Skip to page content

Exposing Nature: tips on wildlife photography

11 April 2006

Ever wanted to improve your wildlife photography skills? A new book, Exposing Nature: The Natural History Museum Photography Guide, helps you avoid common mistakes and get closer to achieving the wildlife pictures you have in mind.

Exposing Nature: The Natural History Museum Photography Guide

Exposing Nature: The Natural History Museum Photography Guide

A sumptuously illustrated book, Exposing Nature is packed with advice that guides you through the different challenges that any natural history photographer might encounter.

Exposing Nature also covers the technical basics of film and digital cameras, close-up work and the all-important elements of composition.

The author

Author Frank Greenaway worked in the Photographic Unit of the Natural History Museum for 38 years. He is perhaps best known for his photography of bats but has also been a major contributor to over 30 book titles.

Frank's top ten tips

Frank Greenaway recommends reading up on your photo subject until you become an expert. Then follow Frank's top ten tips for aspiring natural history photographers below:

  1. Pre-plan your approach and even the detail of your images.
  2. Keep a collection of your 'just failed' images for reshooting at a future date.
  3. Utilise all weathers and seasons.
  4. Use time blocks of enforced inactivity, like commuting, to mentally explore possibilities.
  5. Always look 'carefully at' not 'through' your viewfinder system, don't use it like a rifle sight. Study the composition.
  6. Use your images, include them in letters, emails, cards reports etc, and benefit from the certain feedback that you will get.
  7. Look at the work of others and gain an understanding of what you like and dislike, and hopefully why.
  8. Learn the controls of your camera well enough to operate them in the dark, by touch alone.
  9. Start a digital filing system with a comprehensive independent back-up drive or discs. If you don't you WILL lose the lot.
  10. Do not be afraid of revisiting other people's old photographic ideas, but do it with your own interpretation. 

Exposing Nature: The Natural History Museum Photography Guide can be bought online or in the Museum bookshop.