15 Incredible Tutorials on the Art of Photographing Wildlife

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Tiffany Mueller is a professional music and fine art photographer. She has been published in multiple publications including magazines, art journals, and various photography books. She blogs at Life Is Unabridged.

There’s no shortage of information to be gained here on the internet and sometimes what should be a simple search turns into an hour wasted on scrolling through google search results, still not finding exactly what it is you started out to learn in the first place. To help make your life easier, we’ve done some of that sifting for you and compiled a list of wildlife photography tutorials and tips that are sure to feed your curiosity.

Discover Wildlife: Wildlife Photography Master Class A series of over 20 tutorials on just about all things wildlife photography from lighting, composition, mammal habits, and more. Plus, they all come as free pdfs.

B & H Photo: Lenses For Bird & Nature Photography Arthur Morris, renowned wildlife photographer, delivers a very in depth look at many different lenses, where they shine, when they should be avoided, etc. The video is nearly two hours long, but it rolls right on by thanks to gorgeous photos Morris shares throughout. Plus, he tells you how he made the photos, bonus lesson!

 PhotoNaturalist: How To Photograph Birds In Bad Light The title says it all, really. This tutorial is geared more for the novice wildlife photographer, but can be helpful to all skill levels. It’s an informative guide on how to use the existing light even when it’s at its worst. No more sitting around waiting for good weather and clear skies!

PhotoTuts+: The Photographer’s Guide to Preparing for an African Safari Embarking on a safari through wildlife rich Africa is a dream come true for most wildlife photographers and, unfortunately, it doesn’t always come with a small price tag. To get the most out  of the experience you have to make sure you are prepared for the journey before you even leave and this tutorial is great starting point. It covers everything from what gear to bring to communicating effectively with your safari driver.

Lightstalking: 10 Tips to Improve Your Wildlife Photography Ten concise, effective tips designed tips designed to get you thinking like a photographer. A quick read that will help you develop style and technique.

Beautiful Bugs: How to Do Macro Insect Photography
Whether you agree that bugs are beautiful or not, there’s no denying how gorgeous a well executed macro shot of one can be. This all inclusive tutorial discusses  the technical side (yes, there’s a little bit of math involved) and the art behind creating macro shots.

PeachPit: Wildlife Photography: Get to Know Your Subject As this article, which is actually an entire chapter from Laurie Excell’s book, Wildlife Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots, states wildlife photography isn’t just about the nuts and bolts of your equipment. A good part to getting great wildlife shots is understanding your subjects. Professional wildlife photographers may always seem to be “in the right place at the right time”, but it’s not just coincidence. They have taken the time learn about very nature of animals, thus helping them make educated decisions on where they need to be to get the shots they are hoping to get. This seven page tutorial–you’ll have to click through as you read– helps you do just that.

Digital Camera World: Wildlife Photography Made Easy: Simple Techniques For Pro-Quality Pictures. A three section tutorial on how to photograph wildlife without breaking the bank. This one talks all about how you can get professional quality images without leaving your backyard. Perfect for the photographer on a budget or those who are unable to travel.

B & H Photo: The Basics of Nature Photography from Michael Melford These video seminar from B&H Photo & Video in New York City make me wish I were still living there so I could get to see them in person. Since a move back to the Big Apple probably isn’t in my near future, I’m very grateful that the photography superstore posts these seminars online for the whole world to watch, completely free of charge. In this video, presenter, Michael Melford, shares with us a slideshow of his jaw-dropping photographs as he meticulously describes each situation in a way that prepares viewers with an almost real world experience. You feel as though you were in the field with him, learning all those techniques that has earned him countless press in publications such as National Geographic, Traveler Magazine, and others.

National Geographic: Shooting Wildlife (With A Camera) It’s nice to be afforded the opportunity to learn from someone who has years and years experience at the top of their game. That’s probably why National Geographic chose two of their leading photographers, Cary Wolinsky and Bob Caputo, to share insights and advice they used themselves during their 64 cumulative years working as wildlife photographers.

Zoo Photography: A Fool-Proof Method For Capturing Animals Through Glass. It’s an arguable branch of wildlife photography, but sometimes a zoo is the closest we can get to some animals and when that’s the case, here’s a good approach to take.

Equidae Photography Tips Horses, donkeys, zebras…coming across any of these in the wild is a big opportunity in the life of a wildlife photographer. This one is more of sharing of a story than a tutorial, at least in it’s traditional definition, but the way equine photographer Elisabeth Haug, talks about her unexpected adventure photographing zebras, it encourages fellow photographers to take from her experience and build their own through expirementation. It’s kind of refreshing for those who like to figure things out for themselves or try new things rather than follow strict methods.

Ten Tips For Photographing Wildlife Like A Pro Some of the information here spills over into some of these other tutorials, but comes to us in a much more convienent and less time consuming fashion for those on the go. Ten great tips every wildlife photography enthusiast should know.

Underwater Photography Composition Basics Part 1 and Part II Let’s not forget the wildlife that is hidden below water. The specialized genre of wildlife photography requires a whole different set of skills. This series produced by major photography equipment retailer, Adorama, covers different theories and approaches to composing underwater wildlife images.

Exposure Guide: Wildlife Photography Tips This visual tutorial takes sample images of some of the most popular types of animals seen in wildlife photography and gives a breakdown of how the image was made in addition to general advice on photographing said animal. Another quick read that packs a big punch.

The BIG Guy by VinothChandar, on Flickr

Know of a rocking tutorial that we missed? Be sure to share it with the rest of the Lighstalking community in the comments below and don’t forget to post your best wildlife shots over in the forums!

2 thoughts on “15 Incredible Tutorials on the Art of Photographing Wildlife

  1. Larry

    Tiffany & Lightstalking,
    Thanks for this excellent compilation of tutorials. It covers just about every area of outdoor photography I am interested in. Great job!

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