What’s your ABC?

Johan van Zyl All Authors, Johan 1 Comment

Often photographers can get caught up in the technical stuff, the apertures, the ISO’s, the shutter speeds, that they forget what they are trying to create.  Don’t get me wrong, you need to understand how these 3 elements combine to create your image, but how you use them is what’s important.  For me, there are 3 other vital components in creating better wildlife images.

A – Animal Behaviour

Arguably the most important factor when it comes to Wildlife photography as far as I’m concerned.  The more you know about your subject, the more you will be able to predict behaviour, the better the chances that you’ll capture those action images.  Often the biggest difference between Photographic Guides (which is what we do) and our clients is that we have come from a guiding background, we understand the animals we are photographing, we can predict animal behaviour, we are not better PHOTOGRAPHERS.  .   Believe it or not but having this in your armoury just gives you that extra split second to capture a high speed action scene.  That is why when we are out in the field with our clients, we try and read the situation for them, making sure that they go home with those images they were after.

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B – Being Out There

Although this might seem obvious, but the more you are out there, practising techniques, missing a few shots, the better your photography will become.

Like the famous Golfer Gary Player said:  “The more I practice, the luckier I get”.



C – Creativity 

Another element that is vital to growing your photography.  We are often scared of what people might think of our images, or messing up images, that we are not willing to take risks with our photography, ending up with a 1000 images that look exactly the same.  On all our courses and safaris we highlight to “bank the shot” making sure you are happy with the images you have created of the particular subject.  But instead of continuing to snap away, step back, look at the scene and start thinking creatively.

Pull back if you have a zoom lens, shoot portrait and landscape, try different shutter speeds and depth of field, over and under expose…  There are many ways to get more creative, making sure you don’t end up with a 1000 images that look EXACTLY the same.




So next time when you are out photographing something, think, what is your ABC?


About the Author

Johan van Zyl


The opportunity of visiting some of the wildest, undisturbed areas and sharing my passion for wildlife, conservation and photography with like minded people is a privilege that I am forever grateful.

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  1. Pingback: What’s your ABC? - Africa Freak

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