10 tips for creating interesting wildlife photographs - Part III
A photo of a gelada, taken on a cliff in Ethiopia. This picture was taken during a photo walk.
Tip 7: usually take pictures on a level with the animal's eyes
In wildlife photography, it is important to try to photograph animals from eye level. As we explained in the article on choosing a point of view, if an animal is photographed from a low or high angle, the proportions change and the photographs look unnatural.
Taking pictures at eye level with the subject creates a connection between the subject and the viewer of the photo. It is a way to strengthen the reading of the picture and convey the messages of the photo better.
Tip 8: always keep the eyes in focus
An essential rule in wildlife photography is to keep the eyes of the subject in focus. It is also important to try to have a gleam in the subject’s eye. The sun should reflect in the pupil of the subject. The gleam in the subject’s eye can also create a connection with the viewer by directing his gaze.
A wildlife photograph where the eyes are blurry is an unsuccessful photo.
The photographer should always focus on the animal’s eyes. Then he can adjust the depth of field based on the points of interest that he wants to have in focus.
Tip 9: choose the environment well
Many wildlife photographers focus solely on the animals when they take a photo. They do not pay attention to the environment. We believe that this is an error in composition.
The environment is as important as the subject. It can be compared to packaging or gift wrap. For us, the environment consists of the foreground, the background, and the negative space. What’s uglier than a picture of a bird on a broken branch or of mammals walking around broken branches on the ground?
The function of the background is to highlight the points of interest by creating contrasts in light or color.
The foreground should be seen as a step that leads to the points of interest.
The background and the foreground may be blurry or sharp, but they must be harmonious and in good condition, and they should enhance the points of interest.
Many photographers neglect these elements, so the beauty of the animals they photograph is lost, and their photos are neglected. Never forget that in photography, the packaging and the details are as important as the content.
Tip 10: respect the natural environment
We will conclude this series of tips with the one which is most important to us. All wildlife photographers must preserve nature and respect the environment where they move. They must never forget that they are guests in nature. They must respect the environment, for the sake of the animals, but also for the sake of those who will come after them. Never break young trees, never crush flowers unnecessarily, and never disturb the animals in their natural habitat. Always respect reproduction and nesting areas.
The creation of a photo should never be detrimental to the photographed species. The animals are the natural inhabitants of the places where we work. Without them, wildlife photography would not exist. Without them, the human race would not exist. We must preserve the fragile harmony of nature, because there is a threat that one day, everything will disappear.
Wildlife photography is a very complex field which has its own specific features. A wildlife photographer is also a naturalist and a photographic technician. He must know the terrain and the weather. But he is also an artist who creates works of art while caring for and respecting the world into which he is invited. He must never forget that he has responsibilities. If all of us respect all these rules, we will always have beautiful photographs, and the beauties of nature will survive.