How to Begin Wildlife Photography and get First Class Images From the Start.

Squirrel Photographed at Public Feeding Station.

Do you flick through the pages of a beautiful book of nature photographs and wish you could take your own pictures like those?

Have you tried but only got blurred birds or a disappearing tail?

Have you got that beautiful long lens but think it may have been a waste and you’ll never get that awesome shot?

You’re not alone.

But we can build the skills that will help you achieve your goal. And you can start right away!

Attract Wildlife to your space.

The best way to start photographing wildlife is to build your skills shooting in your garden or local park. To do that, you need to attract birds and animals to a spot you can have your camera ready focused on. The best way to do that is with their favourite food.

Garden Feeding Station on a dark January day.

The kinds of wildlife you will attract depends on the time of year and the kind of area you are in. That is where a little bit of research will come in. You could sit and watch for a while and see what passes, look on your local wildlife website to see what’s around and investigate what local photographers have captured.

If your aim is to capture birds, setting up a feeding station with fat balls and universal seed holders will start attracting common birds quite quickly. This will give you the opportunity to practise your skills. Take lots of shots, try both auto and manual focus. Zoom right in or take a wider view.

Bumble bee in Wildflower corner.

Create a Hideaway

One important tip here is to hide as much as possible. A good way of doing this is to shoot from a window with curtains closed and the camera lens sticking through. Another option is a small tent that you can hide in — preferably in a colour that blends with your surroundings.

Nuthatch from Living Room Window.

For butterflies and insects, try a nectar station or bee friendly flowers. The Butterfly Bush (Buddleia) is one great choice as many insects visit it.

Once you have got your skills built you can move on to the larger wildlife remembering to learn about each one’s life style and habitat as you go. Or you can make it easier by visiting a Hide where the facilities are ready set up for you and give you a great chance of success.

Otter at feeding time at Visitor Centre.

In Conclusion

You can start right now by chopping up some nuts, finding some seeds and popping them on a surface such as an upturned crate outside or on a bird table if you have one. Add a small dish of water close by too. It won’t be long before you start getting visitors. The more regularly you do this, the more relaxed your visitors will become, and more comfortable with your camera.

Your skills will build surprisingly quickly and it won’t be long before you get the shots you are dreaming of.

Good Luck!

Award winning Artist and Photographer still learning and evolving. Blogging the journey.

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