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AAA Photo Session: Wildlife

Take part in our monthly photo assignment! Follow our pro tips, start snapping and submit your best shot.

wildlife photography

What is some of the most amazing wildlife you’ve had the opportunity to capture? We want to see! Share your snaps using the form below to share with AAA Northeast. Next month, we’ll update this post with all the pictures we receive and feature some of our favorites on our social media channels. Your photo may also appear in an upcoming issue of Your AAA magazine.

If it’s anything like the bird Photo Session, this is going to be a good one!

Tips for Photographing Wildlife

Photographing wildlife is one of the most rewarding types of photography. There is nothing more exciting than capturing an animal in its element. But it could also be a challenge, requiring both skill and patience. Here are some of my top wildlife photography tips.

wildlife photography

Pick the Perfect Lens

Animals are easily spooked by human presence and may run or act defensively. Because of this, you will want to have a telephoto zoom lens to capture wildlife safely from a distance. I recommend purchasing a lens that can zoom up to at least 200mm. If you want to be able to really zoom in, look for one that can go up to 400mm or 600mm.

wildlife photography

Vary Your Focal Length

When I am photographing wildlife, I like to vary my focal length. I like to get some close intimate shots of details like teeth, paws, eyes, etc. Then, I take a wide shot that shows the wildlife in its environment.

wildlife photography

Think Fast

Wildlife can be unpredictable, so it is best to be ready to click that shutter button at any moment. This means having a fast shutter speed. I recommend being over 1/1000th of a second for slow moving wildlife and 1/2000th of a second for fast moving wildlife. An easy way to ensure that your shutter speed is fast enough is to set your camera to shoot in shutter priority mode; this setting allows you to pick the shutter speed you want, and the camera adjusts itself accordingly.

wildlife photography

Focus

It can be tricky to nail focus on a moving subject, but there are camera settings that can help you. I recommend setting your camera to continuous focus mode. Using this mode, simply focus on your subject and hold down the shutter button halfway; the camera should track the subject for you. Then, press the button down all the way when you are ready to take the picture. Some cameras have built-in animal autofocus that finds the animals eyes and locks focus.

wildlife photography

Rapid Fire

When photographing a moving subject, I recommend having your drive mode set to shoot more than a single image at a time. You can set it up to rapid fire many shots at a time when you press the button. Luckily for us, we don’t have to process film anymore! But keep extra memory cards handy just in case.

Photo Release Form

Thank you for participating!

But first, please sign our photo release form. We can’t share your photo without your permission.

Submit Your Photo

One submission per person. Deadline 9/24/2021.

Get more photography tips.

Beth Mancuso is a professional landscape and travel photographer. All photos are hers. Follow Beth @intothewild.wego.

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