If you love photographing the beauty of nature, then here are some useful tips to help you better photograph animals and insects.
Often when we think of wildlife we think of animals far away from home, but many people take amazing wildlife photos in their own backyards.
Photographing Wildlife with Feathers or Fur
Depending on where you live, there are many ways to turn your yard into a wildlife haven for squirrels, raccoons, birds, deer, frogs and other critters.
If you want to feed wildlife, don’t feed them food from your cupboard but instead follow the wildlife attraction and sustainability tips from the National Wildlife Federation so you can be sure you’re helping them and not hurting them.
By following the advice from wildlife experts, you will also be creating an environmentally friendly landscape that will be good for the animals and the environment.
Take a bit of time to read about the habits of the species you want to photograph and you’ll find it much easier to capture them with your camera. And by being educated about the species you want to photograph, you can also minimize the chance of attracting dangerous predators into your yard. You should also look at the code of ethics for professional nature photographers on the North American Nature Photography Association’s website (nanpa.org).
Just as with photographing pets, when you take a picture of a furry or feathery wild critter, follow these guidelines:
Use natural lighting to your advantage
Fill the frame with the subject
Focus on the eyes
Shoot from various angles
Photographing the World of Insects
Wildlife photography also includes the miniature world of insects. Honeybees, dragonflies, butterflies, bumble bees, spiders and even snails are all popular subjects.
Like animals, photographing insects can be challenging. Here are some tips from the pros to help:
Like with larger wildlife, it will help to know your subject’s patterns of behavior. Do the butterflies frequent one flowery shrub more than others? Then stake it out and wait for the subject to come to you. Make sure to be ready!
To get the best shots of small creatures at rest, use macro mode and fill the frame. Your camera’s manual will tell you how close your macro mode works. If you stay within the proper range and hold your camera steady, you will get some nice, crisp shots.
Unless the insect is very still, use sports mode or flash to freeze action.
Many types of insects are sensitive to carbon dioxide so don’t breath directly on them otherwise they will quickly fly or run away. So when you lean in to take the photo, make sure to hold your breath! There are a few exceptions – some beetles will freeze (they won’t say “cheese” though).
Keep in mind some insects and spiders pack powerful, even deadly venom, so know your bug before approaching.
Try to take pictures in early morning or twilight because insects slow down with cooler temperatures and it will make it easier to shoot a picture. Insects can see shadows very well so don’t approach from the same direction as the light casts.
Photographs of wildlife can make for beautiful fine art, the type that you’ll want to frame and display proudly and give as gifts. Another way to use your animal photography is in photo crafts greeting cards, calendars, iron on transfers for t-shirts and much more. There are simply lots of wonderful things you can do with your beautiful animal and insect pictures so have fun capturing the wonderful world of nature.