WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY

Photography is a great way to get out and about in the wild, capturing the natural world. Whether it’s the local flora and fauna that’s your wildlife photography subject, or the wildebeests of the Serengeti, this genre has so much to offer to professionals and amateur photographers alike.

Wildlife photography is one of the most accessible genres – all you really need is a DSLR, a bit of research and an eye for capturing the beauty of nature.

WHAT IS WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY?

Wildlife photography focuses in on the natural world and the creatures, plants and flowers that exist within it.

The beauty of wildlife photography is that it has very few barriers to entry, meaning that anyone with a camera and a pair of walking shoes can enjoy the results.

“Wildlife photography focuses in on the natural world and the creatures, plants and flowers that exist within it.”

– Cary Wolinsky – Wildlife photographer at National Geographic.

INFLUENTIAL WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHERS

Publications such as the National Geographic and Discover Wildlife have catapulted wildlife photographers into the limelight, with these publications becoming the pinnacle of success for many photographers in this niche.

We spoke to Heather Angel, a wildlife photographer, to find out all about this genre and what advice she would give to photographers looking to break into the industry. All the shots featured on this page are the work of Heather.

THE HISTORY OF WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY

In the very beginning, wildlife photography was a complicated and tricky pastime. This was due to the slow and clunky technology that was available. The first wildlife images were of wild birds in action, but with the invention of faster shutter speeds and processing technology, wildlife photography really started to take flight.

HOW TO BECOME A WILDLIFE AND NATURE PHOTOGRAPHER

Nature and wildlife photography is a competitive niche, with photographers clamouring for attention from agencies and publications in order to get their work featured.

If you’re a budding wildlife photographer who’s struggling to stand out from the crowd, then there are a few tips and tricks listed below to help hone your craft and develop your own wildlife photography style.

THE BEST CAMERA EQUIPMENT FOR WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY

CAMERAS

A basic DSLR is all you need when you’re a beginner wildlife photographer. There will be differing opinions on what makes the best DSLR camera for wildlife photography, but here’s a few options that you could consider.

The Canon 1dx is a popular primary camera with wildlife photography professionals. This full-frame camera is perfect for wildlife photography due to its useful features, which include autofocus, lightning fast shutter speed and custom controls.

A GoPro is a versatile and inexpensive way to capture images of wildlife and can go to places where it might be risky to send your primary DSLR.

The Canon 6D DSLR is a more affordable option for beginner wildlife photographers looking for incredible full-frame quality and fast shutter speed.

BEST LENSES FOR WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHERS

A telephoto lens is a good all-rounder option when it comes to lenses for wildlife photography. The Canon 400mm f/2.8 IS II lens is often recommended for this type of photography, due to its size and the quality of photos produced. This lens is super fast and great for capturing images with a shallow depth of field.

DRONES FOR WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY

There’s a lot to be said for the crossover between aerial and drone photography and wildlife photography. Using a drone can allow wildlife photographers to get even closer to their wildlife subjects. Providing a unique vantage point, drones are set to revolutionise the way that wildlife photographers work.

With all of this delicate camera equipment in mind, a hard camera case is an essential piece of kit, designed to protect your camera kit when you’re stalking wildlife out on a shoot.

KEY SKILLS FOR BECOMING A WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER

  • Develop your technical ability: Look into evening classes in photo editing or even composition
  • Join a photography club: Have your images critiqued and build your professional network here
  • Constantly work on your portfolio: Ensure this only contains examples of your best work
  • Enter competitions: Increase the amount of people who are exposed to your work
  • Donate your images to local wildlife groups: Finding royalty-free imagery can be tricky for charities and low-budget organisations, so use this to your advantage and donate your images for free to gain relevant exposure
  • Do your research: Not only on your wildlife subjects, but also professional wildlife photographers already working in the genre

Image © Chloe Bromilow

Image © Alexis Giardet

Image © Richard Johnson

Image © Nathan Cutler