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Wildlife Photography Tips. 5 common MISTAKES and how to AVOID them.

Hi I'm Charl from Pangolin Photo Safarisand today I'm here in Chobe National Park on The Chobe River at one of thelocations we are at is Kwalizi – we know it as Elephant Bay.

If you look right behind me there are a few buffaloes.

Just look.

How beautiful is that? So in this video, I would like to discuss with you a few common mistakes that I see people makeon safari.

I will discuss some mistakes and how to avoid them.

Ok, so my mistake number 1 is onethat I actually made just very recently.

A very bad rookie mistake and I've shot inJPEG and actually by accident.

Somehow I must have touched my screen and changed the RAW into Jpeg.

Luckily for me the exposure was spot-on.

It was perfect.

So I could retrieve the shadows and the highlights.

There was not much that I lost so that was lucku on my side.

ButI've seen so many times people choose to shoot JPEG.

I've made these mistakes years back and also shot a lot in JPEG and the reason for me was about space.

Iwanted to save space.

I thought I don't need RAW.

The camera's doing a good enough job.

Today I regret that.

I'm looking back at a lot of my other photos, my olderphotos and I wish I shot RAW so that I could edit it so much better.

Your dynamic range in your pictures is so much wider.

Your shadows.

You can pullyour shadow so much better.

Your highlights.

If you by accident overexposed orunderexposed too much on your image.

In you're shooting RAW you can retrieve that.

But is you're shooting in JPEG that is very difficult.

Your camera is compressing thatfile so that it would be difficult for you to save that image.

So I highlyrecommend that you shoot RAW.

Even if you're somebody that just startedphotography and you're just not sure what to do.

I would recommend shootingRAW.

Shoot RAW and JPEG.

At a later stage if you think this is not for you can alwayserase the RAW file.

But if you decide that later this is what I wantto do and I love it, you have the RAW file so you can later when yourediting starts to get better and you understand your editing program.

You canthen use these images and you can then edit them so much better.

Shoot RAW! So my second point or mistake that I want to discuss is I often see itspeople shoot on full auto (automatic) “I'm gonna switch on full auto”and they fire away.

The problem with this is you have absolutely no control overwhat your camera decide what it wants to do.

Your camera doesn't know you want totake a picture of that bird in flight or the elephant comes and drinks water.

It doesn't know what shutter speed you need or what depth of field you need.

So if you putyour camera on Auto you have no control what the cameras deciding.

So if yourcamera's doing a reading and it's overexposed or underexposed the camera doesn't know that.

So it is important to try and teach yourself atleast one of the other exposure settings.

Either aperture priority, shutter speedpriority or even Manual with Auto ISO.

Then something that you can use with that that will make a big difference in your photography is using exposurecompensation.

So either if you are shooting aperture priority or shutter speedpriority you may have control of your shutter speed or your depth of field.

Atleast if your camera is reading your picture and it's a little bitoverexposed or underexposed you can still use exposure compensation and tell your camera to add a little bit of light take a little bit of light away.

Soplease and try and shoot in one of those modes.

Look at the beautifulelephant's right behind me and this is why we actually call this place ElephantBay.

It's a very popular place for elephants to come down and have a drinkof water.

So the next thing I've noticed peopleare too afraid to crank up the ISOs.

If your ISO is too low probably gonnabe that your shutter speed is too slow as well.

Now in wildlifephotography it's extremely crucial to have fast shutter speeds.

For examplehere behind me I see the elephant's drinking.

Now if they lift up their trunks, they're putting the water in the mouth, droplets are falling.

You need a fastshutter speed to freeze that .

The water droplets will fall and if you want themcrisp and clean you need a shutter speed around 1/2500s.

So tohave that fast shutter speed you're probably going to have to push up yourISO.

If you're going to keep your ISO at all the time around 100 and 400 during the whole day you're not gonna have that fast shutter speed.

Maybe in the middle of the day when you have a lot of Sun you will have it.

Butin the most beautiful time of the day – that early morning light, late afternoon.

You can't shoot with those low ISOs.

Your shutter speed will be too slow.

You have birds in flight or action is happening for example here in the waterhippos are fighting or playing.

There's a a lot of action, movement.

If you want tofreeze those moments you need a fast shutter speed and to have a fastshutter speed in most cases you're gonna have to put up your ISO.

So don'tbe afraid to put up your ISOs The cameras of these days, all the sensors are quite good.

The technology is there you can easily shoot the 1000 to 2000 ISOs.

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should not be any problem, any camera.

Mirrorless, DSLRs theyare all really good should be able to handle those.

It's so much easier to workon a noisy image and do noise reduction than to have an image that's not sharpjust because your ISO is too low and you have movement in your image or ablurry image or motion blur image.

So another point is composition.

So oftenI look at people's photos on safari and I realise how often we make mistakeswith composition.

I think the easiest is always to put your subject in themiddle.

But what I see people do is they will be, for example, a lion and they willtake 20, 30, 40 photos of that lion exactly all the same 40 photos lion inthe middle of the frame.

So with the composition, I guess there's a lot of rules where you can do and the ways of doing it.

But the easiest way is for you tojust change your framing a little bit.

Do that lion maybe a little bit on theleft.

Use rules of thirds.

A little bit on the left .

Little bit onthe right.

Play with your horizon.

Put a little bit third on the top.

Third on thebottom.

Also when you take your pictures, I've seen too often, people take abeautiful photo of an elephant drinking water, for example, and I cut off the legs.

You have all this space on top of the sky, elephant beautifully focussed on theeye.

Nicely done but then they cut off the legs.

Or with a bird, the Darter is sitting on a branch.

Focusing on the eye.

The beak beautifully in focus and then they cut off the tail.

So you use a little bit the Rule of Thirds Move that focus point ofyours to the left, to your right, bottom or to the top.

So that you don't putyour subject the whole time in the centre of your frame.

One mistake thatcost me a few shots in the past is forgetting to put your settings back todefault.

How often has it happen that you'vebeen at a sighting? You've set your camera to specific settings.

You finish with thatsighting.

You move on.

You come to the next sighting.

Pick up your camera and start shooting and it was completely wrong.

The focus points were in the wrong area.

You were still underexposed by 3 or 4 stops.

Shutter speed was not fast enoughand you destroyed your image.

I have done it a few times and I've seen it so oftenhappen that people forget to do that.

So I recommend that you try to make a habit out of it after your sighting or when you've been shooting.

Before you put down your camera look at your settings.

Maybe do a default setting.

I would recommend an action setting that I like to use with my camera on 1/2500s shutter speed, f8, I put my exposure compensation around zero or -1/3.

So if something suddenly happens I can pick up my camera and shoot andnow I will be quite accurate or I'll have enough, good enough setting to beable to capture this action or photo that I want.

So these are the most commonmistakes that I've observed.

If you have any mistakes that you've recently made or are still making please leave it in the comments down below.

Don't forget tosubscribe to our YouTube channel pressing the bell button and I hope tosee you soon.

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