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Amazon Photography Tips

The Amazon rain forest is full of beauty and wonder, but capturing its scenery in  a photograph can be challenging. Due the heat, humidity and lighting conditions of the jungle, getting good photos while keeping your gear safe can be difficult. To help you overcome these difficulties we came up with the following tips to take outstanding photographs in the Amazon.

The type of camera is crucial

The Amazon jungle presents many opportunities to capture its unique wildlife. From mammals, to reptiles, birds, insects and underwater life. Learn more about the Amazon’s exotic animals here. However, the majority of them resides at the canopy level, which means you’ll certainly be able to catch glimpses from a distance. That’s why bringing a good zoom lens is a great idea, particularly for photographing the abundant rainforest birdlife.

Focusing on macro options and capturing some of the wonderfully diverse flora and fauna around ground level, such as flowers, butterflies, insects and reptiles, is a great option, too. A shorter focal length lens will also work well for scenery shots when the opportunities arise.

A waterproof camera is also a good option perfect to shoot the Amazon underwater wildlife. The Amazon River is home to many species including the Amazon river dolphin, caimans and a variety of interesting freshwater fish. 

More light, best photos

Another useful tip is to seek out open spaces within the forest. Observing from clearings or from a main path will give you a better chance of shooting wildlife in sufficient light and without too much obstruction in your line of view.

Under the canopy, conditions are likely to be darker than ideal, so you may need to adjust your camera settings accordingly. Increasing the ISO and using a wide aperture is the other option, though the quality of the shots will likely not be as crisp. Take into consideration that shooting with flash might not be the best idea as it might frighten the wildlife.

Bright sunny conditions are also a problem, because the myriad and dense vegetation creates a confusing patchwork of high contrast light and shade. In summary, just try to shot under one dominant light profile, whether it be full shade or direct sunlight.

Protect your Camera Equipment

Levels of heat and humidity in the Amazon are very high and there are also plenty of insects to protect you and your gear from. During torrential downpours is better not to shoot because it’s often impossible to stay dry. Due the jungle humidity lenses get fogged up, so a good advice is to keeping the camera sealed away in an air-tight case or ziploc plastic bag,  to keep the camera safe and dry when you’re not using it.

Beyond these jungle-specific tips, all the normal rules of photography apply when you’re out shooting in the Amazon. If you’re looking for the best Amazon’s shots you should stay at Yacuma Ecolodge, we offer many tours to enjoy the Ecuadorian Amazon jungle fauna and flora, alone with comfort and amazing service.