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How to Photograph Wildlife with Digital Cameras

Learn how to photograph wildlife from commercial photographer Dan Bracaglia in this digital photography lesson from Howcast.


Another question we get at Popular Photography Magazine is how to take great wildlife photographs. And obviously with great wildlife photographs the key is great locations where there is great wildlife.

You can always go to your local zoo and get some great wildlife photographs there. If you're gonna do that or if you're going to out to the Sahara or wherever, it's important to be prepared.

In both cases you're gonna want have telephoto lenses for two reasons. One, you're gonna be pretty far away whether you're in the zoo or you're in the African jungle but if you are actually out on safari somewhere you're gonna want to be far enough away that you're gonna keep yourself out of danger.

Another thing that's important to remember, just from having talked to a lot of wildlife photographers, especially if you're going out into the natural world, it's important to have a guide with you. Somebody who knows the ropes, somebody who's gonna know what's safe and what's not.

Wildlife photography is really a waiting game as well. If you talk to any National Geographic photographer they'll tell you that they might spend three months in the outdoors waiting for the perfect shot of a butterfly landing on a flower and that's really kind of the beauty of it is it takes time and it takes commitment and it takes a lot of dedication and that's what makes it really fun.

We recently did a big interview with a bird photographer and he said the same exact thing, it's the time out there, the time that you're not getting these great photographs that makes those photographs just so much more worth while.

Another important thing to remember with wildlife photography is, you know, wild animals act very similarly to human beings. I think a great wildlife photo is a photograph that humanizes these, you know, these beasts of the outdoors and kind of just gives them this relatable quality and if you can capture that then you're a pretty good wildlife photographer.

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