Wildlife Photography Workshop: Go Wide

What piece of photo equipment do you think of when someone mentions wildlife photography?

Yeah, a weapon sized telephoto zoom lens.

If you own one of theses lenses, with a focal length of more than 300mm, you will know that you can create some amazing wildlife images  by bringing your subject closer but, and this is a very big but, it can make you lazy.

The reality is that with a big zoom lens composing your images can be a lot easier because it  becomes easy to remove distracting elements of your images.  Look at the example below.

Image by Gerry van der Walt - Springbok

By using a focal length of 500mm I was able to get nice and ‘close’ to the Springbok and remove an distracting elements.  There is no doubt as to what I want my viewer to look at.

This is all fine and well but to really tell a story with your images you need to put your subject in it’s natural environment by using a wider angle.  The image below was taken a little earlier when the Springbok was looking for some shade under the lonely tree.

Image by Gerry van der Walt - Springbok

Also a great image but it shows a lot more of the environment.

The bottom line?

Falling into a run and always using the same lens will not help you improve as a photographer.  You need to keep mixing things up to keep growing and getting better!

Don’t be lazy.  Don’t always zoom in and use your big lenses.

Grab that wide angle lens, include the landscape and environment in your images and create different wildlife images.

When you next head out in to the field try different things.  Try different compositions.  Keep on looking for different angles and then upload your results to the Bush Warriors Photo of the Day Contest.

See you next week.

Gerry van der Walt


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4 Responses to “Wildlife Photography Workshop: Go Wide”

  1. Dorothy Scanlan Says:

    Thank you – great advice!

  2. Dipen Chudasama Says:

    Great! Thanks! Looking forward to more tips (Although I do not own a big zoom lens – yet).

  3. Thanks very much Gerry, thats so true…something to think about…and save up for….a nice wide angle lens.

  4. Always loved the effect different lenses can offer. Nothing like a wide angle. Even a photographer without much experience can take phenomenal photos with one.

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