Wildlife photography hints and tips

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The following are the general setting that I have on my camera for my wildlife photography.

Camera Mode: Aperture Priority (Av)

- I do not have to worry about constantly adjusting the shutter speed to gain the correct exposure - especially when your not always shooting in the same place with the same light.

Image Quality: RAW

- This enables more options in image processing after you have taken the image and produces a larger file size than shooting jpegs.

Av vale: Usually as large as possible - f4 or f5.6

- This allows more light to the camera sensor and creates a shallower depth of field (less of the picture in focus) which can create pleasing blurred backgrounds and foregrounds. - if doing close up portraits of larger species or more than one individual I will increase this to around f7.1 or f8.

ISO: 100 if conditions are bright otherwise anywhere between 100 and 400.

- Usually I adjust this to get a shutter speed of at least 1/150sec to stop camera shake.

Exposure compensation: -2/3

- It seems that most digital SLR's over expose the image, I correct this in the camera by using the exposure compensation rather than altering the image later on.

Metering: Evaluating

- Ensures the whole image has the correct exposure rather than reading off one smaller area.

Focus Point: Center point

- This enables me to be sure that the focus is on the eye of the subject (or area desired). I will change this to all focus points when tracking birds in flight.

Focusing: One shot

- Combined with the centre focus point, I can focus clearly on the eye of the subject then recompose to the frame without the focus changing. As with the focus point, I will change this to Al servo when tracking birds in flight.

White Balance: Generally cloudy

- I use the cloudy white balance preset for the majority of my wildlife photos as it gives a slightly higher colour saturation to the image.

Shooting Speed: High continuious

- Having the hightest frames per second as possible - you never know when some high action behaviour might happen right in front of you and the more pictures you have the better.