Wildlife Photography I: long lens technique

Wild animals tend to not like people; they are afraid of us… I guess mostly because we have a habit of eating them.  As a result, photographers are going to need longer lenses, to try and fill the frame. 300mm is just a starting point, for those looking to get into bird photography, and no matter how much you’ve got, more would always be better.

The following tips will help you keep the long lens steady. Most apply for other uses of long lenses, too (field sports come to mind).

Use supports when possible. Tripods are often big, bulky and take time to set up. I use a monopod at times, with great success, provided the subject is fairly static (perched bird, etc.). If the lens has stabilization, great, but there are great budget options (Nikon’s stellar AF-S 300mm f/4), which are not stabilized by anything other than the photographer. Don’t have or want to carry the extra gear? Make support when you don’t have one: lean against a tree; use a wall to sturdy yourself; lie down on the ground and dig your elbows in; etc.

This Great Blue Heron shot was taken with a Nikon D90 (APC-sensor) and non-stabilized 500mm (effective focal length of 750mm).  I used a monopod, to allow me to shoot at 1/80″ – there’s NO WAY I could have managed this without support.



Use a faster shutter speed.  Kind of a “duh” suggestion, but so many people use an automatic camera mode, where the camera chooses a shutter speed too slow for the subject, or scene (hello iPhone, with seemingly constant shutter speeds of 1/20”).  Get the shutter speed up – you’re going to need at least 1/500” to stop or slow motion of fast subjects, anyway.  When it comes to the ISO implications, noise is better than burry.  Stabilization only removes blur due to camera shake – if the subject is moving, you need shutter speed to stop the action.

This Great Horned Owl image was shot with a shutter speed of 1/1000 of a second, and look how the eyes and body are sharp, but the wings are still blurred from movement.


“Roll on the shutter” when firing.  If you press the shutter button down hard when starting to shoot and fire in continuous, you will see more shake-induced blur in the first shot, and the images will bob down and then back up.  Amazing how jarring the action of pushing can be, huh?  It’s just like a high powered car – slam on the gas pedal, and you’ll be spinning tires; feather into it and you get a far better take off.  Similarly, if you slowly roll your finger onto the shutter button, you will get far better first-shot results.


Get into the stance.  We all know triangles are the strongest shapes, right?  Making sturdy triangles to hold that big lens up will help.  Spread your feet shoulder width apart, with the left foot forward; thus turning your left shoulder a bit forward, too.  Left hand cups under the lens, fingers out to the right, thumb out to the left.  The left is carrying virtually all the weight (like the pivot on a tripod), with your right hand holding the grip loosely, and index finger on the shutter.  Elbows should be tucked in (not pushing into you, but tight to the body).


Breathe.  Properly.  Slow your breathing pattern down.  Take slow, controlled breaths, and hit the shutter in the moment where you are in-between inhaling and exhaling.


Let’er rip.  This isn’t landscapes, or portraits, where you have full control over all the variables, including the subject.   Use the maximum frames per second your camera allows, to capture high-speed action.  You have no control over what the subject (bird, athlete, etc.) will do – the additional frames will help you find the best composition of the bunch.  It costs you nothing to delete unwanted files – there’s no penalty to overshooting, other than the amount of time you spend to review.  Below, you’ll see the photos captured leading up to the one with the eagle’s wings exactly where I wanted them.


Now, get out there and start shooting with that longer lens, and start taking better shots! 😉

682 thoughts on “Wildlife Photography I: long lens technique

  1. Pingback: Wisdom tooth
  2. Pingback: Kamagra
  3. Pingback: dog walker
  4. Pingback: Cliff Davis Tampa
  5. Pingback: Mainly gaming
  6. Pingback: casinos online
  7. Pingback: iemauijim
  8. Pingback: TEDx
  9. Pingback: Bulk Message App
  10. Pingback: edarling
  11. Pingback: piante online
  12. Pingback: site
  13. Pingback: seo
  14. Pingback: speargun
  15. Pingback: louie2988
  16. Pingback: alive air purifier
  17. Pingback: desert tours
  18. Pingback: kopya icerik
  19. Pingback: hook
  20. Pingback: send earnings
  21. Pingback: plumbers Austin TX
  22. Pingback: canlı maç izle
  23. Pingback: puno la paz bus
  24. Pingback: Home Business
  25. Pingback: wibit parks
  26. Pingback: NBAOnlineStreams
  27. Pingback: women of color
  28. Pingback: cup
  29. Pingback: Love horoscopes
  30. Pingback: schedule maker
  31. Pingback: Martial Arts
  32. Pingback: canon
  33. Pingback: Roller banners
  34. Pingback: fuck google
  35. Pingback: fuck google
  36. Pingback: Amy Renfrey
  37. Pingback: Kids
  38. Pingback: Online Casino
  39. Pingback: build radio app
  40. Pingback: Rastafari
  41. Pingback: massage
  42. Pingback: advertising
  43. Pingback: homemade
  44. Pingback: canlı maç izle
  45. Pingback: Tess + Trish
  46. Pingback: Homepage
  47. Pingback: la viagra
  48. Pingback: Lorac pro mega
  49. Pingback: InternetMarketing
  50. Pingback: keepsake jewelry
  51. Pingback: Milton
  52. Pingback: Bedside Lamps
  53. Pingback: make money online
  54. Pingback: best song of 2016
  55. Pingback: Survival
  56. Pingback: redtube
  57. Pingback: Bobblehead
  58. Pingback: Heather Miracle
  59. Pingback: legion alpha rogue
  60. Pingback: holistic health
  61. Pingback: bra straps
  62. Pingback: artist
  63. Pingback: More Info
  64. Pingback: buy water slides
  65. Pingback: Free WSET Course
  66. Pingback: Rafferty Pendery
  67. Pingback: Rafferty Pendery
  68. Pingback: trading
  69. Pingback: Ambient Scenting
  70. Pingback: Models
  71. Pingback: ???????
  72. Pingback: escortbayan
  73. Pingback: tantric massage
  74. Pingback: training
  75. Pingback: games arabs
  76. Pingback: Rugby Streaming HD
  77. Pingback: Make extra money
  78. Pingback: Arthur
  79. Pingback: Artist
  80. Pingback: tulsa lawn care
  81. Pingback: privatecare
  82. Pingback: buy google cheat
  83. Pingback: maxi-cosi
  84. Pingback: personalcare
  85. Pingback: inventions
  86. Pingback: fuck google
  87. Pingback: gym
  88. Pingback: Locksmith
  89. Pingback: fuck google
  90. Pingback: fuck google
  91. Pingback: ANSYS
  92. Pingback: creampie
  93. Pingback: iv therapy jobs nj
  94. Pingback: Gameplay
  95. Pingback: Discovery Channel
  96. Pingback: payment proof mca
  97. Pingback: dlh
  98. Pingback: samsung unlock
  99. Pingback: fornir dlh
  100. Pingback: training company
  101. Pingback: slutena
  102. Pingback: blaty drewniane
  103. Pingback: unconscious women
  104. Pingback: blackhat seo
  105. Pingback: Work From Home
  106. Pingback: tapas bar
  107. Pingback: John Xie
  108. Pingback: Funny Baby Videos
  109. Pingback: sklejka
  110. Pingback: drjaydani
  111. Pingback: Brian wiita
  112. Pingback: Email Blast in USA
  113. Pingback: porno español
  114. Pingback: Turkish Porn
  115. Pingback: elewacja dlh
  116. Pingback: Dance
  117. Pingback: Latest Offer
  118. Pingback: Storage Cheltenham
  119. Pingback: nursery rhymes
  120. Pingback: cedr dlh
  121. Pingback: Online Reviews
  122. Pingback: Projection hire
  123. Pingback: Web design Dubai
  124. Pingback: hacks mentais
  125. Pingback: kant�wka
  126. Pingback: nursery rhymes
  127. Pingback: Bajar de peso
  128. Pingback: root canals
  129. Pingback: porn
  130. Pingback: Digital
  131. Pingback: More Bonuses
  132. Pingback: Piece Of Heaven
  133. Pingback: weight loss
  134. Pingback: home gym equipment
  135. Pingback: birthday wishes
  136. Pingback: junk cars
  137. Pingback: instagram porn
  138. Pingback: win
  139. Pingback: modrzew dlh
  140. Pingback: escort
  141. Pingback: Perth fireplaces
  142. Pingback: escort
  143. Pingback: retail blog
  144. Pingback: Nhac Viet
  145. Pingback: 熊猫猫币充值
  146. Pingback: mini speaker
  147. Pingback: lastminute voli
  148. Pingback: mini speaker
  149. Pingback: vegan diet
  150. Pingback: Entertainment
  151. Pingback: home gym equipment
  152. Pingback: meditation app
  153. Pingback: Diabetes Destroyer
  154. Pingback: Music artist
  155. Pingback: Bad service
  156. Pingback: crossfit vancouver
  157. Pingback: Bad service
  158. Pingback: Dollar shave club
  159. Pingback: Ross
  160. Pingback: london tantric
  161. Pingback: london tantric
  162. Pingback: web development
  163. Pingback: Ian
  164. Pingback: Arcade City
  165. Pingback: plr
  166. Pingback: Image quotes
  167. Pingback: Hot girls
  168. Pingback: Online Opportunity
  169. Pingback: Ebonite
  170. Pingback: cars lagos
  171. Pingback: music video
  172. Pingback: Comedy
  173. Pingback: break fix
  174. Pingback: quick cash loans
  175. Pingback: Detroit Pistons
  176. Pingback: gambling
  177. Pingback: kalici makyaj
  178. Pingback: adventure
  179. Pingback: casino sbobet
  180. Pingback: web design
  181. Pingback: recupero dati
  182. Pingback: UV Gel Nails
  183. Pingback: spam scam
  184. Pingback: recupero dati
  185. Pingback: olu dieta
  186. Pingback: large recliner
  187. Pingback: Tenerife Property
  188. Pingback: money
  189. Pingback: techos de aluminio
  190. Pingback: Militant
  191. Pingback: #Feature
  192. Pingback: alpha brain review
  193. Pingback: kalici makyaj
  194. Pingback: porn
  195. Pingback: William LeGate
  196. Pingback: Service
  197. Pingback: when i die
  198. Pingback: Blue Orange
  199. Pingback: Escort Chillan
  200. Pingback: tongue vibrator
  201. Pingback: Escort en iquique
  202. Pingback: Asbestos survey
  203. Pingback: 健麗,
  204. Pingback: Escort en Chillan
  205. Pingback: Escorts en iquique
  206. Pingback: jasa cuci sofa
  207. Pingback: Overwatch
  208. Pingback: Fire Season Studio
  209. Pingback: jazz improv
  210. Pingback: Top 10
  211. Pingback: the social man
  212. Pingback: Electric Scooter
  213. Pingback: free foot games
  214. Pingback: Viagra opinie cena
  215. Pingback: social
  216. Pingback: free games
  217. Pingback: carpet cleaning
  218. Pingback: Claims help
  219. Pingback: Detroit Lions Blog
  220. Pingback: sandbox
  221. Pingback: homebuyer
  222. Pingback: Detroit Lions Blog
  223. Pingback: music video
  224. Pingback: tvich
  225. Pingback: Online Reviews
  226. Pingback: Interracial Porn
  227. Pingback: MILF Porn
  228. Pingback: porno
  229. Pingback: cranecrews.com
  230. Pingback: Asian Porn
  231. Pingback: Interracial Porn
  232. Pingback: Free XXX Porn
  233. Pingback: Free XXX Porn
  234. Pingback: Carl Kruse
  235. Pingback: masturbator
  236. Pingback: Kamagra tabletki
  237. Pingback: cool live game
  238. Pingback: Comcast
  239. Pingback: Artist
  240. Pingback: sing songs
  241. Pingback: uab ost express
  242. Pingback: massage edinburgh
  243. Pingback: online games
  244. Pingback: Teen XXX Porn
  245. Pingback: Detroit Red Wings
  246. Pingback: Free Amateur Porn
  247. Pingback: Detroit Pistons
  248. Pingback: Fetish Porn
  249. Pingback: Xbox One
  250. Pingback: Anal Porn
  251. Pingback: Gay Lesbian Porn
  252. Pingback: GUITAR
  253. Pingback: Sophie Dee Porn
  254. Pingback: Business Strategy
  255. Pingback: Gay Porn
  256. Pingback: Shemale Porn
  257. Pingback: Hardcore Porn
  258. Pingback: Homemade Porn
  259. Pingback: Bree Olson Porn
  260. Pingback: pest control
  261. Pingback: Reality Kings Porn
  262. Pingback: Brandi Love Porn
  263. Pingback: Mia Khalifa XXX
  264. Pingback: Jayden Jaymes Porn
  265. Pingback: Cam Porn
  266. Pingback: Sara Jay XXX
  267. Pingback: vlog
  268. Pingback: Bowling Balls
  269. Pingback: Brazzers Porn
  270. Pingback: Bowling Store
  271. Pingback: Golf Balls
  272. Pingback: porno
  273. Pingback: pest control
  274. Pingback: Viagra sklep
  275. Pingback: relationship
  276. Pingback: vlogging
  277. Pingback: 308 lower AR10
  278. Pingback: kids animation
  279. Pingback: real gold jewelry
  280. Pingback: Clotilde
  281. Pingback: multilingual seo
  282. Pingback: Kaycee
  283. Pingback: Cialis bez recepty
  284. Pingback: sex
  285. Pingback: SEO
  286. Pingback: Chasidy
  287. Pingback: phenq review
  288. Pingback: forina pure
  289. Pingback: Pos system
  290. Pingback: membuat uang
  291. Pingback: buy hacklink
  292. Pingback: tattoos
  293. Pingback: gates usa
  294. Pingback: free cigarette
  295. Pingback: status pnr
  296. Pingback: Levitra
  297. Pingback: codes coupon
  298. Pingback: fast cash loans
  299. Pingback: MILF Porn
  300. Pingback: Tesao de vaca
  301. Pingback: Poker indonesia
  302. Pingback: antarvasna
  303. Pingback: clearskin
  304. Pingback: web hosting
  305. Pingback: Mabelle
  306. Pingback: custom seat cover
  307. Pingback: Natural Hair
  308. Pingback: webcam modeling
  309. Pingback: talking tom
  310. Pingback: Dorothea
  311. Pingback: Sex
  312. Pingback: Trapani Galea
  313. Pingback: 55prints.com
  314. Pingback: dating sites
  315. Pingback: verify paypal
  316. Pingback: purificadoras
  317. Pingback: office cleaning
  318. Pingback: antarvasna
  319. Pingback: Grayce
  320. Pingback: pozyczki
  321. Pingback: Animation
  322. Pingback: Martinez
  323. Pingback: pozyczki
  324. Pingback: LinkedIn Profiles
  325. Pingback: pj masks
  326. Pingback: Minecraft Accounts
  327. Pingback: phone 6s huge discount
  328. Pingback: Monserrate Dabato
  329. Pingback: Edison Ruffner
  330. Pingback: Logic Type Beat
  331. Pingback: Adwords search
  332. Pingback: Sugar Daddy Miami
  333. Pingback: brainsmart
  334. Pingback: brainsmart ultra
  335. Pingback: Texas new homes
  336. Pingback: sex
  337. Pingback: viagra
  338. Pingback: gymnastics sale
  339. Pingback: family you tubers
  340. Pingback: banner printing
  341. Pingback: slimming program
  342. Pingback: Porn
  343. Pingback: escortbayan
  344. Pingback: videos de shemales
  345. Pingback: Movie
  346. Pingback: movies
  347. Pingback: Comedy
  348. Pingback: Qiran
  349. Pingback: Banner Stands
  350. Pingback: Website Templates
  351. Pingback: see this here
  352. Pingback: Handschellen
  353. Pingback: reggae
  354. Pingback: RRB Result 2016
  355. Pingback: Endocrine Rehab
  356. Pingback: high speed vpn
  357. Pingback: sports
  358. Pingback: indian
  359. Pingback: Illness
  360. Pingback: 12Bet English
  361. Pingback: smetic
  362. Pingback: Train refund
  363. Pingback: Lawn care Atlanta
  364. Pingback: hr.com
  365. Pingback: GRE prep
  366. Pingback: Stream
  367. Pingback: Engineer
  368. Pingback: Clear
  369. Pingback: easy no carb meals
  370. Pingback: #Melody
  371. Pingback: coffee online
  372. Pingback: bangla choti
  373. Pingback: money
  374. Pingback: hiverlab
  375. Pingback: television
  376. Pingback: Dry Blasting
  377. Pingback: Lens
  378. Pingback: SHAZAM CONNER
  379. Pingback: gate 2017 result
  380. Pingback: Late Trains
  381. Pingback: games
  382. Pingback: Dreamlife Beats
  383. Pingback: hcg diet
  384. Pingback: Jacuzzi
  385. Pingback: cleaner near me
  386. Pingback: Transition
  387. Pingback: agario
  388. Pingback: love advice
  389. Pingback: online dating
  390. Pingback: hairbond uk
  391. Pingback: birthday meme
  392. Pingback: wooden watch
  393. Pingback: love advice
  394. Pingback: cocuk eskort bayan
  395. Pingback: cocuk eskort bayan

Comments are closed.