Wildlife photography can be tricky, but once you have the essentials down pat (and we’re talking equipment and techniques), it can be a rewarding hobby. The most important thing to remember is that frogs are sensitive animals, so always take care when handling them.
To photograph these slippery amphibians, you need to observe them from a distance and make use of natural light whenever possible. Once you master this little secret, you’ll be on your way to frog photography nirvana.
Here are some tips and tricks for photography any frog
- Use a tripod to avoid blurry images. For info on using a tripod read the guide.
A tripod is an excellent investment for photographers of all skill levels. Photo tripods are easy to use and will ensure that you don’t miss a great photo opportunity (or take a blurry photo) due to camera shake.
- Focus on the eyes, not the nose
If you want to get a sharp image of your frog, then it’s best to focus on the eyes, not the nose. The eye has a bright white, circular area that will stand out well in your image.
- Change sides of the frog
Frogs can look better from one side than the other. Play around with your camera until you find the angle that make frogs look their best.
- Use natural light to your advantage
Natural light is best for frog photography, but if you have to use flash, then do so with your flash off camera and bounce the light for better results.
- Look at the frog from a different angle
Frogs don’t always look great from the obvious angle. Try looking at them from below or above to get some interesting shots.
- Pay attention to the depth of field
Your depth of field may not be what it seems in your camera viewfinder, so if you want your background out of focus, make sure you are far enough away from your frog subject.
- Experiment with different shots
Try different things with your camera and practice to find what works best for you. If you learn about the settings on your camera, you’ll be able to get better shots without fiddling around with the camera during an actual frog photo shoot.
- Shoot earlier in the day (if possible)
Early mornings and evenings offer a beautiful soft light that can make a frog look its best.
- Zoom in with a wide angle lens
In order to get the whole frog, you may need to zoom in to 200% or more. It’s better to shoot wide for frog photography instead of letting the camera look through the lens and getting a blurry picture. You can always crop out the background later on.
- Shoot from above and below – never from directly overhead
If you are shooting from above, then your composition will be off and you’ll get an awkward picture. Shoot from ground level or below.
- Take multiple shots
Don’t expect all your frogs to be standing still. A frog jumping or hopping away from you will make a better picture than a super still one. Try taking three or four shots each time you go out to photograph frogs and keep the best ones.
- Use a flash with care
Sometimes you may want to use a flash to illuminate your frog’s face. This is particularly helpful if you are shooting at night or early in the morning. If you use too much flash, however, then your frog will be washed out and will look dull. Be careful not to shoot directly into the eyes of frogs that have reflective eyes or they will appear white. Always bounce your light if you use a flash.
- Look for different perspectives
Don’t limit yourself to looking at frogs from eye level. Try looking at them from above for some different shots. Frogs look best when shot from ground level or slightly below, not directly overhead or below the frog’s legs and mouth.
Best Time Of Day To Photograph Frogs
Morning and evening are the best times to photograph amphibians, especially if you have still water. Frogs are most active at dawn and dusk, so pay close attention to the light.
If you want your frogs to look their best, use natural light. If you shoot frogs during the day, then the sunlight may be too harsh and create hot spots on your subject’s body or your background may be blown out (too bright).
Tree frog photography tips
Tree frogs are much easier to photograph than other types of frogs. These little critters don’t move around a lot and are most active at night. They can also be found sitting on leaves, logs, or branches during the day, so they make for easy subjects.
- Shoot during twilight
Light is the best time to photograph tree frogs because it exposes them well and minimizes their ability to hide in shadows. Avoid any light that makes your frog look washed out or too bright.
- Pay attention to the substrate (logs) on which your frog sits
Keep your frogs on a natural substrate like logs or leaves so they can look their best. Don’t put them on a rock, as that area will look out of focus in your picture.
- Use a flash
A flash can help to illuminate your tree frog from underneath or from the side for some great pictures. Avoid using a flash directly on the frog, as this will reflect in its eyes and cause them to look white. Bounce your light!
- Watch out for shadows
Dark areas in pictures are unattractive and can make your tree frog look poor. Minimize the amount of shadow in your tree frog photos by positioning yourself so that the lighting is behind you or at an angle that doesn’t show any shadows on the frog.
- Use a wide angle lens to fill the frame
For some special effects pictures, put your tree frog on a log or branch and back up to fill the frame with its entire body.
- Try different angles
Some of the best tree frog photos are taken from down low. Get down on your belly and put your camera at a level that enables you to loo directly at the frog’s face. You can either shoot from this viewpoint or get down even lower and shoot up at your subject. You can also try shooting from above but make sure it does not look like you are looking into the frog’s eyes.
Tree frogs are a fun and interesting subject for any photographer to capture. The challenge is taking the right pictures so that your frog looks its best. Keep these tree frog photography tips close at hand as you go out shooting.