How Can You Get Started as a Wildlife Photographer?

Posted by Kim Neon on

  • What’s the Best Equipment for Wildlife Photography?
  • The Most Amazing Places for Wildlife Photography
  • How to Plan a Wildlife Photography Trip
  • Tips and Techniques to Get the Perfect Shot

Few professions offer the freedom and artistry that wildlife photographers enjoy but being a professional photographer is a rarefied and exclusive club that is hard to break into.

That is why most people who enjoy photographing animals do so for their own pleasure or, when they capture a money shot, to enter photography competitions.

In fact, photo competitions and selling wildlife photos at local fairs and events are two of the best ways of getting your name out there and having your work as an outdoor photographer recognised.

Of course, to have any work to show, you must first have photography gear and know how to use it – an excellent reason to attend photography workshops.

And then, you must go to where the animals are.

That’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of opportunities to take wildlife photos in your own backyard or anywhere in the UK – our cities are rife with urban wildlife such as squirrels, raccoons and even feral cats.

Birds in flight make for nice pictures, too but you have to admit that the major photography awards are seldom given to photographs of a ground squirrel munching on an acorn.

So, if you’re aiming for the title of Wildlife Photographer of the Year or have your work feature in prestigious publications such as National Geographic, you will likely have to travel abroad to earn it.

For that reason, your Superprof has put together this beginner’s guide to wildlife photography.

That doesn’t mean that, if you are already a grand prize winner in wildlife photography, this article is not for you; in fact, we’d welcome your input!

In light of that, we hesitate to present favourite brands and model numbers ‘ the best camera ‘ or ‘ the best point and shoot ‘. Still, there are a few names with such cachet that they could very well be on everyone’s ‘top’ list.

As far as DSLR cameras are concerned, the Canon EOS ranks in close competition with Pentax, Olympus and Panasonic (or Leica, if you are a purist).

The EOS M model , which features no mirrors and permits lens changes, debuted in 2012.

Although the higher-end Canon models can be quite pricey, if you are looking for an inexpensive entry-level camera to get started, this line of Canons may well fit the bill.

While you’re still shooting with the standard snub-nosed lens, you may not need a tripod but, once you start photographing larger animals with a telephoto lens, you will certainly want such a support.

Ideally, your tripod should be lightweight because you will carry it over long distances. It should also be rugged enough to stand up to everything the great outdoors can throw at it and stand for another session.

Mactrem is a good name to shop for and, if you want the lightest of the light but Bonfoto, with its carbon fibre construction, is also worth a look.

Don’t forget to install a gimbal stabiliser !

If you are uncertain about your chances of making it as a wildlife photographer or unwilling to invest too much at the outset, you may wait on the tripod and get a bean bag instead.

This most versatile camera stabiliser will prove useful whether you photograph close to the ground or up in a tree.

What type of lens would you use for macro photography? How many different lenses should you have and what is a teleconverter ?


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