Jeffery S. Fraser formerly served as the CEO of NIC, a software company in Olathe, Kansas, that experienced considerable marketplace success under his leadership. After retiring in 2008, Jeffery Fraser opened Tsaina Lodge in Valdez, Alaska, which offers opportunities for wildlife photography, among other activities.
The following are six tips for beginner photographers of wildlife:
1. Wear appropriate clothing. Alaska’s varying weather means you must come prepared for rain or sun. Dress appropriately for the weather of the day. You may want to wear natural colors and avoid scented lotions or body products to help you blend in with the environment.
2. Choose the right camera gear. A quality camera with interchangeable lenses will help you capture animals from varying distances. Familiarize yourself with the camera before embarking on your trip, and experiment with different modes, such as ISO, arid white balance, and exposure compensation.
3. Research your subject. A little knowledge about a particular animal’s habits and movements will help you anticipate its actions and take better shots. Research the kinds of wildlife you hope to capture in order to improve the timing and composition of your shots.
4. Consider perspective. Be creative with your shots by taking pictures from different angles and positions. Experiment with the focus points and the location of your subject in the frame by anticipating its movement and incorporating the space around it. You can also take broader shots to showcase the animal in its environment.
5. Take advantage of various shooting modes. Cameras with various modes of shooting can help you with more difficult-to-capture subjects, such as birds in flight, sea life, and fast-moving animals. For instance, continuous shoot mode will provide a series of rapid-fire images, and motion capture will allow you to take short movies of your subject.
6. Respect the wildlife. Keep your distance, and never chase wildlife for photos, especially around nesting areas and animals with their young. If you can approach, do so slowly, and avoid sudden movements. Never use flash, as it can startle wildlife.