[ Last Updated on June 18th, 2017 ]
When I bought my first DSLR three years ago, I had no clue about the composition, photography technique, lighting and many other things. I just bought a DSLR camera because I had interest in photography and enjoyed taking pictures. I still remember a shot of a deer that I took from the back and was very happy with the result. It had shallow depth of field, well focused and good light. I couldn’t find anything wrong with my picture and thought to share with our photographer community. Guess what? My composition was completely wrong which I realized after fellow photographer commented about it. And you probably have already guessed what went wrong. Yes, I took the shot from the back of an animal and viewers couldn’t connect to that photograph very well.
I started learning from my mistakes and today, I thought I would write something about what I learned so far so that you don’t have to go through same mistakes and waste your time. But instead, you can use that time for taking creative shots.
When shooting animals, there are few important camera settings and composition ideas which you may want to follow to get better results and connect well to the viewers. Let me explain them briefly in points.
1. When shooting birds or animals, you may want to use spot metering so that camera meters exposure based on your focus point.
2. Use Continuous-servo (AF-C) autofocus mode (after you press shutter release button, camera focuses your subject wherever you select focus point and continues to monitor subject to refocus if subject moves) along with single point AF (helps you to focus in particular area like an eye for example) or Dynamic Area AF (helps to track moving subject if it goes out of focus in frame) autofocus point. If you are shooting flying birds or fast moving animals, you may want to use Dynamic AF points.
3. Use the widest aperture (smallest f number) possible so that you will get faster shutter speed to freeze the motion of moving subjects.
4. While shooting animals, try to focus on eye as much as possible because it naturally draws viewer’s attention to your photograph immediately.
Here are few photographs I took recently and hope you will like it.
This shot was taken at the National Zoo, Washington DC and I liked how this cat is cautiously look at me while drinking water.
Learning from the mistake is the best way to learn. You will never forget what you learned and sharing those ideas with others help you grow even bigger and faster.