Wildlife photography needs heart, head and loads and loads of patience and perseverance. Amongst the most important aspects of being a good wildlife photographer is becoming familiar with the technical aspects of photography like the setting, adjustment and focussing of the camera.
For a start, assemble the right equipment. Like most things in life, camera equipment ranges from the basic to the very expensive. Beginners can go in for consumer models with high optical zooms.
After this, check your equipment thoroughly. Become completely comfortable with your equipment. Practise taking reflex shots. For this, clicking away at animals in the zoo provides good practice. Remember, practice makes perfect.
Everything is quick, quick, quick in wildlife photography. There is very little time to think about the technical aspect at the crucial moments. So get completely comfortable with the basic aspects of photography, before you even step into the domain of wildlife. Ensure that you are completely comfortable with settings – both for DSLRs and consumer model cameras.
Work on variety and versatility in your photography. For this, experiment photographing things other than wildlife: People, architecture and landscapes. This will add more depth and variety in your work with wildlife.
Technical expertise: It is advisable to always keep two cameras with you when you set off on your mission. Always have one camera as a backup. Using a 400ASA is advisable also, as it is faster film and helps to catch animals in action.
Experiment with shutter speeds. For still objects, slowing down the shutter speed will help add a little more life to the picture. On the other hand, panning with shutter speed as slow as 1/30th or1/60th of a second helps focus on fast moving subjects and blots out the background.
The bottomline is to experiment all the time!
(Kahini Ghosh Mehta and Shivang Mehta are wildlife photographers and run a camp in Corbett National Park. Learn more about them – www.naturewanderers.com)