Capturing the perfect photo of your beloved pet or a wild animal in its natural habitat is no easy task. The first thing you will need is a good decent camera with the right lens, fast AF system, fast aperture and most of all, patience, patience, and more patience.
What Camera to Use?
There are as many cameras and models out in the market as there are types of breed of dogs in the world. Obviously, there are specialty cameras for the professional, but there are also many to consider that are more affordable for the amateur. The type of camera you will want to use mostly depends on the ease of use, auto mode capability and be a beginner-friendly (in case you are a beginner) camera.
Beginner Makes & Models with Average Pricing:
Nikon – DSLR D3200 & D3300 averaging between $400 – $600. The D5300 and D7000 for about $600-$800 and the D7100 for $1000
Canon – SX60 PowerShot $400, Rebel T-5 $500, EOS 6D for about $2,000
Pentax – K5 starting at $350
Sony – HX20V for $400 and the megazoom HX200V for $500. The CyberShot RX100, $500 – $800, the Alpha a7SII and a7RII mirrorless cameras for $3,000
Olympus – OM-D ranging from $400-$900
Panasonic – DMC for roughly $500
To be able to capture the perfect photograph of any wildlife or pet in action, you will want to make sure you have a good decent camera with the right lens. The AF or Automatic Focus system should be fast as it will track motion more accurately, especially in indoors or in lower light settings. A fast aperture, likewise, will let you work in lower light and indoors, and will allow you to either lower ISO or raise shutter speed.
Regardless of camera, the most important item you will need to consider for a successful and beautiful picture is the lens. Start with a 300mm if you are on a budget. The autofocus option is pretty good in daylight. This lens is lightweight and easy to use.
Tips for taking wildlife action photographs
- Observe the wildlife you need to capture in your photos – Taking pictures of insects is very different than taking pictures of birds, large animals, or fish. You will want to learn as much as you can about the animals you want to capture in your photographs. This will require lots of patience as the animals may not be easy to find and if you do find them, they will behave unexpectedly.
- Determine the time of day, season and weather conditions – This is extremely important if you are out in the open or in a low-density light situations. If it is raining, snowing, or you will be taking pictures in the water, you must consider a waterproof camera.
- Make sure you are situated in a safe location – The proximity to the animal being photographed is key. If you are taking pictures of insects or small animals, you may want to get as low to the ground as possible. If you are taking pictures of wild animals, you may want to be as far away as possible unless you are in a safe surrounding area.
- Make sure you are not disturbing their natural habitat – If you disturb their natural habitat by making noises or letting the animal spot you, you may never have a chance to shoot the pictures and capture the right moment
- Zoom or close ups or group shots should be taken into consideration – This will also depend on the type of animals being photographed.
Tips for taking pictures of your beloved pets
The same tips above will help you as well. However, since you are more familiar with your pets, you will know where and when to start using your camera. DSLR’s are best as they track a moving subject as it moves toward you, keeping it in focus. Some cameras will even track acceleration, which is what you need for pets.
Just remember, capturing that great picture will take a lot of observation, patience and good luck!
Rachel Noël is a professional photographer and videographer from the UK with over 10+ years of experience. Rachel specializes in Underwater, Tavel & Portrait photography among other areas.