Wildlife Photography

The name of the game in wildlife photography—whether you’re trying tocapture a herd of elephants on the Serengeti Plains or squirrels in your backyard—ispatience. Wild animals are going to do what they’re going to do. Unfortunately, youcan’t ask them to look this way, do something cute, or stand where the light is better.You have to be there, and ready, when they decide to look cute or do something interesting. Be prepared to wait, and wait, and wait—it takes a long time to get good wildlife shots, even longer to make great ones.

Telephoto lenses are a must for wildlife photography—how long depends on how close you can get and on the size of your subject. The downside is that image resolution is not quite as good and you lose some stops of light.

Character and Environment
Another thing to remember when photographing wildlife is the old “push/pull.” Animals have personalities, and you want to show that. But you don’t want to be working really tight with long lenses all the time. You need to show their environment too—habitat says a lot. Back off and use wide-angle lenses to give viewers a sense of where the animals live.