Tip #30: Focus on the Eyes

Kirk's Dik Dik (Madoqua kirkii) - Lake Manyara, Tanzania
Canon 1D MarkII + Canon 300mm f2.8 + 1.4x converter shot at f4.5
When photographing wildlife, we will typically shoot at the widest aperture possible. A long telephoto with a shallow depth of field will allow you to isolate your subject against a busy background. The drawback of this technique is the narrow zone of focus. At maximum aperture, there is little room for error between nailing the focus and producing an unsharp image. Because the human brain is drawn to the eyes of others, we seek eye contact when viewing images of nature or people. This need to see the eyes is deeply rooted in our evolution, and failure to capture eye detail will cause the viewer to dismiss an otherwise beautiful image. 

So Tip #30 is a simple one... Given the choice of the Nose or the Eyes, Focus on the Eyes. 
Banded Mongoose on Alert (Mungos mungo) - Masai Mara, Kenya
Canon 7D + Canon 300mm f2.8 @ f3.2
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