What is the best wildlife photography equipment?

Wildlife Photography Accessories

Many find items like tripods and camera bags helpful when accessorizing for wildlife photography.
Many find items like tripods and camera bags helpful when accessorizing for wildlife photography.
© iStockphoto.com/ HKPNC

There are probably as many accessories one can justify owning for wildlife photography as there are different scenarios out in the wild. Some photographers get by using a single camera bag and waist belt, and others have a different satchel or backpack for every situation. Luggage is largely a matter of personal comfort -- however, be aware that waist belts or chest straps can be valuable to those who shoot for hours on end, because they take the weight of heavy equipment off the shooter's shoulders.

A good, sturdy tripod can be a wildlife photographer's closest ally. A simple one will do, but one with a cable release, which allows for shooting at different shutter speeds, is preferable, especially for situations with limited light. Dusk and dawn often present prime wildlife photo opportunities, so this ability can sometimes be the difference between sufficient and excellent work.

One of the most important wildlife photography accessories is patience. The best wildlife photographers are known for spending large amounts of time in remote places, waiting for the perfect shot. If you're capable of moving around silently in the wild, you're already off to a good start.

Camouflage that's effective for the environment where you'll be shooting can depend on the terrain and the season. Do your homework, and see what works the best. The hunting industry already has made a plethora of products available solely for the purpose of going undetected by wild animals, so take a look at what's available among hunting supplies. Scent-masking sprays, shampoos and laundry detergents are favorites among deer hunters, and many of the qualities that make a good hunter translate seamlessly into being a successful wildlife photographer.

For lots more information on photography and wildlife, follow the links below.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • Allinder, Jan. "Lucid Images Wildlife Photography." (Accessed December 1, 2009)http://wildlifephoto.net/index.html
  • Canon. "Silent Mode with EOS Mark III Cameras." (Accessed December 1, 2009)http://www.usa.canon.com/dlc/controller?act=GetArticleAct&articleID=1906
  • Coe, Catherine. "Catherine Coe Photography & Graphic Design." (Accessed November 27, 2009)http://www.catherinecoephotography.com/
  • Coe, Catherine. Wildlife Photographer. Personal Interview. November 19, 2009.
  • Graf, Mark and Graf, Lisa. "Graf Photography." (Accessed December 1, 2009)http://www.grafphoto.com/
  • Hudspeth, Mac. "Southern Focus." (Accessed November 27, 2009)http://www.southernfocus.com
  • Jordan, Barbara. "Wildlife and Nature Photography by Barbara Jordan." (Accessed December 1, 2009)http://www.silvercloud.net/barbarajordan/
  • Mangelsen, Thomas. "Images of Nature Online." (Accessed November 27, 2009)http://www.mangelsen.com/
  • Nature Photographers Network. "Nature Photographers Online Magazine." (Accessed December 1, 2009)http://www.naturephotographers.net/