Stay on track

Suc­cess­ful wildlife pho­tog­ra­phy de­pends on pre­cise fo­cus­ing, and uses tech­niques from other gen­res to bag sharp shots

NPhoto - - Special Feature -

Wildlife pho­tog­ra­phy has many sim­i­lar­i­ties to both por­trai­ture and sport pho­tog­ra­phy, and there is a lot of cross-over in their re­spec­tive fo­cus­ing tech­niques. Like por­traits, most wildlife im­ages tend be taken at wide aper­tures us­ing a mid to long tele­photo lens. The use of a wide aper­ture has the ef­fect of blur­ring out the back­ground in a very sim­i­lar way to when shoot­ing peo­ple, but the re­sult is even more pro­nounced be­cause of the longer lens. In ad­di­tion, a wide aper­ture en­ables a fast shut­ter speed to be set, which helps to elim­i­nate blur caused by both cam­era shake and sub­ject move­ment, some­thing which isn’t re­ally a fac­tor when you’re shoot­ing por­traits.

Point of view is a con­sid­er­a­tion for wildlife pho­tog­ra­phy, as this has an im­pact on back­ground and fore­ground blur when us­ing long fo­cal length lenses with their very nar­row an­gle of view. Po­si­tion­ing the cam­era closer to the ground will ac­cen­tu­ate the bokeh ef­fect be­cause the back­ground will be­come fur­ther away from the sub­ject, and so more out of fo­cus. Sim­i­larly, the fore­ground will be brought closer and thrown out of fo­cus, cre­at­ing two ‘lay­ers’ of at­trac­tive bokeh at the top and bot­tom of the pic­ture, with the sub­ject in sharp fo­cus be­tween them.


Long lenses are heavy, so some sort of sup­port is usu­ally es­sen­tial. If us­ing a tri­pod, use a ball head, or bet­ter still a gim­bal head, to max­imise free­dom

of move­ment.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.