, getting to know their habits. This will improve your shots when you are on the road.
  5. Get low down. Some say you are not taking a great picture unless you are lying down! But don’t try this on the African savannah! If you can get down to eye level you become part of your environment instead of an outside observer.
  6. Wait for the moment: capture that decisive moment by being patient and ready.
  7. Shoot wide or tight: sometimes a very small subject in the frame is very effective.