Blog Post #024 – Photography Explained #3

Advice, Art, Photography, Travel

Welcome to the third installation of my Photography Explained series. I have enjoyed the process of creating these kinds of blog posts as it allows me to take a hard look at my photography and find those areas that I am weak at and need to work upon. It has also provided me with a further sense of appreciation of the effect that a well-taken photograph can have and the components that need to all come together to allow for this to happen. 

In this particular blog post, I am going to be looking more closely at animal photography

I have been drawn towards the animals of the world all my life and have always been intrigued by what they are. I enjoy watching them go about their activities and observing how different their lives are to our own. Of course, this means that I love to take photographs of these animals that I spot. However, animals are notoriously fast-moving and it can be a real challenge to capture the creature within your frame before they scurry or fly away. 

Below I am going to display a few of my favourite photographs of different animals taken around the world and offer a few tips as to how to get that perfect photograph. I hope you enjoy the read as much as I enjoyed writing it. 

My first photograph is of a squirrel taken in Elveden Forest, Suffolk. What I like about this photograph is the framing of the points of interest in the image. Around 50% of the photograph is taken up of the foreground which is in focus and the other half is out of focus but provides context to the photograph. As well as this it was crucial to ensure that the squirrel’s entire body is within the frame with none chopped off by the edge. I felt that this organisation created a nice dynamic to the photograph which differentiates it from other photographs of animals.  

A piece of advice that is universal for all animal photography is to take as many photos as you can with a fast shutter speed. You will be left with hundreds of photographs using this method but you have a far greater chance of one being the money shot sitting within a host of average photographs. 

My second photograph is one of a humpback whale taken off the coast of Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland. It was such an honour to be in such close proximity to such a huge, majestic creature and the photograph does not do the experience justice. 

And my third photograph is of a loggerhead turtle in Greek waters. I had been told of turtles being present in the area but I did not expect to be greeted by one. An incredibly special moment and thanks to photographs I can revisit this memory again and again. 

In both of these photographs of aquatic creatures, what is important is ensuring that the point of focus, either the tail fin or the turtle is as close as possible to the centre of the frame. This was also another example of when it is vitally important to take multiple photographs in a short period as these encounters are over in a flash and there is a very small window of opportunity to get that perfect photograph. 

My fourth and final image is of a cormorant taken in Folkestone, Kent and is my favourite photograph of any flying animal. In my experience, it has been very challenging to capture a satisfactory photograph of a bird in flight and my best results come from when they are stationary. Again the framing techniques came into play but what I like about this photograph is that I have made the subject silhouetted. 

This is a simple photography technique that can add an extra layer of intrigue by stripping away the fine details of the subject. The most effective way to achieve this is to ensure that the sunlight is behind the subject, this means that the subject stays in shadow and therefore will become a silhouette. 

This is because a human eye has a far greater dynamic range than the sensor of any camera. Through eyesight, details are much clearer when looking towards a light source but through a lens, a silhouette effect can be achieved. 

I hope that you have enjoyed this short journey through my favourite animal photographs and that you have been able to yearn some useful tips that will improve your photography. 

Until next Monday, have a great week. 

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