Urban Wildlife Photography
In this post we will discuss urban wildlife photography in North America and provide some useful tips for capturing great photos!
Animals Found in North American Urban Settings
There is nothing more satisfying than taking amazing photographs of the natural beauty surrounding us in North America! Cities and urban areas here are brimming with all sorts of wildlife just waiting to be discovered, and thanks to today's high-tech devices, you have the ability to take great photos at any moment. Depending in which part of the continent you’re planning on capturing your photos, there are numerous photogenic critters to behold, some of which include playful raccoons and chipmunks, various big cats, including the elusive mountain lion, foxes, deer, different breeds of bears such as the majestic black bear, and a wide range of birds including big birds such as the bald eagle and smaller ones with more exotic backgrounds such as parrots.
Due to increasing urbanization, many creatures are needing to adapt to their changing environment and are beginning to inhabit more and more uncommon urban areas. Whether taking pictures of the beautifully colored parrots perched on rooftops or a sly red fox weaving its way through crowded back alleys, North American cities are filled with everything ideal for urban wildlife photography.
What Equipment Should I Use?
You don’t need an expensive camera for wildlife photography! A point-and-shoot camera or your smartphone’s camera can work, and their compact size makes them convenient to carry around. Imagine catching sight of a rare animal and being able to pull out your smartphone to snap a picture of it. If you are more eager about getting that perfect shot, then a dedicated camera with interchangeable lenses will increase your chances! DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) cameras or mirrorless cameras combined with large zoom lenses allow you to take photos of far-away animals such as birds perched on rooftops. Moreover, lenses with wider apertures (opening for capturing light) allow you to capture better photos at night time without the need for longer exposure times, which can result in blurry photos if a tripod is not used and if your animal subjects move too fast.
Helpful Urban Wildlife Photography Tips
Visiting local city parks will increase your chances of finding a larger variety of subjects to photograph as animals feel more at home in green spaces. You can also look at park websites, if available, which typically list the type of wildlife you are likely to encounter while visiting those parks. A wild animal’s survival instincts can make it unpredictable in the urban setting, even in parks, and thus it usually won’t stay in one place for too long. Fast shutter speeds are, therefore, a must when photographing wildlife. Furthermore, having an extendible monopod can further help in preventing blurry photos as it will aid in stabilizing your camera regardless of which type of camera you plan on using.
One Last Tip
Remember to have fun! Photographing wildlife, even in an urban setting, can be very rewarding as it will allow you to connect with nature and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us no matter where we are!