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  • Writer's pictureRianPelati7

Sneak Peak at Snap Shots

Welcome back to Lets Go Big Tunes weekly Photography tips blog, where I share tips found online that can help everyone from beginner to expert. This week I start having a look at animal photography.

Tip 1. Learn fieldcraft tricks

While a telephoto lens with a focal length of at least 300mm is pretty much essential for wildlife photography, good fieldcraft makes a bigger difference to getting a frame-filling shot.

Knowing the behaviour and habitat of the animal you're photographing is key. That might sound like we're stating the obvious, but the best wildlife shots are rarely taken on the spur of the moment.

Do a Google search on your chosen species, and the best locations and time of year (and time of day) that you can expect (or are allowed) to get close to them.

Wear camouflage or neutral-colored, rustle-free clothing, ditch the deodorant and be on the spot when the animals are most active - that's usually dawn or dusk.

Tip 2. Use your car as a hide

Getting close to wild animals and birds is the most difficult part of wildlife photography, that's why a hide or blind is an essential part in the professional wildlife photographer's kit.

However, we don't all have a suitable location in which to set up and leave a hide, nor the time to sit in it for days. One solution is to turn your car into a mobile hide.

Wild animals are surprisingly tolerant of vehicles, although you'll still need to avoid sudden movements once you're parked up.

For the sharpest shots, use a beanbag - or even make your own DIY beanbag - to support the lens on the door frame, activate the camera or lens's stabilizer and switch the car engine off to stop any vibrations.

Tip 3. Taking photos of garden birds

Practice makes perfect, and it's easy to do that with portraits and landscape photography - less so with wildlife photography. A good way to get to grips with the basics is to photograph garden birds.

The trick here is to set up your own garden bird studio. Clamp a branch in place in front of an uncluttered natural background, hang a feeder close by and, over time, birds should start using your branch prop as a landing post before heading to the feeder.

Feel free to come back next week and check out Let's Go Big Tunes blog page for more on doing wildlife photography

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