Capturing animals at their finest is a rewarding but daunting task. Our expert panel of judges have put together a summary of how to take an award-winning animal photograph.

Capture the beauty of the animal

This is by far the most important point. The very best animal photographs showcase the natural beauty and character of the animal. Make sure the subject of your image, be it a hare, pheasant or dog, is in sharp focus. Then use the rule of thirds to find the ideal position for your subject within the frame.

Try capturing the animal engaging in different natural behaviours, e.g. scratching or digging.

Use the right equipment

Consider what type of lens best captures the animal you are photographing. For example, close-ups of smaller subjects, like insects of flowers, are best suited to a macro lens. A wide-angle lens, meanwhile, is perfect for capturing sprawling scenery. Finally, if you’re shooting wild animals in their natural environment, telephoto and zoom lenses allow you to change your focus with ease, making it easier to adapt to changes in the animal’s position.

Aim for high quality (and a large file size)

A photograph’s power can be greatly reduced if the file is too small or pixelated. Make sure your images have a file size of 1MB or more, so our judges can see your animal subject clearly.

View award-winning examples

Get inspiration by looking at other people’s nature photography online; a good place to start is right here - take a look at the winners from last year’s League Photography Awards.


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