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Top Tips On Photographing British Wildlife

Autumn's a great season for photographing wildlife so here's a few tips and a round-up of what you can photograph.

| Animals / Wildlife

Top Tips On Photographing British Wildlife: Squirrel


Britain is full of wildlife, and autumn's a great time to get out and capture a few shots of the small mammals, birds, deer and other creatures that can be found here.

1. Birds

As we head towards winter it gets harder for birds to find natural food so by placing feeders in your garden with different types of food in (fat and nuts) you'll be able to attract different species of bird that you can photograph. An important side note to remember is to not remove the feeders when you've finished as the birds may have become reliant on your garden as a source of food.

Capturing shots of these small, shy creatures isn't as easy as dashing out into your garden with your camera and snapping a quick shot. You need to place branches near feeders to give you more natural-looking shots, wait patiently and quietly for your subject to land and you'll need to know your gear well before heading out onto your lawn. Long lenses are essential if you want to capture frame-filling shots and for pin-sharp images, a tripod is a must.

For more in-depth tips on photographing birds, take a look at these articles:


2. Spiders And Webs

Spiders seem to be everywhere at this time of year and they make great photographic subjects themselves (if you don't mind getting close) but for those who like to keep a bit more distance, have a go at photographing their webs instead. They're very photogenic on a frosty morning or after it's rained. For more tips, take a look at this technique: Spider Web Photography.

Top Tips On Photographing British Wildlife: Birds


3. Mammals

Many of the mammals, big and small, are shy so long lenses, patience and the ability to stay hidden are generally a must when photographing them.

Squirrels, who'll be on the hunt for food at this time of year, are a popular photographic subject but do take something waterproof with you when heading out to photograph them as you can end up laying on the damp ground to get a shot of them foraging for food. Using bait is a good way to attract squirrels and you can place it in front of less busy backgrounds so you capture a better-looking shot. Fore more squirrel photography tips, take a look at this article: Photographing Red Squirrels.

It's mating season for deer which means there are plenty of action shots waiting to be captured of males fighting. Their antlers look particularly impressive at this time of year and their shape can look great when silhouetted against the morning light. Throw in some mist and autumnal shades and you have the recipe for a successful wildlife shoot starting to come together. You will need a long lens so you don't spook them and it's safer for you to work with quite a bit of distance between you and your subject anyway. Remember to approach from downwind and if you have it, camouflage clothing will help you blend in with your surroundings more.

October to December is breeding season for a lot of seal colonies around the shores of Britain and this is when they come to shore, making locations like Donna Nook on the east coast very popular with wildlife photographers. If you are planning a trip to photograph pups and their mothers please always put the animals' welfare first and respect the location you're photographing. You'll generally need a telephoto lens to capture a decent image, although some seals can be found close to paths. Take a monopod if you're planning on walking and don't always shoot from a standing position as getting low down will give your shots a better perspective.

For more seal photography tips, take a look at these articles:

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