A Wildlife Photographer’s Checklist

A Wildlife Photographer’s Checklist

A Wildlife Photographer’s Checklist

Wildlife photography need not be wild!

At least, it shouldn’t be too wild. 🙂

Just because the photographers are capturing images of animals in the wild, they should be as disorganized themselves.

What they want and what they should be doing is to be as organized as can be to get the best results. And what better way to be organized than to have a handy checklist?

So why not take a couple of minutes of your time to see what items should be included in a wildlife photographer’s checklist.

The Wildlife Photographer’s Checklist

What are the items that are considered to be among the essential part of a wildlife photographer’s gear?

Let’s have a quick look at the checklist those essentials then:

  • Binoculars
  • Telephoto Lens
  • Headlamp
  • Tripod
  • Camera Bag
  • Teleconverter

Looking at each item in the checklist more closely:

     1. Binoculars

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If one thing can be considered essential for a wildlife photographer then it’s a pair of binoculars.

For the purpose of wildlife photography, a quality pair of binoculars is the best option. It involves a lot of waiting and anticipation.

The magnifications of the binoculars usually used in wildlife photography is 8x and 10x. The first number indicates magnification and the second number represents the objective lens in millimeters.

If the wildlife photographer needs to hike to the site or the habitat of the animal, then a monocular will likely be the better choice. A monocular is smaller, lighter, and easier to fit in a small bag or container.

     2. Telephoto Lens

Telephoto Lens

A telephoto lens is truly an essential item if a photographer is going for the results that he desires.

They would need a telephoto lens or a relatively long lens for that purpose. The lens should at least be in the 400 mm equivalent range.

It is described as equivalent since the crop factor of certain sensor cameras that have a 35 mm equivalent focal length. This focal length is actually longer than the lens’ real focal length.

A good example of that is the 1.6x crop Canon camera. This is the equivalent of a 480 mm camera.

     3. Headlamp

Head Lamp

Some of the most awesome wildlife photographs are captured when there is already little to no light present.

The light might not be as harsh during those time periods but there is also need for some artificial sources of light.

A headlamp and/or a flashlight will be perfect for the purpose. The headlamp is great for providing light to the immediate surroundings. It’s also useful for allowing the photographer to use both his hands when he needs to look into his camera bag.

The flashlight, on the other hand, is great for lighting objects even if they are from a distance.

     4. Tripod

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A tripod is a very useful tool for wildlife photographers since it helps in minimizing their fatigue.

On shooting days, photographers spend long hours where they are just waiting and anticipating the right moments when they can shoot the animals.

The use of a tripod helps the photographer save his energy for the more important parts of a shooting process.

There are a couple of things that people need to avoid when buying tripods.

  • The first one is that they shouldn’t buy a tripod that is way too short.
  • The other is that they shouldn’t choose one that is too cheap.

Photographers need to look closely at the tripod’s height when it is extended to its fullest length. The usual mistake that photographers tend to make is getting a tripod that seems to put their cameras right at eye level.

There is a problem with this since it is making the assumption that the ground is flat. The ideal situation is for the tripod to have the ability to have one of its legs extend longer while keeping the camera at eye level.

     5. Camera Bag

Camera Bag

A rugged camera bag that’s meant for carrying most, if not all, of the photographer’s gear is a major requirement.

The most excellent camera bag that’s currently available is the MindShift Gear Moose Peterson Pack.

There are three different sized available, the:

  • MP-1,
  • MP-3,
  • and MP-7

The MP-3 is considered to be the best option, as it fits within international airline carry on limits for a lot of different airlines. It can hold up pretty well to a 500mm/200-400 that has a body attached to it. It will also hold up to a 600mm lens that has its body detached.

      6. Teleconverter


Teleconverters are the best way to extend the reach of a long lens. It is also known as extenders.

The most recent extenders from both Canon and Nikon are all great when they are used with compatible lenses.

It is a fact that wildlife photographers are very much capable of capturing fantastic images even when they are suing extenders.

However, it is also important to note what they can’t do. For one, extenders are only capable of reducing contrast by a small amount. So they shouldn’t be used in extremely flat light since contrast adds to the sharpness.

Bring them all!

These essential items should always be part of wildlife photographer’s gear. Each one of these serves to make the entire experience not only exciting and adventurous but also complete.

So there is absolutely no reason for a wildlife photographer to be wild! They’ll capture the most fantastic images in the wild but they are still as organized and as prepared as can be.

After reading this, you might also want to learn some tips on how you can be sure you’re safe while doing this activity in the wild. Click this link to read the full article.

But before you do that, why not spend the next 10 seconds downloading our free camping checklist first?



  • Learn what items to bring for your next camping getaway
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Learn the way of the experts now!

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