Posted by Wes Bradford on May 08, 2018
President Jon's Safari business in East Africa has resulted in many good wildlife photos by himself and his clients. He reviewed his favorite principles on improving photo results:
1. Take a picture of “something” (an intended object of interest to the viewer, to attract the viewer's focus).
2. Rule of thirds: divide picture into thirds both horizontally and vertically, and position the object of interest on the dividing lines or at their intersections.
3. Control your frame, avoiding distracting background objects; look at the entire framed area.
4. Get multiple shots, for better selection afterward (avoid bad facial expressions or other distractions that may spoil picture quality).
5. Choose your lighting: bright light at high noon causes washed out bright areas and dark shadows in shady areas, losing detail. Softer lighting occurs during the “golden light”, in the first hour after sunrise and in the last hour before sunset. Look for even lighting, often in open shadow during daytime so the camera adapts to the shadow lighting and not to a bright background.
6. Avoid backlight (brighter lighting in the background that causes underexposure in the subject of interest in the foreground), unless using fill-in flash to light up the foreground (if close enough to the camera for effective flash lighting).
7. Keep subject in sharp focus, including avoiding motion blur (flash can stop motion if close enough to the camera).
8. Delete poorer quality photos (from multiple shots to provide good selection).
9. Crop photos to remove distracting and irrelevant clutter around the point of interest; photograph a large enough frame to be able to crop without cutting off the original image.
10. Consider a DSLR camera for good control of a variety of photographic situations.