8 Tips to improve your wildlife photography

There are a lot of easy things you can do to improve your wildlife photography. I have taken 8 of these that I have gained over 15 years of capturing and teaching wildlife photography.

Lets start and help you improve your wildlife photography.

1.) Composition 

In my opinion, this is the most important aspect above anything else if you want to improve your wildlife photography. The composition and its elements give you foundation of the image. From here you can start the conversation, create mood and start the story telling. One does not have to re-design the wheel with composition, get the basics right and the creativity will find itself. Sometimes the simple is the most effective.

improve your wildlife photography

2.) Perspective

This aspect of how to improve your wildlife photography is as important as composition. The cliché of getting down low is not the only important part of perspective anymore. We look at types of imagery and subject matter to help create impact. You need to also look at higher angles and even aerial photographic options to convey the message or theme of your story telling images. When you are creating your images, think, look and change perspective or even the most mundane subjects.

improve your wildlife photography

3.) Backgrounds

One gets very focused on a scene or moment of action that we often forget to think and look at the frame as a whole and not just the action. Always take a moment to look through the scene and make sure that there are no distractions that could be avoided by moving a slight distance forward, back, left and right. This will make the difference between a record shot and a portfolio grade image if the sighting is that good.

4.) Depth of view

The name may a little deceiving for some on how to improve your wildlife photography. It’s a technique I find invaluable when working a scene/ sighting. In most instances photographer will try and zoom in as far as they can with their lens. I try and instill the three-step zoom process. First take the shot you feel is the most desirable. If it is that zoomed in shot, take a moment and slowly zoom out half way, capture that image and then finally zoom out as far as you can. If you have a fixed lens, you will have to make more effort to change your position but it can be done.

improve your wildlife photography

5.) Practice

Often photographers tell me they have no opportunities around where they live to practice. One needs to think outside the box a little and here are a few examples of how you can practice. Take a stroll down near a road where you live and exercise panning and slow shutter speed on passing cars. You can visit a dog park or bird wetland to look at working your tracking ability. Do this is you can a week before you go into the bush and it will help you get those bush movements going quicker than others who don’t practice.

improve your wildlife photography

6.) Research

This is very important when you visit a destination for the first time. One should never just rely on your guide or host during the trip. With social media there are many places you can see what is happening in and around the destination. Yes animals move but one can find out about any young or dens around etc. Looking at the subject matter, this will give you an insight into the specific type of behavior you could expect and increase your chances of capturing that really special image. I recommend “Ranger in your backpack” for anyone wanting to visit Africa for the first or second time to learn more about African animal behaviour.

7.) Respect

It has become commonplace in the Wildlife photographic community of late to take extreme chances and even break park rules in search of that perfect shot. Most times this is done to the detriment of the animal or area. Examples like going off-road where it is not allowed, guides flicking stones at predators or shouting to get them to move. The worst is when someone just looses common sense for the sake of a photograph. Please respect all wildlife and nature.

8.) Be Inspired but please be original

There is so much visual information out there on the worldwide web, books and even films. It is important to be able to be inspired by a favorite artist or photographer BUT do not flatly copy there work. I understand that there are images that one cannot recreate or copy but it will still take you technique and understating to get those images. Use the inspiration to look for ways to share your own story and passion.

improve your wildlife photography

I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog and that it makes a difference in your wildlife photography where ever you are.

Consider ordering my book by clicking on link:

“the african wildlife photographer in your bag”

Wildlife books by Andrew Aveley

Creating photography With Imagination

Andrew Aveley