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50 Amazing Animal Photos

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Animals are, without a shadow of a doubt, a fascinating photography subject. They're at their most intriguing when they're unpredictable and wild, allowing you to capture something of their very nature. This collection is a look at some outstanding shots of animals, of every kind, in the hope that it inspires and encourages you in your endeavors to immortalize something of the creatures with which we share our existence.

Whether it be the fierce look in the eyes of a lion, the majestic swoop of an eagle, or the gargantuan size of an elephant, animal photography, more than any other, is often capable of provoking a distinctly visceral reaction. In addition to that, the effort and perseverance that goes into capturing the perfect creature-based shot only adds to the impact of the images.

Before we delve in, it's worth thinking about a couple of simple things that can be done to increase your chances of capturing something truly memorable.


Movement

In all but the most sterile of situations, it's impossible to dictate what an animal will do, or where they will go, while you're trying to take a shot (with your camera, I'm not advocating hunting the animals first). This lack of control and element of sheer unpredictability should be seen as nothing more than an exciting challenge to flex your photographic imagination.

Be prepared to have to capture something on the fly, or at a seconds notice. Have your camera set up correctly, taking your surroundings and available light into consideration. This is a far cry from landscape photography. You may only get one chance at the shot you want.

Practically, you also need to think about your settings in regard to movement itself. Use shorter shutter speeds and moving your camera along with your subject. It's a fiendishly difficult move to get right but can produce stunning results.


Proximity

This is a simple one. There must be millions of blurry distance shots of lions out there, getting closer can help you set your photograph apart. The closer you are, the more detail you're able to capture, the more interesting your final result will be; attempt to capture the glint in the eyes of the beast (just be careful it's not about to pounce).

It will be easier to get close to some animals than others, but always keep your composition in mind. If there are other animals around, or a fantastic vista to get in the shot, it might be worth sacrificing on some proximity.


Patience

I left this until last, but it's definitely the most important aspect of trying to photograph animals, especially in the wild! While the taking of your shot may last a fraction of a second, the patience required easily matches up to the patience of a thoughtful landscape photographer.

If you find the perfect spot, be prepared to wait, and wait, and wait. Hold your position until that bird lands or those penguins make a move. I remember waiting what seemed like an age for a lion to look up, only to eventually capture a shot of him yawning!

Finally, it's worth making sure you're patient with yourself. The fact is that sometimes you just won't be able to get the shot you're looking for, it's just part of trying to capture wild animals.


Photo Inspiration

Valerie

Patrik Jones

M.G. Kafkas

e_monk

John Maffei

Valerie

Eduardo Amorim

Jen Goellnitz

Tambako The Jaguar

Marc Soller

Ville Miettinen

Felix Esteban

Johan J.Ingles-Le Nobel

Ross Pollack

Eric BŽgin

Thomas Hawk

Paul Moody

Lida

Greg Miles

Keven Law

Joel Bankhead

John Ryan

Valerie

Jesslee Cuizon

Claudio Gennari

Eduardo Amorim

blinking idiot

Nathan Rupert

Digimist

Eric BŽgin

Valerie

Ron Guest

Stephen Heron

Scott Hudson

Arno Meintjes

Patrick Wilken

StormPetrel1

Shreyans Bhansali

Keven Law

Jeffrey

Joel Bankhead

muscapix

Nicolas Hoizey

Arno Meintjes

Pedro Szekely

Simon Bray

Tambako the Jaguar

Alexander Kuchar

Stephen Heron

Tambako The Jaguar


Further Reading

Here are a few links to really useful tutorials and articles that will teach you more about this type of photography:


Share Your Own Images!

I hope you've enjoyed the above photographs and that they've inspired you to go out and capture something amazing for yourself! We'd love to see your favourite shots of animals (and insects, etc.) - just post a comment and link below. Also, feel free to link to any resources that you've found particularly helpful in this area.

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