Of all the different situations you could use the Sony A6400 for, nothing brings out its performance more than wildlife photography. Like many other DSLRs on the market, the A6400 has a 24.3-megapixel sensor that’ll generate excellent photo resolution. Still, that’s not what makes it such a potent wildlife photography tool.
Inside, the camera also comes equipped with impressive features like its Bionz X image processor and hybrid autofocus abilities. But the gamechanger is its ability to shoot continuously at a rate of 11 frames per second with a subject tracking feature. That’s especially useful for wildlife photography when you’re trying to keep up with a moving animal subject.
Still, no matter how good your camera is, wildlife photography is a unique genre. To increase the chances of capturing great snapshots, you’ll need a little know-how that’s specific to this form of photography.
In this article, we’ll explore the Top 5 tips for doing wildlife photography with your Sony A6400 camera. First, we’ll talk about how you should know the rules, and then break them. Next, you should learn to make the most of the light that the natural environment gives you, and experiment with going wide or going narrow when framing your shots. Learn to get closer to the ground for more interesting perspectives on your subjects. But above all, learn to have fun!
Learn The Rules, Then Break Them!
They say that rules were meant to be broken, and that’s definitely true with the Sony A6400. When it comes to wildlife photography, what we’re talking about is the basic photography rules that everyone knows and loves.
Take the ‘Rule of Thirds’, for example. As you may know, that rule states that you should break an image into thirds, both horizontally and vertically. That’s what you see when you enable the gridlines on your the A6400’s screen. The rule is that you should place your subject along those lines to capture a stunning image.
So, why would you want to break such a basic rule of photography like the Rule of Thirds? Because wildlife photography is an art, and real art requires a little courage on your part.
That tip doesn’t just apply to rules created by other photographers. All of us tend to develop specific rules that we follow. We do that to ensure that our photos always follow a particular style that’s unique to us.
If you’re taking your A6400 out for wildlife photography, this is an excellent opportunity for you to break your own rules. Take pictures in ways that you never thought you would. Try framing your shots in ways that you’ve seen other photographers do.
You’re out in nature, taking pictures of wildlife in their natural habitats. Take this as a challenge to break yourself free from the rules you’ve followed for so long. Do this, and you’ll discover new ways of seeing the world!
Make The Most Of The Light
The Sony A6400 is well-known for its ability to maintain picture quality even in low-light conditions. That’s a great strength to have in a camera used for wildlife photography. Even though the camera has its built-in flash, that won’t be of much use outdoors in nature. Instead, you’ll use whatever lighting you can find.
You see, when you’re out in nature, you have no control over the lighting you get. It’s not like in a studio setting where you can reposition the lights or turn them up or down as needed. Mother Nature might give you bright natural light from the Sun one moment. The next minute, clouds may pass overhead and darken the whole area.
The best thing you can do is to prepare for both eventualities. Always imagine different ways to capture what you see in front of you. If it gets too dark or too bright, then you’ll be able to adjust. Thankfully, the A6400 is already flexible enough to work in different lighting conditions.
Whatever photographs you plan on taking, be sure to schedule your photography session accordingly. Unless you’re camping outdoors overnight, you’ll need to be there at the right time to capture the best lighting. If you intend to take advantage of the Golden Hour, for instance, you’ll either need to be there really early before dawn or before dusk. That way, you’ll have your lens ready and waiting for the right moment to capture your animal subject in all its glory thanks to the perfect natural light.
Get Wide Or Go Narrow
Wildlife photography is highly rewarding because it offers beauty in every frame. To truly appreciate this wide range of possibilities, you should play with extremes when it comes to framing your shots. Don’t be afraid to zoom out and go wide, or go narrow by bringing your lens right up to your subject.
When you take a broad, panoramic shot with the Sony A6400, you’ll demonstrate the grand scale of nature. With your animal subject appearing small in that wide shot, you’ll also capture just how little any creature can be in the vastness of nature. By playing around with these different ways of framing your images, your final picture will elicit all sorts of emotions and feelings from the people who view them. And after all, isn’t that the point of art?
You can also achieve the same by going towards the other extreme. Some people refer to this as macro photography. Bring your camera lens up close to your subject. Try taking a snapshot of an insect on the ground or a close up of an animal’s eye. By framing your shot narrowly and getting up close and personal with your subject, you’ll offer your viewers a whole different perspective on your subjects.
That is somewhat related to the previous tip of breaking the rules. Whatever photography rules that you live by when it comes to how you frame your shots, go in the opposite direction. If you’re used to taking wide photos, go close, and vice versa. You’ll surprise yourself by discovering the perspectives you’ve never captured before.
Get Low, Too
Go wide, go narrow, but don’t forget to go low as well! Don’t be afraid to get dirty. After all, you’re in nature!
Take your Sony A6400 and get much closer to the ground. By this, you should try laying prone on the ground. If you’re not used to doing this, it may seem very unusual at first. Still, take your time and capture a few shots of the nature around you.
When you’re that close to the ground, you’ll find that the perspectives are so different, they’re almost alien! It doesn’t matter if your subject is something small on the ground like an insect, or a tall giraffe that towers over you. From a low perspective, you’ll see things in a whole different light. And when you see things differently, it’ll be reflected in the pictures that you take!
You see, the animal subjects that you photograph don’t necessarily need to be different. This tip is just suggesting that you see them from a low angle you may have never thought to try before. Just like previous tips, if you have a rule against taking snapshots from low angles, now’s the time to break it!
Of course, doing this may get a little dirty. So, when planning to go out and do wildlife photography, it’s always good to factor that into your gear selection. Be sure to wear clothes that keep you dry and warm (if you’re going somewhere cold), and always have your camera case with you to keep your A6400 safe.
Last but not least, you must remember to have fun. Yes, wildlife photography can indeed be challenging. You may end up waiting all day just to capture a few pictures of the animal you’ve been pursuing Worse yet, the weather may change, and you might not get that chance at all.
Still, you have to remember why wildlife photography is so popular with many photographers. Even though it can be very challenging, it is also ultimately gratifying. So, first, you need to have faith that you’ll capture a photo you can be proud of eventually. Once you understand that, then you can learn to enjoy the process.
You’ll get dirty, you’ll get tired, and you’ll capture lots of pictures with your Sony A6400 that might not be nice to look it. But that’s part of the wildlife photography experience!
Remember: sooner or later, you’ll capture a picture of that beautiful wild creature that you’ve been chasing. That picture will have a special place in your photography portfolio, and you can be proud of it for the rest of your life.
Until you get to that point, have fun with the process! Break the photography rules that you’ve been following for so long. Play around with the natural lighting that Mother Nature gives you while you’re there. And of course, play with extremes; go wide, go narrow, and go low