Adjust your camera settings
This completely depends on what you are shooting but there’s some general tips to keep in mind. If you are not sure about what ISO to use, keep it to below 200 to minimise noise. For low light situations, you can increase the reading up to 800 but make sure the image quality doesn’ get affected. When it comes to shutter speed, use a faster speed while shooting animals in motion to avoid missing critical moments. For slower animals, stick to 1/1000 sec. For birds, you’ll need 1/2000 sec. or higher.
Autofocus is your best friend while capturing moving animals. It tracks moving objects and ensures the images remain sharp. But, it can prove to be meddlesome when objects like leaves, dirt or smaller animals appear in the view and it might end up getting confused. Then, it is best to stick to manual focus.
Get the right tripod
Your equipment is likely heavy and expensive, so those flimsy tripods will not work. You need something sturdy enough to support all that weight, so we suggest buying one made of aluminium or carbon fibre. Since the terrain might be uneven, you should consider using a multi-angle lens tripod. Make sure you lock the legs firmly in place and check the bubble in your spiral level to make sure it stays balanced.
Having the right tripod head is also important. Most commonly used are the ball head and the gimbal head. The former is used for a medium-heavy telephoto lens and can be easily adjusted as it rolls pretty smoothly. For bigger and heavier lenses, a gimbal head is a better choice as it helps keep the lens balanced while you’re holding the camera.
Practice, practice, practice
Before you venture out into the unknown, try your hand at capturing images of local animals on the street like skittish squirrels, stray cats or even friendly dogs. This will give you an idea of what to expect when you are confronted with a wide variety of animals out there. Some of them are very alert and scamper off at the slightest of noise while others are curious beings who might try to get close to you. Another great option is going on a visit to the zoo. It's a safe space where you can encounter dangerous animals at a safe distance, and at the same time you can get useful information about them from animal experts.
When you are out there, do pay attention to other forms of life as well instead of only focusing on the big animals. You never know which beautiful or interesting scene you might witness. Whether you are waiting in your car or moving about in the jungle, expect the unexpected.