Learn to Find Subjects Quickly With Long Lenses

Long telephoto lenses are excellent at capturing the rich, intimate details of animals, but there’s a learning curve to using them. Before you miss another shot by not finding your subjects in the viewfinder in time, check out this video.

When a photographer finally saves up enough money to buy some big glass, they sometimes forget to consider the skill it takes to leverage that tiny field of view for closeup images. For almost everyone, it takes time to get used to. Luckily we’re in the YouTube age though, and in the video above wildlife photographer Steve Perry shows his audience a simple technique to learning this new skill quickly (just in time too as the Sony FE 200-600mm has recently started to ship).

After you watch the video and try it for yourself, I think you’ll be well on your way towards consistently acquiring your wildlife subjects. Just keep practicing and I promise it will come easier for you. As a bonus, more tips when facing this same problem for bird photography can be found in my own video shared earlier this year.

Do you have any other techniques to add? Leave a comment below.

Ryan Mense's picture

Ryan Mense is a wildlife cameraperson specializing in birds. Alongside gear reviews and news, Ryan heads selection for the Fstoppers Photo of the Day.

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It's funny, shooting runways must've trained me to do this too. It's not like I could actually tell you what I'm doing though. Great video!

This is kind of more for shooting events but, leave your non dominant eye open. I leaned photography starting on film. I was taught this to avoid wasting a frame where someone inadvertently walking into your field of view when you release the shutter. It was odd at first but I got used to it and I still do it even though I now shoot digital. It gives me better situational awareness.

*cries in left eye dominant*

I agree 100%. I always keep my other eye open at all times when shooting because it allows me to keep an eye on other stuff happening around me and capture if I see something interesting that I may otherwise miss. I am a wedding photographer. And I've been able to capture some great moments that way