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Camera  Photography Tips

Photo  Copyright 2003 Chris Edwards Photo: Chris Edwards

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Seven basic tips for taking better nature photos. If you've got a good nature photography tip please e-mail it to us.

• Put the wildlife first
Your number one consideration when photographing wildlife should be the welfare of the subject. Don't frighten the subject in order to get a good shot. Birds on the nest are particularly prone to upset if you get too close, and they may even abandon the eggs. If you care about your subject you'll get much better photos.

• Be comfortable
If you're uncomfortable in the field, you won't want to stick around for long, and you may miss a good shot. Here's a list of things to consider taking with you when you go photographing in the field; warm clothes, strong shoes, waterproofs, drinking water, food snacks, a pocket multi-tool or Swiss Army Knife, matches, pocket first-aid kit, mobile phone, toilet paper and a small torch... oh, and of course your camera gear!

• Use a tripod
Even if you've got a steady hand, you'll get a greater depth of field and many more 'in focus' photos.

• Carry plenty of spare film/flashcards
A great photo can be priceless, whereas film and flashcards are relatively cheap. Take plenty of shots, even if some turn out duff (as they often do), one good shot can make it worthwhile.

• Camouflage yourself
Skill and patience are cheaper than a long lens. If you can develop an ability to get close to your subject, by using a hide or camouflage, you will not only get great shots, but you will also have the excitement of watching your subject at close range.

• Catch the action
Most of the animal photos on the UK Safari website are simply illustrations to help you identify species. Photos of animals in action are generally more interesting. Try to catch a bird flying, a squirrel jumping, or deer fighting.

• Expect the unexpected
Be ready for anything. Photographing wildlife can be unpredictable, and you can often catch a good shot on the fly. If you're prepared!

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