Wildlife Photography Tips
“A camera in the hands can balance your creative life with that of Personal and Professional”
We are delighted to share some Wildlife Photography tips by Tilak Raj, an ICT and Management Consultant by Profession, a habitual cricketer, and an emerging wildlife photographer from Nairobi, Kenya.
Over to you Tilak Raj!
Of course, it is not possible for me to wear many hats without the support of my family and friends. My family is a motivating team consisting of my parents, younger brother who is a doctor, wife who is an engineer, and my son. Not to forget about the contribution of many others including my friends, followers, and well-wishers who have been supporting me from day one to date.
As an aspiring photographer:
My journey of photography started a few years back when my first ever present came from my beloved wife Vinutha in 2012 which was a Canon 550D camera. Understanding the camera, shooting with auto mode was the only thing I did! I slowly started with some of the portrait shots and family get together pictures. So boring isn’t it?
It was in the year 2016, November when I met Mr. Jayesh Patel, who is a wildlife enthusiast and a photographer himself at a birthday party. Things started to change from then onwards. He took me to my first ever game drive at Nairobi National Park. My love for Nature and Wildlife began from there. Ever since I started to know about wildlife it has always been more and more love towards the wildlife photography. It is always challenging to shoot wild animals in their habitat. Every time when I happen to visit the parks or game reserves, I get to learn new things, mostly on the subject using the right settings on a particular situation and sequence.
Equipment and Technical Information
The Camera and Lens that I’m currently using is a Canon 7D Mark II, and my Lens is a Canon 400mm f5.6.
Image File – I Shoot Raw Images only, processing software – Canon DPP, Light room.
Copyright details on my image: TRJ Nature and Wildlife.
The following are a few tips which will be helpful for any fellow travelers on wildlife tours and photography.
1) Patience – Seems to be very easy thing to read, but this is where one’s temperament skills are tested. I’ve been following a few reputed wildlife photographers around the globe. They always tell this. Patience is the key factor in wildlife photography. You will be surprised to know many things about the subject and you can get some really good images.
2) Practice – The more you practice the more you achieve. Understanding the camera and lens to know about them is very important. Capturing images in motion is a challenging task where you need to understand about the shutter speed, focus points, Aperture and other technicalities. Practice makes you perfect.
3) Subject and Predict the Behaviour – One needs to understand the subject. As a wildlife photographer if you want to get great images, you need to know your subject well. Whether you are shooting the images of animals or nature or its habitat, first observe the subjects carefully. One can predict the animal’s behaviour and follow their next step so that you are ready for it.
4) Lighting and Shooting Time – We all have some limitations and so do the cameras! It is always better to shoot the images during morning and evening hours which is called as the golden hour time. I strictly follow this and make sure to shoot during early morning or late evening hours to get that magical light on my subject.
5) Attention – One needs to be attentive while photographing wildlife, there is always something happening every second. You need 100% attention to capture some amazing moments. The value of every second counts in wildlife where if you miss it, you may or you may not get the similar action again. So keep your eyes wide open as much as you can, catch that magical glimpse in your lovely frame.
6) Luck Factor – Another important thing which really counts in wildlife, definitely needs to be mentioned here is that luck plays a part. Yes, you need to be lucky, there is no one to say what you see at what time during the game drives. When you explore, you have to be there at the right time in the right place to catch all the action.
7) Respect Nature – As a final key point, we should always remain respectful to nature. We need to do this as a photographer or may not be the one. I always thank them for providing the best. I have seen most of us ignoring this aspect and just go out of control just to click the images. One needs to follow that you need not chase the subject but it will come towards you. Let us not forget this is a very important point. If you don’t get the action there is always a next time to get it, just come back again!
Here is a selection of my favourite photos of wildlife, shot during my various safaris: