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Wildlife photography, top tips on how to enjoy it.

Wildlife photography

Some serious equipment. © 2006 Wildlife Extra.

There is probably no more challenging subject for cameras than wildlife. This is why it is so universally popular. Whether it is digital or film, polar bears or flycatchers, the quest for the perfect shot is endless. It is not like photographing a building, wedding or landscape where the subject matter is more obliging or pliable. The quarry is invariably erratic, endangered and elusive.

However the pursuit of this precious image is what makes it such fun, so rewarding. It should not be in a competitive way; sadly some rapacious photographers seem to leave their code of ethics at home, if they ever had any, even some well known professionals care little for the precarious nature of their environment. The image should never take preference over the situation.


Each week we will publish one of the best recent photos taken by oneof our readers Click Your photos to see the images or upload your own






Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM review 

Up close on 2.8 with portraits, it is off the scale. Hand held it measures up and more. With or without extender the performance is flawless. 

Canon have informed me they still have not received the lens back. I told them I have used the same delivery company for years, I cannot understand this ......

Read the full review

Safari Photography Masterclass

Elliott Neep has many years of experience of wildlife photography. The advice he gives is the product of years of photography, travelling to India, Kenya, and the Polar Regions, and will hopefully have a much wider appeal and relevance than just Safari Photography.

Click safari photography masterclass


The advances in cameras, especially lenses, film and mega pixel-count have been extraordinary, but they are no cast iron guarantee for success. Here are several personal tips which are essential for successful wildlife photography even before you pick up the camera.

  • Get up early. It may sound obvious but this often means very early indeed, ideally you want to be in a position before the sun is up. Many times it might involve wasted journeys and alarm calls, but unless you are prepared to do this you cannot expect rewards.
  • Sweat. If the situation dictates climbing a tree or mountain, do not blanche at it. If you are out of condition for such hardships get in shape.
  • Do your research. If you are going to a new area, do not just rely on local people to help you. Gorge yourself on every book on the area including coffee table books, so you are up to speed upon arrival.
  • Be original. Many people have fixed ideas of what they want to take; a leopard up a tree, a snow monkey with frosted whiskers, a cheetah running. By all means try these, but they are hardly original. Look at a situation from left field and bring some originality to your photos.
  • Be quiet and patient. Impatience will get you nowhere with wildlife. As well as a huge budget the Planet Earth team had the critical commodity of photography - time. Much better to spend longer in one place than a whistle stop tour around a country. It often is frustrating and this is perfectly understandable, but don't let it affect you as it will tarnish your efforts.
  • Relax. If you are photographing in the wilderness, be it Moremi, Siberia or Vancouver Island, just being there should be enough. Relax and enjoy where you are, your results must show an understanding of your environment not a competitive urge to photograph everything that moves. 

Wildlife in the garden competition.

See the winning photo.

Australian Wildlife Photography

Shane Walker lives in New South Wales and specialises in Australian wildlife photography.

 See more of Shane's pictures

 Wildlife Photography Holidays

There is now a wide range of wildlife photography holidays all around the world. Steppes Discovery run a selection of very responsible wildlife photography holidays

Other wildlife photography stories