A Full, Detailed Tutorial on How to Photograph Birds and Wildlife

Bird and wildlife photography can be one of the most rewarding niches in photography and can give the person behind the camera an adventure of a lifetime.

In the video above, I break down all aspects of bird and wildlife photography and provide a full tutorial on how to prepare, capture, and edit images.

To start with, I want to give an insight into some gear that is important for bird and wildlife photography, and when I say gear, I don’t just mean camera gear. Some non-camera gear that can be important to have is camouflage, waterproof boots, bug spray, binoculars, and more. Of course, camera gear can also be important. Some pieces of camera gear that are such are telephoto lenses, durable tripods, cameras with high frame rates, external hard drives, and the like.

For beginners, there are some notes about camera settings that are important to note. If you’re just beginning your journey into photography, I recommend shooting in Shutter Priority Mode. I explain in-depth in the video what shutter speed is and how it affects the image that is getting taken, but shooting in shutter priority with a high shutter speed set in this mode will assure that you do not get blurry images in changing light environments.

I want to ensure that anyone getting into wildlife photography understands two very important compositional techniques which are the rule of thirds and the rule of space. Both of these rules keep the image flowing smoothly and can prevent any sort of confusion or inconsistencies of where the animal is placed in a photograph.

In addition to covering theory and approach to image capture, I also go out into the field to give some general tips that are important for photographers to keep in mind when photographing animals. In the video above, I touch on autofocus modes and points, so beginner photographers can learn how to focus on animals in different scenarios that may be thrown at them in the field.

I then discuss lighting conditions and what sort of lighting environments are good for photography. Below are examples of the different types of lighting and how they make your subject appear in photos. One of the most important things that you can take away from this segment is that you should keep yourself and the animal safe at all costs.

To end things, I want to show how I edit my images in Lightroom and Photoshop by going in-depth on how to properly edit your photos to make them look authentic.

Wildlife can be a lot to take in when first getting started so don’t be discouraged if things don’t start out as planned. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect.

About the author: Rylan Meadows is a 16 year old professional photographer based in Eastern Kentucky. You can see more from him on his Instagram and YouTube Channel.