Where to Focus for the Best Wildlife Photos

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Duration: 5:46

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Do you love wildlife photos? Are you often out in the field photographing wildlife? Are you satisfied with your own photos? In this premium video, professional outdoor photographer David Johnston takes you on the Outdoor Photography Guide photo tour in Kenya, Africa for tips on how to improve your wildlife photography.

You will learn where to focus to get the best shots of wildlife. Technical preparation is important, and there are two key focus settings, Continuous Autofocus and Eye Recognition Autofocus. These two settings help you track motion at a high frame rate and also hold focus as the animals explore their environment. The goal is to capture photos that tell a story.

You will learn to avoid focusing on animals that are facing away from the camera. David suggests you compose photos with the animal in profile or facing the camera. This technique gives you a window into the exciting wildlife world and takes your audience with you. First and foremost, your goal is to focus on the animal’s eyes, which often tell a story. This creates a dramatic mood to engage your viewer. Because you are often shooting at a high frame rate, it works best if you steer clear of manual focus when capturing wildlife.

Using a low f-stop, David illustrates certain focus techniques through his images of lions. He pays attention to the slightest details so that the eyes are always sharp. He is never concerned about the soft focus backgrounds, which might even enhance the visual drama. It is crucial to concentrate on the autofocus points across the sensor. Through your wildlife photos, you are trying to get the viewer to make an emotional connection to the animal experience.

Join pro photographer David Johnston in the field for instruction on where to focus for the best wildlife photos.