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Wildlife photography hints and tips for phones & compacts

If you own a smartphone or compact camera, these tips and hints will help you to capture the very best wildlife photos – while you’re out and about enjoying nature.

Wildlife photography hints and tips for phones & compacts

You don’t need to spend a fortune on camera gear to capture outstanding images. A compact camera combined with imagination is really all you need.

As you progress you can add a tripod to your kit, which is great for taking steady shotsAlternatively you could improvise by using a rock, wall, fence or tree stump. A small beanbag is great for tilting up or down slightly and aligning your horizon. Use the timer to take the shots, which prevents movement when pressing the button, allowing for steadier, sharper images.

The lens on your camera can be adjusted by choosing a function that suits the shot. If you are capturing a mountain range, a wide angle look can be achieved by changing your settings to landscape and if it’s a small creature, you can use the macro setting.

It’s best to avoid using the digital zoom as this affects the quality of the photo, by enlarging an area of the photo. Rather use an optical zoom, which can be found in your settings – if not, you probably have a better quality DSLR camera that doesn’t need the digital zoom trickery.

Choosing a subject is a delightful way to capture your audience. Start by deciding on a theme or topic and then work out ways of telling the story with your camera.

The composition of your photos will determine your final results. This means taking into consideration where the different elements are situated within the frame of your photo and how easily your eye moves between them.

The “rule of thirds” also adds to the success of your image. Imagine your frame is divided vertically and horizontally into nine sections. Many cameras offer a function that does it for you. Now position your subject of interest on a line either two thirds up or down, which will make it more pleasing to the eye.

A great way to capture nature is to focus on capturing close-ups. You can achieve these shots by moving your camera closer to your subject, although this can be rather impossible to achieve if your subject is skittish. Instead of using your digital zoom – place your camera lens to the eyepiece of a pair of binoculars and focus in on your subject and snap away. Try taking your shots from the subject’s eye level, as this will transform the perspective of your photo.

The best time to capture wildlife photos is during “the golden hour” – around sunset and sunrise. The light has a more golden feel and creates a lovely atmosphere. Your subject is also lit up from the side, creating lovely shadows and texture to your photo.

An overcast day, which we are all too familiar with in England, is perfect for capturing macro photos of insects or long exposures of the woodland streams. The overcast effect gets rid of dark shadows or really bright areas. If it’s a very bright day or the sun is affecting your shots, try using your sunglasses as a filter to minimise the glare.

Now that you are equipped with some useful tips you can get out there and start snapping away. Just remember to be patient as you may wait a long time before capturing your ideal shot. Practice makes perfect and it could take a thousand shots – persevere and reap the rewards.

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