How to take wildlife photographs

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Before you start

Know your camera
Read the manual thoroughly so you know your camera very well. You can learn a lot from reading the manual.

Prepare for the conditions
Check out the weather forecast and pack the right gear that you will need, if it’s a wet forecast take your waterproofs, rain covers and a lens hood. For sun take sun block.

Take the right gear
A tripod
It’s important to keep the camera steady for wildlife photography or your pictures will end up blurry so take a tripod if you have one. If you don’t have one you can try putting your camera on a wall or a rock or tree stump.

Spotting gear
You need to spot the wildlife before you photograph it so take a long a pair of bincolurars or spotting scope

Choose a theme
If you can pick a topic or theme before you set off. You could research this online.

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Be patient

Patience is  a key ingredient for getting good wildlife photography because you can’t tell the wildlife what to do and are just going to have to wait until you get a good shot.

Composition

Think about the rule of thirds. This is where the photograph is split into thirds and where the lines meet is a sweet spot.  It will be best if you have the thing you are primarily concerned with in this sweet spot. It may or not be in the middle third of the photo.

Take close-ups

Wildlife photography looks great close-up but it will not generally be possible to get close to wildlife because it will run or fly away. So you are likely to need to use a zoom to get close up, or if you don’t have a very long lens and are still too far away you could combine the lens with a binocular lens so create a super zoom.

Alternatively if you spin your binoculars around you could use this a macro lens.

Take pictures of their environment

But you don’t want to use close-ups all the time, you also want to capture the environment that the animals are living in. You’ll often be best off using a wide-angled lens for this.

Shutter speed

Try to use as fast a shutter speed as you can

Great use of light

Light is absolutely vital for good photography. The best time for wildlife photography is often the golden hour, which is the time around sunrise or sunset when light takes on a golden appearance. It also lights up subjects from the side which can give some nice shadows.

A lack of sunlight doesn’t mean you’ll get bad photographs however. Some wildlife will photograph better without the shadows created by sunlight and a more uniform light.

Use the right settings

If you are using a compact camera make sure you have the right setting – macro for close ups and landscape for a wide angle shot.

Filters

If you are dealing with bright sunlight try putting filters on your camera or if you don’t have any you can improvise with a pair of sunglasses.

Selling stock photographs

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The world of stock photography has been changed completely by digital photography. It is no longer necessary to have lots of expensive gear and spend years training or to know lots of people in positions of authority. If you own a digital camera and have decent photography skills you can sell your photos.
Here’s some of the things you should know.

Know your craft

It’s obviously vital to learn how all your gear works and to practise taking photographs as much as you can so you are very good at photography before you begin submitting things to stock libraries.
Only submit great photos
Reviewers will look very closely at your photos so it’s important to make sure you only submit great photos. They need to be totally in focus and have no imperfections on them. Use a tripod if you can to avoid camera shake and try using a low ISO setting

Keywords and descriptions
You need to submit as good as description as you can about your photograph because this is how people will find it. Use descriptive words.
But don’t put in keywords which don’t fit the photograph or you will find yourself getting banned.
Upload as many photos as you can
You don’t usually get a lot per photo so it’s important to try and submit lots of them. There are usually parts of the site where you could upload free pictures and it could be worth doing this in order to get your name known.
Pick a niche
Stock photography is as competitive as all types of photography so think of subjects that are likely to be popular.

Or alternatively try a small area, for example you could choose an area that not many photographers are going to go into – such as pest control pictures for instance. Although you might find it tricky to take pictures of pests like mice etc
Go with the big sites
There’s loads of stock photography sites but because it’s such a pain to upload and label all your photos it might be better to just upload pics to the bigger sites which get lots of visitors.