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  • Writer's pictureRianPelati7

Sneak Peaks at Snap Shots

Every Thursday Lets Go Big Tunes brings you Photography tips, 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 4. Practice at the zoo

Zoos and wildlife parks provide the perfect opportunity to hone your big game photography technique, but you'll usually have to shoot through wire fences or glass enclosures.

Getting as close as possible to wire fences, focusing on animals that are far away from it and using a large aperture to create a shallow depth of field can make the wire fence almost imperceptible.

When you're shooting through windows, you'll need to get the front element close to the glass in order to reduce reflections. A collapsible rubber lens hood can work well here, allowing you to press the lens against the glass.

Tip 5. Take eye-to-eye animal portraits

Make the effort to get down to an animal's eye level as this will result in a more intimate portrait. Manually choose an autofocus point that corresponds with the animal's eye, too.

If you leave it to the camera to select an AF point it's likely to focus on the part of the creature that's closest to the camera - and that's likely to be a snout, a beak or claws (depending on how close you're getting!).

Tip 6. Use a spotting scope

Big lenses cost big bucks. A professional-quality 600mm lens costs the same as a small family car. However, you get even more magnification for much less if you go the digiscoping route.

Using an adapter, you can attach a DSLR or compact camera to a spotting scope and get frame-filling shots of distant birds and animals.

There are drawbacks: you won't have autofocus, and you won't be able to change the aperture as you can with a telephoto lens. It's manual all the way.

It's also harder to get sharp images when digiscoping. The extreme magnification means that the effects of camera shake (or scope wobble) are equally magnified in the image.

You'll also need plenty of light, as the effective apertures is small and consequently shutter speeds can be slow.

Get more wildlife photography tips next week on Lets Go Big Tunes blog page

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