Wildlife photography used to be the sole preserve of the professional photographer. Technologies and a reduction in the price of a good camera have changed all of that. Now, more people than ever are investing in a good quality camera and heading to the great outdoors to take pictures of the best that nature has to offer. The problem is that despite the technology improvements in modern cameras, taking good photos of wildlife is still tricky. If you want to be able to take pictures of wildlife that you can be proud of (or even frame on your walls), then here are some great tips that might transform the results of your adventures into photographing the world around us.

Know Your Equipment

The more that you know about camera setup, the easier it will be to tinker with your settings for better images. There’s no use heading out into your nearest wilderness if you don’t know how to change your shutter speeds. Make sure that you invest in a camera that is tailored for wildlife photography. This list from Choosist is a good place to start, and comes with a range of options to suit a variety of budgets.

Know Your Subject

Animals are unpredictable, and they aren’t normally going to wait around as you get into position. The more that you know about the animals that you’re photographing, the easier it will be to predict what they will do next. That gives you time to get your camera settings right and make sure that you’re in the best spot. Learn as much as possible about the types of animals you’re likely to see, and your photos will come out much more professionally.

Know the Rules

There are some basic rules in photography. These, like all rules, can be broken. Before you start trying to break them, it’s important that you understand what they are. The composition rules of photography are actually very easy to learn, and simply using them can improve even a simple selfie. Consider how using the rule of thirds, leading lines, and framing can improve the end result of your images.

Using Light

This is one factor that you might feel that you have very little control over. Unlike studio photography, where you have absolute control over lighting, if you’re in the great outdoors then you’re pretty much stuck with what you’ve got. However, a great way to get more powerful images is to try taking pics during the hours of golden light. You might have to get up early or stay up late, but the golden hue of a sunset or sunrise can bring your pictures to life.

The most important resource that you can have when starting out in wildlife photography is something that doesn’t cost money. Patience is going to be your most valuable possession once you decide to take photos of the animal kingdom. Make sure that your equipment bag is packed with the essentials, head out at the right time of day, but always remember that you’re going to be sitting still for long periods of time. Combine skill, patience, and the right tech, and your wildlife photography can only become better.