Wildlife Photography Tips

white lipped frog

PHOTOS: DANIELLE LANCASTER | white-lipped frog – try and get on their level and have their eye in focus

Smart Tips for Wildlife Photography

Capturing a magnificent image of an animal in the wild takes more than a click of the shutter button. Get your camera out and start taking photos of your eco travels and adventures now.

Here we explore our top ten tips to help you bring home remarkable images of our friends in the animal world.

Top 10 Wildlife Photography Tips:

1. Wildlife photography is much more than capturing a stunning image of an animal in its natural surroundings. You need to observe, know its patterns and habits, when it feeds and on what.

2. Big lenses are better. A longer focal length (above 300mm) has a few advantages. It allows you to stay further away from the animal and therefore not disturb it. Longer focal length lenses also compress the image and make it easier to blur your background. Image stabilisation is a great advantage on longer lenses.


3. Fill your frame. I call it cutting the crap, but before you click look around your image area and ask yourself, do you need everything I see? You will have a more dynamic image the larger the animal is in the frame.


4. Be familiar with your camera and be able to change controls without taking it away from your eye. This way you won’t miss an opportunity. Be prepared to turn autofocus off as it can create a disturbing noise depending on what you are photographing.

5. Get down on their level. Animals are always better photographed at eye level.

6. Focus on the eye. What you are taking is a portrait so always focus on the eyes of the subject. A rule of thumb is “get the eyes in focus and the rest will follow.” If the eyes are not in focus, it affects the impact of the whole image.

7. Disguise, camouflage and tread slowly and softly. Even your car can do but wind the windows down so you are not shooting through glass. If you need to move closer do it slowly and softly and take your time. All animals are wary and when it focuses on you avoid eye contact with it. If you don’t act in a threatening way the animal may let you closer.


8. Don’t feed wildlife to get your image! Animals in some areas have come to know man as a food source and therefore hang around campsites etc. It is a fact that these can make wonderful models but please never coax an animal closer using food. It is not only irresponsible but it could cause someone to get hurt including the animal.

9. Be patient! You are dealing with a wild animal in the wild, so there is no point getting frustrated when you can’t get the shot you want.

10. Never stress an animal. This can be particularly harmful especially if they have young. While baby animals are very cute, the parents may become incredibly stressed with your presence.


Danielle Lancaster is a professional photographer with Bluedog Photography. She loves sharing her passion of photography with others. Bluedog Photography runs photography Courses, Retreats and Tours and shoots a range of imagery for corporate and private clients. Danielle is also a regular contributor to Our Planet Travel, and judges our travel photo competitions.
Contact: (07) 5545 4777

Images courtesy © Danielle Lancaster