A Beginners Guide to Wildlife Photography By Moose Peterson

2 hr 36 min
Difficulty Difficulty Difficulty

By starting out in your own backyard, you have the greatest access to your subjects, the best opportunity to influence your environment, and the most amount of time to put your knowledge into practice. The skills and techniques you develop in your own personal wildlife studio can be applied to any other destination you choose in pursuit of all types of wildlife..

Video transcripts available with a subscription.

Moose introduces the concepts covered in the class.
There are a number of important characteristics you need to consider in choosing your lenses for photographing wildlife.
As you get further along in your photography you will start to consider acquiring more advanced camera gear.
The background of your photograph is a critical part of telling the story.
Increasing your knowledge about the wildlife in your area will go a long way to inform and improve your photography.
When setting up your wildlife studios you want to pay careful attention to where your subjects will land.
Understanding the effect the quality and quantity of available light has on your subject will inform your decision about whether or not you need to use a flash to make your subject pop.
Once you understand when you should use flash you'll want to be sure to use it correctly and you'll want to practice, practice, practice.
When you commit to a location for practicing don't settle for just one shot. Keep shooting, changing your orientation, and watching for the most interesting moments that unfold before you.
Creating a primary location for your self will give you the greatest opportunity to practice and capture great shots.
Once you've got the photography basics down you might consider shooting at night to see a different set of critters coming out to feed.
Profile photo of Moose Peterson

Meet your instructor

Moose Peterson


A Nikon Legend Behind the Lens, Lexar Elite Photographer, recipient of the John Muir Conservation Award, Research Associate with the Endangered Species Recovery Program, published in over 130 magazines worldwide, author of 23 books, and lecturing across the country to thousands upon thousands of photographers barely covers the work and go...

Moose's Courses


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  1. Profile photo of janjwalt janjwalt

    Thank you so much! This course has made a really big impact on the way I approach a subject. I wish I had this advise years ago when I started fumbling around trying to capture great wildlife images. Thank you Moose and Scott!

  2. Profile photo of Ronald Diel Ronald Diel

    I really love this course (and respect Moose as a photographer and teacher). I watched this when it first came out and recently repeated the course. I’ve applied much of what I learned the first time and the improvements show in my photography, but during the second viewing picked up on things I missed now that I really know more (knowledge that you only gain by doing). For evidence of the progress, some of my shots are at: https://500px.com/rondiel .

    I truly enjoy listening to Moose’s courses – I even attended his Photoshop for shooters course and a couple of photowalks. For people who like formal courses, I get their points about wanting more structure and focus. My feeling in following his courses, however, appreciates his style and pacing. I find this and his other courses to resemble the chance to sit down and have an in depth, personal conversation with a very experienced expert on wildlife or landscape photography who is very open to sharing his knowledge. He shares practical experience that required years of experimentation and learning. Moose admittedly has a corny sense of humor (I think he’d agree with this), which may put off some more formal people, but I find that it makes it easier to follow along in a long course that could otherwise get a bit tedious – and “perhaps” I have a similar sense of humor.

    More than that, in his wildlife courses (and the book Captured) you really pick up on how much he understands and cares about his subjects, something that he helped to pass along to me through this course.

  3. Profile photo of mlstump mlstump

    Do you have to shoot with a TTL cord For the flash to read the change in EV when you move it a “tad”? My flash only shows the difference when I view the image on my camera.

  4. Profile photo of Himadri Himadri

    Hi Moose, Very informative Gear Guide. however, one or two questions:
    1. What rain gear would you recommend for wild life photography in Amazon Rain Forest?
    2. I have Nikkor AF-S 18-300 lens, will it work for wildlife photography? the teleconverters you suggested work with this lens but Auto Focus will not work. what is your advice?

  5. Profile photo of tapiot tapiot

    Very informative, Moose definitely knows his stuff! And he presents it in such a way that you get not only the how, but why! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  6. Profile photo of mattcuda mattcuda

    Wow! Lot’s of great information in this course. I really liked taking an inside look at Moose’s home and his backyard bird studios. Even someone who has been photographing for some time can get valuable information from this video. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  7. Profile photo of alanjsmith93 alanjsmith93

    Thanks Kelbytraining for another excellent course, I wish I would have watched more of these sooner! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  8. Profile photo of inactive do not use inactive do not use

    Great class, Moose! I found it to be VERY informative and enjoyable! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  9. Profile photo of jmeshna jmeshna

    I have watched several videos by Moose Peterson and of all the videos I’ve watched on Kelby Training, I like his best.

  10. Profile photo of pjukoski pjukoski

    Excellent educational video on nature photography. I never realized how much goes into shooting wildlife around the bird feeders but now I can set up my nature studios. Moose put a lot of science and common sense into this video. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  11. Profile photo of Catherine Martin Catherine Martin

    This is just a brilliant course by Moose Peterson. I have learned so much from him about photography. I love his encouragement to learn right where you are. He has helped me learn how I can make our backyard here in the desert a place where I can practice my photography. Also, one of the most important things I learned is that when wildlife comes close, you have to remain absolutely still, so they get used to you. I’ve gotten some amazing shots from that one piece of advice. Thanks Moose! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  12. Profile photo of GailF GailF

    Awesome course Moose! Delivered with humor, great teaching and cooperative subjects!! I miss having a yard. Thanks :)
    —- Yes, please post my feedback

  13. Profile photo of lopicma lopicma

    Moose and Scott,

    Thanks for making this title available for rental. While I am not a professional photographer, this course has helped me take better pictures of the birds in my backyard. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  14. Profile photo of Sundra Tanakoh Sundra Tanakoh

    Well, I was gonna watch “Inception” again, even though I got it the first time … but opted to watch Moose Peterson instead. This video was extremely instructive, very entertaining and DUDE Moose trained a humming bird! Priceless.
    Highly Recommended!!! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  15. Profile photo of David Vercruysse David Vercruysse

    Thanks again to Moose ! So many wise advices ! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  16. Profile photo of dgswanson dgswanson

    What a fun learning experience. Moose is such a personable teacher, it’s like being at his home for a personal conversation about what he does best: photography! Please, this is such a good experience, do more classes with this format. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  17. Profile photo of muppit muppit

    well that was the best one yet Moose!! love that info on the flash photography.
    well done, im very happy :) —- Yes, please post my feedback

  18. Profile photo of sewinghair sewinghair

    Hi Moose, fantastic tutorials which inspired me to give it a go. I don’t have much of a back yard but do have a beautiful park 1 min away. So every morning I have been heading out to shoot. Things I’ve learnt here in Oz 1 I need to be much more patient and carry Sun block 2 A flock of Black Cockatoos scare everything in their flight path (including me) 3 Doing the ‘Ozzie Wave’ is not condusive to photographing wildlife and 4 I need much, much more practice. Thanks Moose—-yet another obsession. LOL. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  19. Profile photo of woofwoof woofwoof

    Moose, great job. Loved how you explain how birds behave and what behavior to expect. Love your training videos/ —- Yes, please post my feedback

  20. Profile photo of Rob Turner Rob Turner

    Most excellent indeed! A lot of information delivered with style and charm. Thank you. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  21. Profile photo of cosminbadea cosminbadea

    I don’t photograph birds or wildlife but I really enjoy the “down to earth” teaching from Moose P. Great class, thanks for the time invested. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  22. Profile photo of Luis Paez Luis Paez

    Really enjoyed this course. It gave me so much insight for setting up my backyard for practice and a way for me and my young son to enjoy our local wildlife. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  23. Profile photo of Scott Chandler Scott Chandler

    Regarding moose’s recent video:

    Strengths: very knowledgable,great content and novels his many years experience in a friendly,casual way. He is a very likable person

    Weaknesses: unfortunately this video suffers from way to much talking without giving immediate examples of the images before and after use of technique. Most of the footage could have Ben reduced and many more photo examples shown. Yes the last few minutes that gave us a slide show of his images was nice but for an instructional video immediate examples old have been better. Also please don’t have other people in the video while he is talking. That is very distracting and not professional. His office with the women’s head moving around was annoying.

    Please take this as constructive criticism —- Yes, please post my feedback

  24. Profile photo of LarsBarstad LarsBarstad

    Excellent course, this is really gonna improve my bird shots! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  25. Profile photo of C. C.

    Again, Moose hits it outa the park……………Thanks —- Yes, please post my feedback

  26. Profile photo of John Webb John Webb

    What a great course. Content excellent and delivered expertly as always by Moose. A must see for all photographers interested in taking shots of nature. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  27. Profile photo of Jerred Golden Jerred Golden

    Another great course from a mater teacher. Moose takes his time and making it easy to follow and comprehend step by step how he captures wonderful images.

    What might be helpful for future courses is a summery of equipment or settings used by the instructor that could be downloaded later. Just a page or two of notes,not like the books we get at the Kelby Live seminars, something simple. Jerred G. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  28. Profile photo of Judith Kempf Judith Kempf

    I just finishe watching this class and it was so awesome. I really learned a lot.Thank You so much Moose. I can’t wait for me classes.,Judy Kempf from southern Illinois…. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  29. Profile photo of Natalie Baig Natalie Baig

    Really enjoyed the course and great tips for shooting local wildlife. Living in Australia couldn’t help but be distracted by the little humming bird in the background in one segment. We have much larger birds in our backyard and would need a chain saw to remove some of the unwanted perches. Thank you Moose for the great course. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  30. Profile photo of Eric Harmon Eric Harmon

    Another great Moose Peterson course. As someone who is trying to get more into wildlife photography, I am always excited to see a new offering from Moose. There’s always a lot of truly useful information in his videos. I found the segments on flash particularly, um, illuminating. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  31. Profile photo of Susan Liberto Susan Liberto

    I loved this course! Thank you Moose! Birds are my thing and I cant wait to try out what I learned here! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  32. Profile photo of sramas03 sramas03

    Moose….you rock! Scott – thanks for bringing this out! —- Yes, please post my feedback

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