8 Wildlife photography tips for better pictures

Posted on 11 October 2023 By Jordyn Johnson

Not much beats the magic of being in the bush. Falling asleep to the sound of the lion’s roaring, the African sunrise over the fever trees, and the possibility that you could spot something great around the next bend.

If you’re not the greatest photographer but want tips on capturing your bush break better, you’ve come to the right place.

1. The rule of thirds

This classic photography technique works for all photography subjects and offers a pleasing composition. Imagine your frame is divided into a 3×3 grid and capture the animal in a third of the grid.

2. Cropping pictures

An easy tip to try is to crop a photo unusually. If you have a big zoom or are close enough to the animal, focus on one part of the animal to capture a unique photo.

3. Backlight can create an interesting image

You’ll probably want to snap a picture with the sun behind you, but try out a photo with the sun behind your subject. The light can beautifully light up the animal, creating a striking picture.

4. Use the foliage as a frame

If you’re in a leafy/ bushy environment and you’re struggling to get a photo of the whole animal, use the foliage to create a natural frame of the animal.

5. Try a wide-angle shot

If you don’t have a great zoom on your camera or are only using your cellphone, take a look at what you can capture in the photo rather than just raking another closeup of the animal. Something ugly in the background will distract the viewer’s gaze, so try to take a wide-angle shot with a good background.

6. Get low to the ground

If you can get low to the ground, you can capture a unique image of some grass in the foreground and more of the sky. The animal will be higher than eye level, giving a more majestic shot.

The New Big 5 results are in

Elephant photographed by David Lloyd

7. Avoid harsh lighting

Try not to take a picture of an animal in direct midday sun, as your photo will have harsh shadows and reduced sharpness. Clouds can soften the midday sunshine, and an animal in the forest won’t be affected by the harsh sun. However, capturing a good photo in the early morning or late afternoon is easier.

8. Incorporate interesting animal behaviour

Capturing a bird in flight, a squirrel eating, or two bull elephants fighting will add intrigue to your photo. Try to snap a picture of the animal behaving in an interesting way.

ALSO READ: SANParks saw nearly 94,000 visitors over National Parks Week

yoast-primary - 1004439
tcat - Wildlife
tcat_slug - wildlife
tcat2 - Wildlife
tcat2_slug - wildlife
tcat_final -