Try to only use the on-board flash on your camera as a last resort. Ideally, it should really only be used in bright conditions when you need to fill-in some dark shadows. If you’re taking pictures in low light conditions, try using a reflector instead to concentrate some of the natural light onto the subject.
A tripod is a great investment for wildlife photography, but you should only really start spending money if you think you need one. If your pictures are regularly coming out blurry, or you’ll be regularly shooting in low light conditions or with a large zoom, then it’s an obvious choice.
It’s also worth getting one if you take the sort of pictures where you have to sit and wait for long periods for wildlife to appear in the viewfinder – like waiting for bird to appear from a nestbox or watching out for a badger making its daily trip to a stream.
If a tripod is too heavy to carry around consider using a monopod, they are easier to carry and provide good support.
For a cheap tripod carry case use the cases for these portable chairs, they are much cheaper than the real thing and you get a free chair!
Purchase a spare battery and keep it fully charged, do not let the situation arise of that perfect picture but a flat battery.
When you have been out for the day in very cold weather do not take your photographic equipment straight in to a warm room, it will cause condensation and fungus growths in optical lenses.
Develop your Sixth Sense
“Learn to be at one with nature, Grasshopper!”
Even some of the more expensive digital cameras still have a bit of a delay between the moment you press the button and the time that the shutter releases. This time delay can be even more, up to a few seconds, if your camera is in sleep mode.
To counter this problem, try and predict when you’re about to see some action from your wildlife subject. If the sun is coming out then a butterfly may open its wings, if a large bird arrives on the scene then the small birds might suddenly take flight.
When taking wildlife images its always best to stand still in one area for at least 15-30 mins you will be amazed how the birds and animals get used to your presence and make themselves more visible. Try not to wear any brightly coloured clothing.
If you’re shooting all day then you’ll probably want plenty of memory/film for your camera and it’s always worthwhile carrying more than you need. Murphy’s Wildlife Law states that you will only get that once-in-a-lifetime sunset photo opportunity when you have no more film in your camera.
Always carry a spare memory card, then should a card fail whilst your out and about then you can continue on the spare card, two 512mb cards are better than one 1gb card “do not put all your eggs in one basket”.
Consider using an external memory storage device, you can the save your images whilst you are out and about and some devices even allow you to review your images.