I happen to come in contact with dozens of youngsters in various social network and their aspiration is to become 'Wildlife Photographers'. I guess, that's the most sought after branch of photography among upcoming newbies today ! I have a very limited exposure which may be almost equal to zero in this field. But I have interacted with many successful Wildlife Photographers. I have heard about their experiences in the wild and the kind of effort they put in to make presentable Wildlife pictures.
In the first place there are three primary factors to take care before anyone can get into the arena of Wildlife photography.
(a) You need enough spare time to devote for serious wildlife pictures.
(b) You need substantial investment in gears eg, Long Tele Zoom or Prime lenses (Fast Lenses)
(c) You need a great deal of patience. You may have to sit for hours in odd position without
movement to get a glimpse of a wildlife ( may be an animal or a bird).
(d) Do quite a bit of homework on the behavioral pattern of the wildlife you are going to photograph. This is particularly imporatant if you are 'birding'.
Here I shall clarify that by Long Lense I am meaning at least 400mm on a DSLR (cropped sensor) and by fast lense I am hinting towards constant f2.8 /f4 Lenses depending on the focal length and these are really expensive. Also you require a good sturdy Monopod with Ball Head or at least a Beanbag. Handholding a long lense won't deliver sharp images almost for sure. Ofcourse, a VR/IS version of the lense will give you far better opportunity of shooting in comparatively low light which is so common in the heart of the jungles and around waterholes where sighting of large mammals is more commom.
Therefore, weekend outings usually don't offer a chance for Wildlife photoghaphy except maybe some birds at a nearby waterbody of bird sanctuary. You need a couple of days uninterrupted holiday in the jungles with a guide who knows the terrain.
My intention of publishing this write up in my Blog is for creating awareness among young upcoming photographers (mainly newbies) who use the term 'Wildlife Photography' very loosely.
Hope beginners who are really keen on Wildlife photography bear these factors in mind before stepping into the fascinating world of 'Wildlife Photography' to avoid frustration.