Tips for Better Wildlife Photographs

Written by Thomson Safaris

Post contributed by Chris Gamel, professional photographer

Capturing a great wildlife photograph can be a challenge. Here are some simple tips that will improve your wildlife photography without costing you a cent.

Simplify – Avoid the tendency to include too much in your image. Thousands of wildebeest migrate across the Serengeti plains but capturing this grand spectacle with your lens is almost impossible. The solution is to simplify the image. Ask yourself what the subject of the image is and then eliminate everything else. Simplification will make the message of your image clearer.

Watch for behaviors – Zebras, and other animals on the plains, spend a lot of time eating, which is beautiful while you are there but doesn’t always make for the most compelling photo. Instead, take a few minutes to watch and wait for their behaviors like nuzzling their young, fighting, and running to get a more interesting and dynamic image. (hint: behaviors often repeat)

Wait for the peak moment – All movement involves a beginning, a peak, and an ending. The best photographs usually happen at the peak. When a lion yawns, the best image is going to be when the mouth is fully extended (look at those teeth!). By timing your shots to coincide with peak moments, you capture the drama of the action.

By applying these three tips, your images will start to reflect the vision of your mind’s eye.


Chris Gamel is a professional photographer who leads trips in Tanzania.
Visit his website for more photography tips.