Photography Tips

Wisdom from Simon d'Entremont

I'm a budding photographer and one YouTube channel I follow is Simon d'Entremont. He's a wildlife photographer living in eastern Canada, and I find his videos to be full of awesome tips and ideas. I decided to jot some of these down in point form here, for my future reference.

TOPIC: Composition

VIDEO: THIS is why your photos are boring

  • Don't shoot all photos at eye level - get up, get down, shoot from unusual angles
  • use shallow depth of field to make subject pop - get down to get the background further away
  • getting elevation allows to add foreground, middleground, background
  • use environment to try and frame the subject (ie: branches around bird, grass in front of house)
  • help photo tell story - ie: photo of owl on lobster trap in front of ocean is better than just own in field
  • shoot wide or tight to get out of normal view (ie: 50mm can be boring) - zoom shows lots of interesting detail
  • ie: elephants - boring to just have shot of elephant filling frame - instead back out and get herd, or an elephant near a building or tree, or close up of elephant eye or trunk
  • shoot in portrait mode - vertical is much more social media friendly or if the shot calls for it (ie: a river or bird in tree)
  • use reflections to enhance photo (ie: puddles, lakes, ponds, windows) - get low!

TOPIC: Exposure Compensation


  • camera is trying to achieve 18% medium gray (in b&w) automatically
  • bird on tree-top in bright sky is a good example of where camera will get it wrong and make bird too dark
  • another example is shooting wildlife under bushes - camera will lighten and could blow out highlights of subject
  • use exposure compensation to tweak exposure to get the shot right (+/-)
  • mirrorless camera lets you see effect on final shot, DSLR only shows what sensor sees
  • better of under exposing as it can fixed in post, whereas too bright blows out highlights - can't be recovered
  • PRO TIP: check your exposure compensation at the start of every shoot (set to zero!)

TOPIC: Shooting Videos

VIDEO: Demystifying how to SHOOT VIDEO, for photographers.

  • set Framerate = 24 fps (normal), 60 fps (2x slow-mo), 120 fps (5x slo-mo)
  • set Resolution = 1080 (smaller files than 4K, easier on camera)
  • set Shutter Speed = 1 / (2 x fps) (ie: 24 fps, shutter speed = 1/50
  • use ISO or Aperture to keep brightness corect (since shutter speed is fixed)
  • alternatively, if shooting in bright light, use Neutral Density filters
  • don't use internal mic for audio - use shotgun mic on hotshoe, or use lavalier mic on lapel
  • cover mic with wind sock!!!
  • use tripod (with fluid head) and/or image stabilization for smooth footage
  • TRICK: shoot in slow-mo when shooting hand held to smooth out footage