How To Photograph The Best Wildlife Photography By Nature Photographer Meta Gatschenberger
Meta’s Best Wildlife Photography Tips For Beginners
Meta’s Wildlife Photography is a combination of Skill, Patience, Luck, a Long Range Telephoto Lenses with a Fast Shutter Speed to capture Best Wildlife Photography Action. She finds her Minolta AF 75–300mm f/4.5–5.6 Telephoto Lens and her Minolta AF 70–210mm f/4.0 Telephoto Lens are her two Best Telephoto Lens for Wildlife Photography, due to their Long Ranges of 210mm and 300mm. The 70–210mm has a constant aperture of f/4.0 which is better in lower light.
Shooting RAW at 10 to 12 Shots Per Second in High Speed Burst Mode can quickly fill up Smaller SD Cards, which is why Meta uses Faster and Larger SanDisk Extreme Pro SD Cards. Now Up To 1TB!
Western North Carolina Wildlife Photographer Meta Gatschenberger, RN, shoots with Sony Digital Cameras and Vintage Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses.
Meta’s “Goose Taking Off” (Photo: Top) was shot with a Minolta AF 24mm f/2.8 Prime Lens mounted on a Sony Digital Camera. She probably should have used her Minolta AF 28–135mm Telephoto Lens.
Ad • Faster and Larger SD Cards – Shooting 5 Bracketed Shots for every HDR Image or Shooting RAW at 10 to 12 Shots Per Second in High Speed Burst Mode can quickly fill up Smaller SD Cards, which is why Meta uses Faster and Larger SanDisk Extreme Pro SD Cards. Now Up To 1TB!
Meta’s Best Wildlife Photography Tips For Beginners
Wildlife Photography Setup For Beginners
Living right off the Blue Ridge Parkway National Park high up in the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains, Meta enjoys shooting Wildlife, which often involves Hiking on the Remote Hiking Trails of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Be Patient – Wait for your Wildlife Subjects to come to you – Don’t chase after them. Observe the wildlife habits for a while and then wait for something they do often enough to repeat.
Here’s a list of the Wildlife Photography you can photograph in the Western North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains and along the Blue Ridge Parkway National Park:
Many Different Song Birds – Local and Migrating, Many White-Tailed Deer, Elk, Ground Hogs, Raccoons, Possums, Skunks, Black Bears, Canada Geese, Egrets, Owls, River Otters, Elk, Foxes, Coyotes, Cougars, Hawks and Eagles.
Ad • Camouflage Photography Blinds – For shooting birds in the wild or right in your back yard, considering trying a Camouflage Photography Blind. These will let you setup in natural areas, without the birds ever noticing you are there. Camouflage Photography Blinds are Light Weight, Rugged and Erects in just Seconds.
Wildlife Photography Tips For Beginners
• Patience and Persistence Pays Off – Wait for your Wildlife to come to you.
• Action Shots Look better than Stills – Try to Tell a Wildlife Story.
• Photograph in RAW at 10–12 fps to catch any Fast Wildlife Action.
• Don’t always photograph at Eye Level – Try getting Lower or Higher.
• Shutter Speed – 1/2500th of a Second For Fast Action.
• Aperture: Use Wide Open to f/8.
• White Balance – Auto White Balance.
• Program Mode – Lets you Quickly Switch to Manual Settings.
• ISO: Auto ISO Limited to ISO 800 (APS-C) or ISO 1600 (Full Frame).
• Filter – Circular Polarizer Filter Slightly Under Exposes and Cuts Glare.
• Lighting – Make sure the sun is always behind you – Avoid shooting into the sun.
• Animal Behavior – Learn about what wildlife you are shooting, especially with birds.
• Environment – Birds often take off into the wind. Know your surroundings.
• Get Closer – Use a Hide or a Blind. You don’t need a 600mm Lens to shoot wildlife!
• Location – Go where the Animals and Birds are familiar with people – Backyard Feeders and Parks.
Ad • Disposable Shower Caps – Meta discovered this tip while Whale Watching off the Coast of Southern California. Hotel Disposable Shower Caps can be used to protect your Digital Camera and Lens from Bird Poop and Pee. They are so small and compact, you can keep a few of them in your camera bag or pocket!
Backyard Birding Photography Tips
1) Construct a Natural Looking Staging Perch about 18” from your Bird Feeder.
2) Focus your Camera Remotely on this Staging Perch.
2) Remotely connect your Sony Digital Camera using a Wi-Fi Connection.
3) Wait for the Birds to Land on the Staging Perch, before they move to the Bird Feeder.
This Staging Perch Technique works for Backyard Song Birds as well as Hummingbirds.
Meta’s Backyard Birding Photography Check List
1) Staging Perch – Is the Staging Perch Attractive and Natural Looking?
2) Background – Is it smooth and clean or cluttered and full of distractions?
3) Light – Is the Light Direction Correct? Is the Light too Harsh or too Soft? Do you have Enough Light for a Correct Exposure?
4) Time of Day – Mornings and Evenings have better light. Avoid shooting mid-day between 10AM and 2 PM.
5) Composition – Does everything fit into the frame? Is the Bird’s Posture Correct? Is the Bird’s Head Turned Correctly?
6) Eye Focus – The Bird’s Eye has to be be tack sharp! No one is going to notice if the tail feathers are slightly out of focus.
7) Depth of Field – Do you have Depth of Field to capture the Bird in Focus? If not, Stop Down your Aperture, Move Back or Add Light.
Wildlife Photography Camera Settings For Beginners
Camera: Sony a99 II Digital Camera or Sony a77 II Digital Camera
Lens: Minolta AF 75–300mm f/4.5–5.6 Telephoto Lens or Minolta AF 70–210mm f/4.0 Telephoto Lens
Tripod: Slik Pro 700 DX Tripod with a Sony Wireless Remote Control
Camera Mode: Program Mode – Lets You Override Shutter Speed and Aperture
ISO: Auto ISO Limited to ISO 800 (APS-C) or ISO 1600 (Full Frame)
Aperture: Wide Open to f/8
Focus: Expand Flexible Spot
Filter: Circular Polarizer Filter
Shutter Speed: 1/2500th For Fast Action Shots
Ad • New Sony LA-EA5 A-Mount Adapter – The New Sony LA-EA5 A-Mount Adapter lets you mount any A-Mount Lens (Sony or Minolta) to your Sony E-Mount Digital Camera. A newly designed compact auto focus and aperture drive system fits snugly into the sleek compact cylindrical adapter.
Blowing Rock, NC 28605
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