Wildlife Photography Mistakes You Need to Know about

02 Jul 2015
| Last update: 22 Nov 2016

The first thing you need to understand about wildlife photography is that it’s very challenging because the subjects are often elusive. One tiny motion or small noise can ruin the shot and it may take hours to capture it again. Therefore, it takes patience, technique and precision. Once you master the art of this area of photography, the shots you capture can be stunning. This article covers some of the most common mistakes and how to deal with them:

The Subject Is Too Small in the Frame

Generally speaking, it’s nearly impossible to get close to wildlife. Most of the time, you’re going to have to set up camp at a considerable distance away from your subject and have a telephoto lens.

Research your subject’s habits, where it lives, what it eats, when it gives birth etc. Your research will help you determine how to camouflage yourself and where to set up for your perfect shot.

Lastly, remember that timing, concentration and patience are the key elements in wildlife photography.


The Subject Is out of Focus

You have to select the AF point yourself. Don’t let the camera automatically do it because it’ll hone in on the center of the frame, even if your subject isn’t in the center. Look for an option like “single-point AF” or “Flexible-spot AF”.

Select the point that’s on the subject’s head and half-press the shutter release to focus your lens. If its moving, (usually, for wildlife photography shots, the subject is moving) use “Continuous AF mode” to refocus between shots.

Blurry Wildlife Photography Shots

Using a tripod or monopod to keep the camera steady can be a great asset, especially for long lenses. You also need to have a fast shutter speed that can freeze any movement. If you’re unable to get the shutter speed high enough, you can either push the sensitivity setting up a little or just wait until the subject is still and completely avoid shooting when it’s moving.

Remember that using a high sensitivity setting will cause a bit of noise. Shoot either in shutter priority or manual exposure mode so that you can control the shutter speed yourself.

The Feeder Trick

Naturally there’s going to come a time when, in order to get the shot, you’ll have to lure the subject out into the open with a feeder. However, you don’t want the feeder to show up in the shot because it takes away from the natural aspect of the subject’s habitat.

While this is a bit advanced, with practice you can still get a beautiful shot. Shoot with a long lens and wide aperture. This way you can purposely blur the background and hide the appearance of the feeder.

More Tips, Tricks & Strategies

Implement these suggestions in your next wildlife photography session to avoid mistakes so you can get that perfect photo. If you’d like more tips, tricks and strategies, be sure to sign up for our latest articles [insert link]. This way, you’ll always have inspiration. Plus, you’ll get access to the latest tips and have answers to photography questions delivered right into your inbox.

Lynn Silva

Lynn Silva

Content Writer at Squirrly
Lynn is an expert at infusing mental skills into online business to improve sales, productivity and personal branding.
Lynn Silva