Photographic Tip #6 by Kevan Dobbie

The continuation of a new series of blog posts that are here and available for your reading pleasure, I have decided to not only tell you about the amazing Sigma brand, but to teach you about how to use your camera along with your Sigma lens to capture photographic content that you’ve always wanted to have.

Welcome back all, and I hope everyone is doing all well and keeping going as we continue with the national Lockdown in South Africa, but mostly I hope you advancing your photographic knowledge and trying out all the tips that I have brought to you through Sigma’s Photographic Tips and learning in Lockdown. In the last blog we touched on three topics to deal with Composition and Symmetry, however in this blog we going to try something a little bit different. In this blog we are going to focus on Wildlife Photography at Night using a Spotlight.

Have you ever been on safari and had an amazing sighting that took place at night and you had no idea how to take photographs of it or to collect memories??

Well that is going to change after you have read this blog. I have set up an easy to use manual of how to photograph wildlife at night in this blog. It is a simple easy to use step by step way at changing your settings on your camera making it ready for those nighttime action sightings during your safari. I will also show you a couple of images that I took using the same settings and the outcome I have from it.

We can get all in depth of hoe a camera works, that little mechanism you holding in your hand and why you need certain settings and on and on and most of you will probably start to read this paragraph and once you hear about camera specifications you’ll jump below to the next paragraph or scroll down to the main part, the camera settings used to Photograph Wildlife at Night – so I am going to do just that making this an easy tutorial unlike the rest of many photographic tutorials.

Settings 1:

  • Exposure Mode of Camera: Aperture Priority (Av)
  • Focus: Automatic (Back button focus)
  • Aperture: f/2.8 – f/5,6 (Lower the better, so the lowest aperture your lens has)
  • ISO: 1600 – 2000
  • Exposure Compensation: Under Expose (-2 or 2 full stops under exposed)
  • One-shot drive mode
  • Metering: Spot Metering

Easier method of settings to use as you do not have to worry about correcting the Shutter Speed as it is automatically done for you in Aperture Priority mode

Settings 2:

  • Exposure Mode of Camera: Manual Mode (M)
  • Focus: Automatic (Back button focus)
  • Aperture: f/2.8 – f/5,6 (Lower the better, so the lowest aperture your lens has)
  • ISO: 1600 – 2000
  • Shutter Speed: 1/160 – 1/640 – remember a higher shutter speed will be for faster moving objects and a slower shutter speed for stationary objects, you just need to find the median for in-between.
  • One-shot drive mode
  • Metering: Spot Metering

Both settings in Manual Mode and Aperture Priority are trial and error and like we have said before, find what best works for you. It gives you two options with a range of settings to play with to create the content you want. Here are some of a handful of images that I have picked to showcase to you when it comes to Wildlife Photography at Night using a Spotlight.

 

Now that you’ve read up about Photographing Wildlife at Night, try it out using settings from our previous blogs, settings I’ve used above and once again settings you feel works the best for you to achieve your own photographic potential when understanding Shutter Speed and how Shutter Speed and ISO work hand-in-hand.  Send us some photos and feedback on how these tips are assisting you. In each blog we will contribute in growing your skills as a photographer.

 

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Kevan Dobbie
Wildlife Photographer

Facebook: Kevan Dobbie Wildlife Photography
Instagram: @wildlife_with_kev