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Wildlife Photography Tips

What do wildlife photography tips and manners have in common?

Have you ever heard the expression "Mind your Ps and Qs"? It is an English expression that basically means "be on your best behavior" or "mind your manners." While that is good advice anytime, an even better saying to keep in mind when photographing wildlife is to "Mind your PEQs".

Buffalo in Snow

The PEQs of wildlife photography are:

Be Patient

The first wildlife photography tip is to "Be Patient", because being patient is important to capturing the best photos of wildlife. In order to get the best photos possible you will likely have to wait several minutes to several hours. Whether you are in a blind, exploring a park or simply waiting along side the road at a likely viewing spot, being patient is a key to being in the right place at the right time. Waiting patiently and quietly will help increase your chances of the wildlife coming in closer and of you capturing that special photo.

Being patient also comes into play when trying to get closer to animals or to see them at all. You need to move slowly and quietly as you walk along the path or hike in the woods. Don't get in a hurry, instead take your time, stop often to scan the area around you looking for those special photos that you would otherwise miss had you simply hurried along.

Also always remember to use caution when approaching wildlife and be careful of getting too close putting yourself and or the animal in danger.

Whitetail Deer

Be Early

The second wildlife photography tip is to "Be Early". Arriving early is often helpful in getting the best photos of wildlife. Depending on the area and the animal you might need to arrive before dawn in order to be in position in the early morning hours when some animals are most active. Both early morning an late evening hours are often prime time for capturing the best photos. It is during these time periods that the animals are out moving about feeding, etc. It is also during these times when you have the "golden hour" as far as ideal lighting conditions go.

If you know the area you are shooting at and the type of wildlife you are hoping to photograph then you can choose the best time to see them and then plan to arrive and be in position at that optimal viewing time.

Rocky Mountian Elk

Be Quiet

The third wildlife photography tip to keep in mind is to "Be Quiet." The more noise you make the less chance you will have of getting those truly outstanding wildlife photos. Whether you are trying to photograph a small fleeting bird or a large deer or elk, being quiet almost always helps you get a better photo. In order to avoid being seen or heard as you sit and wait or as you hike along the path, being quiet will only increase you chances of getting the best possible photos.

While there are some areas and some species that become so accustomed to humans being around, that these three PEQ's of wildlife photography might not seem as important the fact is that following them will still almost always result in better photos.

In addition to "Minding your PEQs", these additional tips will help you improve your wildlife pictures.


Ready to go take some great wildlife photos? Click here to see of some of the best places to take wildlife photos.