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11 Wildlife Photography Tips for Beginners

Updated: Jun 25, 2022

One of the great challenges of wildlife photography is that there are so many things to consider in such a short amount of time. Even if you do everything right, the uncontrollable stuff can still stop you from getting “the shot.” However, there are some basic tips that are easy to remember and will bring your wildlife photography to the next level. In this article, I’ll share eleven of my favorite such tips that I use again and again.

Don’t Shoot in Harsh, Direct Midday Sun

If I could only keep one rule on this list, it would be this one: Don’t shoot wildlife directly illuminated by the unobstructed, midday sun. It is almost impossible to get a good shot under conditions like that. You’ll usually end up with harsh shadows on your subject and no catchlights in their eyes. Harsh lighting also often gives a reduction in apparent sharpness due to glowing effects from feathers and fur.

And it’s not just the subject. Backgrounds in such light will often have harsh, specular highlights, stealing attention away from your subject (as in the shot below). When I’m editing my pictures, I rate my photos from 0 to 5 stars, and midday sun shots almost always get 0 stars!