Keys to Photographing Wildlife

Author:  Megan Galope

There are many keys to photographing wildlife, including being in the right place at the right time, configuring your settings (higher ISO and open aperture to make sure you have a fast enough shutter speed), and a long telephoto lens. But possibly the most important key is patience.

I recently attended the Arizona Highways Photo Workshop in the Grand Tetons to photograph wildlife. We spent quite a bit of time driving around to find the animals, and at times were very lucky. One evening, we saw many cars parked on the side of the road, which usually means a large animal is nearby. It turned out to be a grizzly and her cub. When we first arrived, they were quite a ways in the distance. We tried getting some photos, but nothing to write home about.


They didn’t appear to be moving in our direction, but with a little patience, we waited to see what they would do. And it’s a good thing we did! Before we knew it, they were crossing the road right in front of us.


Later we went looking for the elusive fox. We finally found one hiding out in the sage brush. She had some kits with her and kept fairly well hidden for a while. Again, my photos of the fox were not all that great.


But after a little time and patience, the fox came into an opening so that we could get a much better view of her.


Having patience while photographing wildlife can make a world of difference.

Megan Galope is a Trip Leader with Arizona Highways Photo Workshops.