In the wildlife photography handling heavy telephoto/ zoom lens is one of the toughest tasks. Like when you are holding the heavy lens 150-600mm, 200-400mm, 200-500mm. Sometimes hand handling these heavy lenses give you too many disappointments. When you sit for post-processing the images and then you find them blurry, out of focus & shakes. You cannot afford to revisit the same location for the same shots. and the most important, you cannot shoot at low shutter speed. Better be prepared in advance to shoot hand-handled, small tips and steps can really help you to shoot on telephotos lenses. Let’s discuss few tips to avoid disappointments.
Carry Monopod/Tripod- Monopod plays a good role to handle heavy lens and can help to take a shot even on low shutter speed If the monopod is placed strongly on the solid platform. A monopod is always a better option when you are shooting for limited times. Like one day shoot for specific national park. Tripod is always good when you have ample time to wait for the shot at the same locations. Like you are shooting the moon & stars and placed your camera on the tripod and kept on waiting for the right shot. Sometimes professional photographers settle their camera on the tripod to shoot near the water lake in the jungle and waiting for the animal to come and drink water and then they shoot.
Control breathing– When shooting hand handled, Then controlling breath is an art. Always control on your breath otherwise your image can be shaky. This is important tips when using hand-handled and shooting whatever. Sometimes the image may be shaken when holding small lenses if the breath is not controlled. This is one of a major issue in all the genres. You realize this problem after a good experience in photography.
Holding technique– Always take a half step ahead towards your subject, with comfortable foot (right or left step) This will give you good and extra support to hold your camera and heavy telephoto zoom lens. make solid arms triangle like two elbows and holding the lens tightly in between. I suggest before you plan to shoot with the heavy telephoto lens. Please do practice at your home and set your hand angles as per your convenience. This small exercise will train you for the best shots. Always use a slow and steady movement of your fingers, when you press the shutter. Every fast finger movement is ready to spoil your shot. So please use your fingers deliberately. Every movement counts in a better way. When you are shooting slow shutter speed without tripod or monopod, then take a support from any tree, large rocks, available walls or any other strong structure who can give you strong support. This will give additional stability to your shots.
Always be patient – Never take a shot if the subject is not settled down properly. Do not be impatient and wait for the right pose to shoot. This is one of the reasons for shaking images. Beginners start capturing the subject and then the end result is shaken always. Always be patient for the image stabilization and wait for the right time and the right pose.
Lens Cover– Always have a good cushioned lens cover to give you extra support to your hands. If possible buy the genuine lens cover from the authorised camera ‘s accessories seller. This cushioned support gives your extra grip to shoot well.
Keep experimenting and have a happy photography to you all.
Photographer & blogger has Prasenjeet Gautam (www.prasenjeetgautam.com) captured the above image. Deer, Ranthambore, India