Wildlife Photography Workshop: Eye Contact

Welcome to the first edition of  Bush Warriors Wildlife Photography Workshop.

Apart from sharing images which will, hopefully, create an awareness of Africa’s natural heritage, this weekly post will also give you short tips, tricks and some inspiration that you can use to better your own wildlife images.

At the best of time, wildlife photography requires quite a bit of luck but by focusing on some basic, and other not so basic, techniques you  can be sure that when you are faced with a potentially great wildlife image you will be ready to capture the beauty that is Africa.

To kick things off, this week the focus is on eye contact.

I am not referring to catchlight, the little specular highlights in an animals eyes which make the image come alive, but rather direct eye contact from your subject.  Don’t ignore catchlight though!  It is one of the most powerful tools you have when creating wildlife images but for now let’s look at direct eye contact.

Take the following image for example.

Eye Contact - Image by Gerry van der Walt

A big male lion walking directly towards us.

Beautiful animal?  Absolutely.

Dangerous?  Sure.

But can you feel that in the image?  Nah, doubt it.

Now take this image, taken of the same animal a few seconds before.

Eye Contact - Image by Gerry van der Walt

Quite a different feel to this one.

The difference that eye contact makes to a wildlife image , especially if your subject is one of the more dangerous species, is invaluable.

So, what is the lesson in all of this?

Well, in order to capture that magical eye contact you might need to wait for your subject.

Patience!

When you look at the work of professional wildlife photographers rememeber that they did not just arrive at a sighting, click the shutter to create an award winning image and move on.  It takes patience to create striking wildlife images with eye contact and, if you are lucky, some catchlight.

And, as a bonus, you will get to enjoy nature at the same time!

Until next week!

Gerry van der Walt

Photo-Africa

One Response to “Wildlife Photography Workshop: Eye Contact”

  1. I love your wildlife photography workshop,and it is very helpful to me more so then most photography work shops or books. thank you and I did learn something new today it was very invormentive and I am looking forward to the next lesson

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