Week of Wildlife Tips: Be Ready!

May 24th, 2010 by Juan Pons

I am going to start this week of wildlife photography tips with what I consider to be the most basic and essential tip – Be Ready!

What does this mean? Being ready means a lot of things, but for me it means the following:

  • Know your equipment – Your equipment should help you get the shot, not get in the way of getting the shot. In a way the camera should be an extension of you. The only way you are going to get to know your equipment is to use it and use it often. I only had a fraction of a second to make the image of the red fox above, and I only got one shot. If I had to think about how to change the controls of my camera I would have completely missed the shot.
  • Keep your gear ready – Make sure your camera is on, you have a recently formatted memory card, and the camera is set to your favorite settings. Double check these settings every so often, it is easy to bump your mode dial to an undesired mode inadvertently.
  • Know your subject – In order to make the best images, you NEED to know your subjects. There simply is no substitute, make sure you read up and study your subject habits, preferred environments and favorite food. This will help you in not only finding your subjects but also making the best images you possibly can.

If you want to learn more about how I got this shot of the red fox, make sure to check out this post on DPE on why I shoot in AV mode.

Keep up with Juan on The Digital Photo Experience and learn about Juan's workshops at Wild Nature Tours.

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One Response to “Week of Wildlife Tips: Be Ready!”

  1. Pamela R. says:

    Very good, essential tips, especially for those who don’t shoot each day. If you can’t trust your “mental” procedures, print and keep this great list and then perform it just as pilots do before take-off. Otherwise, you’ll do what I did. I once shot a golf tournament with no film in my camera. Thankfully it happened and I caught it during the first part of the event and not the last. :o )

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