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How to Take Pictures of Wild Animals

If you’re going on safari and your idea of shooting wild animals involves a camera and some pictures, we can help.


  • : Wild animals can be extremely dangerous. Never get out of your safari vehicle to get closer to an animal just for the shot; try using a longer lens.
  • Step 1: Research possible animals Do a little research to find out what type of animals you will most likely encounter. Faster animals call for faster lenses.
  • Step 2: Select the lowest possible ISO When you arrive at your locations, grab your camera and select the lowest possible ISO for the current lighting conditions.
  • TIP: Speed is the most important thing to consider when shooting moving animals. You may need to sacrifice a bit of 'noise' by selecting a higher ISO that will allow you to shoot with the fastest speeds possible.
  • Step 3: Mount the lens and teleconverter Mount your telephoto lens and teleconverter.
  • TIP: A 2x teleconverter doubles your focal length, meaning a 200mm lens becomes a 400mm lens. It also reduces your lens speed by an equal amount.
  • Step 4: Steady your camera Steady your camera or use a tripod to prevent any unwanted camera shake.
  • Step 5: Compose the shot Compose your shot.
  • Step 6: Set the speed and aperture Set the appropriate shutter speed and aperture.
  • Step 7: Focus on the area Focus on the area.
  • Step 8: Wait for the animal Now wait patiently for whatever animal you’re looking for, tiger, squid, Triple-Bellied Reverse Golden Finch, or whatever.
  • Step 9: Refocus and shoot When you see the animal, re-focus and begin to shoot. Get as many shots as you can, since it might be difficult to tell whether or not you’ve gotten the shot until after the fact.
  • FACT: National Geographic was first published in October of 1888.

You Will Need

  • Camera
  • Telephoto lens
  • A 2x Teleconverter
  • Tripod
  • Backup camera body

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