Next week I am going for a tour of Jim Corbett National park and I am not expert with Wild Life Photography so tips and suggestions are really appreciated from the professionals.
Thanks in Advance

  • Too many variables remain to answer your question definitively. What kind of wildlife? How fast do they move? How close can you get? What focal length does that distance combined with the size of your subject call for? What shutter speeds will be required for that focal length and animal?Etc. – Michael C May 27 '14 at 4:38
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    For example I want to capture the animal's behavior in proper sunlight, Flying birds etc. I want to expose them correctly as when I capture something I find many of the pictures are full of noise which are really demotivating for me. I hope you people can give me better views about it now. – Himanshu Walia May 28 '14 at 6:32
  • There's really not much in particular about wildlife photography that isn't covered by more general (but focused) questions. ("Any tips and suggestions are appreciated" is not really answerable.) If for some reason you don't want to use the auto-exposure programs but instead want to go with manual exposure and need a rule of thumb, look up "sunny f/16", but be aware that digital cameras tend to have less tolerance for inexact exposure compared to film cameras because of negative film's greater exposure latitude. – a CVn May 28 '14 at 11:19
  • @MichaelKjörling When shooting RAW I find just the opposite to be the case: There is a much wider latitude for correcting exposure errors than with most films. – Michael C May 28 '14 at 23:08
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    @HimanshuWalia - your comment mentions that your current photographs are "full of noise". Is it possible for you to post an original image of yours that is "full of noise"? It might help us better understand your experience and perhaps better understand your rationale for the question. – B Shaw May 29 '14 at 2:38

You might find that applying some fundamental photography techniques will help you select settings that are most appropriate for the subject and situation. For example, for Bison, I wanted a narrow DOF, so I could just focus on the Bison - so I shot at f/2.8 and focused on his eyes. I believe you may encounter Elephants at you park. So, you could use that setting if they are still and you want to isolate just part of your subject and scene. For faster moving critters, I shot at f/8 and, this was important, I prefocused on part of a path where I believed they were traveling, then waited for them to get to that spot. (That works well for sports, too ... Not so well for kinetic young nephews and nieces - they are much more random than animals). For Birds, if they are in flight, tighten the aperature so you have a better chance at getting them in focus. If they are at rest, consider the composition of the scene - do you want to isolate them from the foreground and background - open up the aperature.

Also, if you are using a zoom, note that it's good photography to "fill the frame" with your desired subject / scene. However, for animals, you may want to give yourself a little extra buffer incase your subject decides to move. That is, don't zoom so much that if your subject makes a slight move, you lose him/her from your frame. For example, I was photographing a Great Egret in some marsh land - I had a perfect shot as the Egret was watching fish below him. Apparently, the fish moved, so did the Egret - out of my frame.

In regard to ISO, let that be dependent upon your other settings and the scene - you may want to to shoot in aperture priority, give your camera an ISO range that provides fairly clean images (e.g. 200 to 1600 or higher for newer DSLRs). Also, note that some animals may not be active mid-day, but may be more active earlier or later. So, be prepared to shoot at those times, with higher ISOs for those darker scenes.

Another setting to consider is metering - you may want to consider spot or center weighted metering because your subject may have different tones than the surrounding scene - consider a white / bright bird in a darker background and foreground. That is, expose for the subject.

Also, be aware that your camera makes sounds that you may not realize. So, you may get one chance to get the shot. From that perspective, sometimes I would shoot in high-speed mode with the hope that one of the frames was a keeper,sometimes I would shoot in single shot mode to minimize my camera's noisy racket.

Importantly, when you complete your trip, let us know how you did. I'm sure you'll have great photographs.


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