Common wildlife photography mistakes (and how to avoid them)

Wildlife photographer with kingfisher sitting on his telephoto lens


Wildlife photography can be both challenging and rewarding, but it can also be frustrating. The genre is fraught with obstacles, many of which you can’t control. The perfect shot from your hide might be spoiled by an unexpected loud noise, or adverse weather conditions may send your subjects back home to their nest, where you’d also rather be. 

These things are largely out of our control, but there are many things that are within our control, and with some careful planning and diligence, you can avoid making simple errors. Here are some of the most common mistakes photographers make when shooting wildlife photography, along with tips on how to avoid them:

Focusing mistakes

The most important thing to get sharp is the subject’s eyes – do this an other parts of the body can be blurred, as here (Image credit: Chris George)

One of the biggest mistakes photographers make when shooting wildlife is getting the focus wrong. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as using the wrong focus mode, not focusing on the right part of the frame or not focusing quickly enough to keep up with fast-moving animals.