Few years back with manual cameras, and film rolls not everyone was keen to get into Wildlife photography. It was like golf, an art or a passion for the elusive. Not everyone found it affordable even if they thought it to be glamorous. But with the advent of digital cameras and memory cards, Wildlife photography has become a fashion and a passion. Now a days one gets to see many vehicles in the national parks with tourists carrying huge lenses and camera bodies. What has also made wildlife photography tempting easy is social media. Posting an image gets one instant gratification. Also, youtube and google are good teachers, and one needs no formal classroom photography classes any longer. But there are some basic things for wildlife photography that one needs to learn.
- National Park knowledge: It is important for you to have some idea about the national park you would be visiting. The terrain, the tree cover, the tracks, the kind of wildlife in the park, the light to expect, the month you would be visiting, the park, the weather to expect etc.
- Wildlife Knowledge: The kind of wildlife you would encounter in the park. If you plan to take #Tiger images, then you will be better equipped if you know the behavior of the Tiger.
- Safety: Never for a second forget that you are in a national park where all animals are wild. Your safety and importantly the safety of animals you are shooting is of paramount importance. Do not underestimate the power and speed of wild animals, irrespective of the size. Hence it is important to maintain safe distance. Listen to the guide and the driver in the Jeep, do not push them to get close to the animal. Besides you will be able to take good images only if you are at a good distance wherein the animals are not disturbed by your presence. Do not make unnecessary sounds, or talk loudly, no jerky or sudden movements while you are in the vehicle. As all this can easily send the animal in cover, thus depriving you of a good memory shot.
Once the above basic things for wildlife photography are covered then what?
Then you must be sound in the technical knowledge of taking photographs. Bonus advise here is do not be overdependent on your equipment or post processing of the images, rather get them right while clicking them. Remember it is the eye behind the camera which is more important than the camera itself. Technology cannot replace the art of photography.