Wildlife photography tip - Eye level is important!

Fine art photography photo of a great gray owl holding its prey in its beak intensely of locked in on the photographerGreat gray owl with prey the eyes are totally locked on the viewer but the intense effect is only possible be getting eye level with the owl

The key to connecting with your viewer is to evoke emotion in them when they see your image. One of the most consistent ways to do this is to connect with the eyes of your subject. Eyes frequently convey emotion and locking eyes with an animal can be a very intense experience.

To maximize this effect it is important to be eye level with your subject. This may mean laying on the ground to photograph shore birds or crouching to get that shot of a fox, but instantly being at eye level with your subject will increase the likelihood of capturing the emotion in the eyes.

Fine art wildlife photographer of a charger coastal brown bear Because I am at eye level with this bear, it makes the viewer feel the bear is running right at the viewer, in reality the bear was fixed on a salmon

But this is not the only benefit of being eye level. Being eye level helps to improve the background of your image. Shooting down on a subject unless you are into macro photography or you are trying to emphasize a very unique perspective usually only brings the background more noticeably into your photo and distracts from your subject. You want your subject to be the focus of your work!

fine art wildlife photograph of great yellowlegs pipers at sunriseAlthough eye contact is not quite as important with a piper getting eye level makes for a visually pleasing background

Bonus Information - I keep a yoga mat in my vehicle at all times, I use it to lay and kneel on the ground when I am at a rocky beach, on wet grass, in soggy spots and even in the snow.

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