for Sensational Safari Photos
Secrets for Sensational
Exploring wilderness areas on safari and viewing
wildlife in its natural habitat is a breathtaking
experience and to capture this experience photographically
is especially gratifying.
When you’re on safari In Africa, you can expect
to take most of your photos from within a Land Rover,
car or boat since the vehicle allows a safe approach
to getting close to wild animals. Some areas offer
walking safaris with a guide, but photographing wild
animals on foot is more dangerous and does not permit
the close proximity of a vehicle or boat. Remember
that stalking and approaching wild animals is potentially
dangerous. Although most animals do not view a vehicle
as a threat, almost all will run away from humans
on foot. As a result, photographing wild animals
on foot is far more challenging – plus, you
have to carry all your equipment. For walking
safaris, I recommend bringing only your best zoom
lens as it offers the most versatility.
from a vehicle, it is best to turn off the engine
before attempting to take any photographs. Although
the vibrations from the vehicle’s
engine may seem inconsequential, they will ultimately
be noticeable in your pictures, especially if you
are using a telephoto lens. Using a tripod
from an open-air vehicle or boat is quite possible
if you have a private vehicle or have only one or
two passengers per row of seats. If you don’t
have a tripod, be sure to use whatever support is
available (bean bag, monopod, roof-top) to avoid
Tips for Getting Started
The following are some tips to get you started on
your safari photo adventure:
If you plan to
be on safari for many days, be sure to bring
enough digital storage. You
never want to be faced with passing up an excellent
photo opportunity or having to delete good images.
Know your camera
- you don’t want to miss
a shot! Because many scenes, especially those with
a high degree of contrast, can fool your camera’s
automatic metering, practice using your camera’s
exposure compensation and also the different metering
options (spot, center-weighted and evaluative).
shooting moving objects and anticipating the
of your best images will be of animal interactions
and animals on the move (birds flying, zebras
running, lions hunting).
Be patient and
wait for things to happen - you’ll
be rewarded with spectacular opportunities. Also,
when you get to a location, really take time to
listen and observe- most of my best sightings have
come when the vehicle is turned off and listening
for clues. Constantly driving around will
not yield good results.
Try to include something in the foreground to
enhance the sense of depth when photographing landscapes.
Something as simple as a rock, a termite mound
or a person will effectively add scale and interest
to your composition.
Always be sure
to focus on an animal’s
eyes whenever possible. Having the eyes in sharp
focus will make the difference between an image
which works and one which is a throw-away.
stay in one place for very long, so be prepared.
Always move cautiously, slowly and smoothly and
stay the recommended distance when photographing
or observing wildlife. ALWAYS be respectful of
wild animals and never pressure or stress them.
Don’t hesitate to go out on “bad” weather
days--some of the most striking images are captured
during inclement weather.
In summary, for
many people photography is one of the most essential
parts of an African safari. Photographs are much more
than just a record of where you have been and what
you have seen—they are
something to look back on in later years or a way of
sharing your experience with friends and family back
at home. In addition, many people get as much enjoyment
out of taking the photos themselves as they do in seeing
the animals and sights and they will take great satisfaction
in their photos for years to come.
an African safari company, boasts an extremely
knowledgeable team of staff members, who are
passionate about every aspect of travel to Africa, including its wildlife and safari destinations.
When you're ready to plan your African safari,
a holiday in Africa, or if you just have questions,
please feel free to contact us toll free at 800-457-9575
or visit our web site at http://www.eyesonafrica.net/contactus.htm and
complete an information request form.
on Africa was selected most knowledgeable
Regional Expert for Southern Africa / Safaris by
National Geographic Traveler Magazine,
20th Anniversary Special Issue.