Capturing Wildlife: Adventure Techniques


Wildlife is teeming with beauty, originality, and splendor; many photographers from all over the world try to convey this fabulous life by capturing special images of the animals in the forests. Although it is not that easy to take these shots, it is never impossible; wildlife photography is very similar to sports photography and trying to capture athletes in motion.

While capturing animals in the wild or birds flying at far distances, you will need a "telephoto" lens to zoom at them, or a lens specialized for extra zoom such as 400 mm or more because you will not be able to approach any animal except in rare cases and in different forms of disguise. If you are going to shoot i

n a public park, maybe a 70–200 mm lens will do the trick. One of the most important points is that you will not be able to use lighting tools when capturing animals. That is why you will need to use the largest aperture possible in case of low light or if you want to isolate the background of the animal.

When capturing animals, we look for the right angle to get the best results.  Since the movement of animals is unpredictable, which can also be very far from the photographer, s/he has to take many shots and try to capture the wonderful moments by waiting and watching. Examples of these shots include the scene of an animal or bird attacking a fish, or a lion attacking a herd of deer.


Here are some of the best tips for wildlife photography:

  • The photographer should make sure that the eyes of the animal are visible in the shot because they add soul to the picture.
  • Sunlight must be focused on the face of the animal or bird, but in a professional proportion, so that the photo will not be burnt.
  • The lighting of the background should not be brighter than the animal's lighting, because this can cause many black and dark areas to appear in the image, so the results are completely unprofessional.
  • We always recommend using optical zoom to exclude unwanted elements, such as trees, plants, etc., from the picture and limit the shot to the intended subject.
  • Do not forget to apply the rules of composition, such as the principle of space, the rule of triangulation, or filling the shot as much as possible, because the more you abide by the rules, the better the results are.
    • As for the principle of space, it is important to leave space in front of the moving object while capturing, so that the picture will be balanced and logical.
    • As for the rule of triangulation, it depends on dividing the image into three parts, through two longitudinal parallel lines and two horizontal parallel lines, all of which intersect at four points; for a perfectly balanced photo.
    • The rule of filling the frame means filling the frame with the entire target object without showing the background; this rule is applied when capturing animal faces or flowers.


Photo by Freepik.

One of the most important notes is that if you are capturing animals that move a lot like birds, you should use the "Shutter Speed" feature on the camera because you will not find time to switch settings often. So, if your goal is to capture a bird flying away in the sky or a fish swimming in a river, use the speed of 1/1000 and above. You also have to set the control type by focusing on the "Motion Mode" because you will not be able to select the focus point manually as usual. Also, set the "Shutter" to continuous mode by using the "Jpeg" image type to be able to take as many photos as possible, to reach the required expressions on the faces of the animals. However, if you want to capture a bird on a tree branch or an animal sitting on the grass that does not move a lot, you will need to use "Portrait Mode"; in this case, you will need to use "Aperture" and a relatively narrow "Depth of Field".

When processing begins, put the images in the light editing program "Light Room" and sort them looking for special shots. Make sure to pick out pictures that show the eyes of the creatures, and the images that are properly lit and do not have dark areas. Adjust the "Image Brightness" to suit the shooting mode, remove lens errors, and then set the "Image Composition" according to one of the rules of composition known in professional photography through the cropping tool and adjusting the horizon in the program.

One of the best examples of the photographers of the wild is the world-renowned photographer Joachim Monter, who escaped into the woods and dedicated his life to capturing animals, according to the Bored Panda website. The website also includes a set of images captured by Monter, which amazed their viewers with the sincere feelings they contain. Joachim Monter decided to stay in the forests to see wild animals and capture images of them at different times and seasons of the year. He was able to be part of the forests of Finland through his camera to capture wildlife and its creatures; to make you feel that you are in his place watching the creatures, and sometimes even feel what they feel.

In an interview with Monter, he said: "From the first look at these wild animals in the forest, you feel as if they are trained on everything! They do not move randomly; they know what they do and where they will go, and why exactly;" he added: "Capturing wildlife is nothing more than gaining the trust of the creature you are capturing! The most important thing is that you do not chase animals in any way; it just needs great patience, like hunting, and to reassure the animals that you do not want to harm them or to infringe on their safety area". He continued: "My photo sessions can extend for long hours to a whole day, sometimes for weeks and months. What is interesting about capturing wildlife and forests is that it is hard to predict when and what is going to happen; you do not know what is going to happen in a few seconds. Sometimes, I can spend long weeks there without taking a good picture, and sometimes it just takes hours to take a picture that will amaze everyone. The whole thing is not measurable".

In conclusion, we say that part of the nature of humans is the difference in their interests; so, this thing that may seem strange to you can be the life of another person. This is the most wonderful thing; capturing wildlife is never a normal thing. It is—even if it is not one of your interests–one of the most wonderful things that allow us to observe the creatures and their behavior, and the splendor and greatness of the Creator in his creation. Also, wildlife photography is an explicit call to preserve the environment and its balance with its non-human creatures.

Cover photo by Freepik.

The article was first published in print in SCIplanetSpring 2022 “Ecosystems and Life: On Land”

About Us

SCIplanet is a bilingual edutainment science magazine published by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Planetarium Science Center and developed by the Cultural Outreach Publications Unit ...
Continue reading

Contact Us

P.O. Box 138, Chatby 21526, Alexandria, EGYPT
Tel.: +(203) 4839999
Ext.: 1737–1781

Become a member

© 2024 | Bibliotheca Alexandrina