Rules - A collection of guidelines for wildlife photography
These is the page I consult whenever I am about to leave the house to take photos in the field. Some additional notes about whales photography and videography.
Plan the Photo at Home - Prepare your backpack with all items you need for that particular photo you are about to take.
The Closer the Better - Finding a way to be as close as possible to the animal without disturbing it and without feeding it. Doesn't apply to dangerous animals and hazardous environment! The animal should fill at least 1/6th of the frame.
Get Dirty or Wet or Both - To take a photo lay or kneel on the ground. A low angle versus top down shots are nicer in most situations. Then get closer by crawling towards the animal. Looks funny but who cares?
Exposure, Exposure, Exposure! - Make sure in the field that you got the exposure right. Check after the first shot, apply exposure adjustment when necessary.
Keep the Camera Straight - What a disappointment when you get home and notice that the video recording of those cute Mallard chicks on the pond is tilt.
No Waste! - Hit the trigger fewer times. It is a waste of time copying all these crap shots over to the hard disk and then having to delete them.