Photographing Reptiles with amazing details

It’s fun photographing reptiles or the little dragon / Lizard in the wild using a telephoto lens. This is something you might find in your own garden from time to time. The eye movement, the red dot above the mouth, and the pattern on its skin are all intriguing features of this reptile. While zooming in and out, I compare its eye to my camera lens. Both the left and right eyes move independently. This appears to be a miniature dragon and dinosaur from the Dinosauria (Scientific Name) family.

Photographing Reptiles
Camera used: Nikon D610 full-frame camera with 70-300mm lens in DX mode.

This little dragon is a very shy reptile that flees when approached unless it is being raised as a pet. Photographing reptiles can be dangerous because some of them are venomous, so use a telephoto lens and stay a safe distance away. You’ll be more akin to a term commonly used in Indian weddings: ‘the candid photographer,’ but for reptiles. It can be difficult to identify at times due to its camouflaged skin color and surroundings. When these reptiles know you’re nearby, they move quickly and don’t stay long.

Do not rush while photographing reptiles

It’s simple to capture this with a telephoto lens, but with a shorter prime lens, you have no choice but to get closer. The best thing to do is to take your time, move slowly closer, and keep capturing as you get closer. To get the best shots, keep your camera ready with all the necessary settings before moving closer while photographing reptiles.

Camera technique to be used

If you are using a full-frame camera, FX mode, then switch to cropped mode – DX mode. By switching to DX mode you will get that extra zoom and you can be even closer to the subject without moving even a step closer. Also, capture in the RAW mode so that it will be easier to edit the photo while editing using Lightroom. When it comes to editing I have got a list of free Lightroom tutorials on my Courses page that you can refer to and be a master.

Here is another image that I captured in the garden using my prime lens 50mm f1.4. This wide aperture gives a shallow depth of field. You may want to read more on playing with the camera aperture to get stunning images. Know more about the kind of lens that you need to use by watching this YouTube video.

What to keep in mind with wildlife photography

The same technique can be used to photograph birds or any other wildlife in addition to photographing reptiles. Move slowly; it can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. To get that perfect shot, you must have plenty of time and patience. I’ve seen a few friends come to photograph birds with high-end cameras, but they make the mistake of running closer to capture a photo and scaring the bird away. Finally, they obtain a blurry, out-of-focus image of a flying bird. Gadgets/cameras are secondary, and the first thing anyone should learn is how to capture an image. Also, keep in mind that I’ve moved around and kept the background dark.

Black Headed Ibis - flying bird
Black Headed Ibis – Bird Photography

Some key points while photographing reptiles

  • Keep the camera ready with the manual settings handly. Basically, it is good to know how to use your own camera which most of them fail.
  • Use a telephoto lens when photographing reptiles that are venemous. Also. wider aperture will be better.
  • Have patience, a lot of it. This is a must in wildlife photography.

Leave a comment below if you have more ideas. Buy me a coffee to support my work or you can go to my store to buy some of my images. Also, do not forget to join my FriendZone by signing up for my newsletter. Consider subscribing to my YouTube channel.

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