Is wildlife photography technique important? Many wildlife photographers assume that by having the best gear, and getting sufficient opportunities to take pictures, they will automatically produce good pictures. I hope this is not you! Wildlife photography technique is the one area where most wildlife photographers can improve.
Before I had professional photo gear, I used to think that if I could only have THAT lens or THAT camera, I will also be able to produce pictures worthy to be published. Well eventually I got the gear, and came back to earth in a big way when I discovered that my pictures were certainly not quite there yet.
Technique! I realised that I was lacking on technique, because I thought pros mostly “got the shot” with their equipment. I refocused my efforts to improve my technique and here I am ready to tell you how to do the same.
A little warning. Getting your technique up to where it should be to get the best shot every time is pretty hard work. You have to be dedicated. I realise that if you are reading this, you are most probably one of the dedicated few who will work to turn their dreams into reality. Just thinking back to all the days I spent taking photographs of flying birds with a long lens reminds me of what I went through. Luckily the practice was all worth it, and nowadays I get that sharp shot more consistently.
Wildlife Photography Technique – ISACA
ISACA is an acronym I built for reminding me to think about all the important things before I release my shutter. Click on any of the items listed below for more information.
One dreadful afternoon, shortly after I bought my first digital SLR, I walked up a mountain and took about 50 photos. This included some quite unique shots that I was very excited about. One problem though! My camera’s ISO setting was 1600 for all those shots… Needless to say I couldn’t keep one of the images due to unacceptably high digital noise on photos taken in bright sunlight (with a Canon EOS 300D body). Also, and more importantly, I NEVER made that mistake again, and never will.
This example illustrates to you why it is important to implement the ISACA acronym or some similar acronym derived by yourself. It will help avoid you making similar mistakes. It also makes you think of all the important factors before releasing your shutter.
One book that focuses on wildlife photography technique in a nice way is Wildlife Photography Workshops by Steve and Ann Toon. It is a good educational book with really useful lessons to be learnt the easy (safe) way, showing off some great photos as well.
The book is a bit difficult to read though, because it tells you to practise what you learn in one chapter before reading on. This can be difficult if you can’t get to a nature reserve, or other place providing wildlife photography opportunities, on a regular basis. It is still highly recommended reading for the budding nature photographer.