> General Africa Safari Articles
WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY TOP FOUR TIPS
Safari Wildlife Photography Top Four Tips
I've been practising wildlife photography on safari for over twenty
years now in places like the Kruger National Park, Chobe, Okavango
Delta, and Hwange game reserves and these four tips have been
indispensable in making sure that I get some decent wildlife
1. The Right Equipment
I believe that you can't beat the quality of film but that digital
offers wildlife photography practitioners more options at a better
cost so for the purposes of a safari trip a digital camera is your
It should have some of the following characteristics to qualify as a
good safari camera.
There should be little or no lag between the time you depress the
shutter release button and the photo is taken. Some of the compact
digitals on the market today suffer from this affliction and it's
not ideal when you come across fast moving wildlife subjects.
It should be ready to take photographs at a moments notice because
that is sometimes all the time you have before an animal disappears
into the undergrowth. No long power up cycle.
Due to the fact that most of your nocturnal wildlife sightings on
safari will occur during early morning and dusk it needs to be able
to function well in low light conditions as well as bright sunlight
during the day for the diurnal animals.
Lenses should have a focal length of at least 70mm for adequate
wildlife photography and an image stabiliser is not essential but a
great help in eliminating blur.
Another piece of equipment that is essential however is a deadrest
in the form of a beanbag or a window mounted tripod that you can
rest the camera on to help stabilise the long lenses. Handholding a
long lens will often lead to blurring and the dead rest will prevent
this. A tripod or monopod is impractical because you will be taking
photos from the safari vehicle for most of the time.
2. The Best Wildlife Photography Areas
You can have all the right equipment and the best wildlife
photography talent in the world but it won't mean much if you can't
find any wildlife to take pictures of.
Some areas in Africa are better in terms of safari photography than
others. The top five for getting excellent overall wildlife picture
Kenya - Masai Mara
Tanzania - Serengeti
South Africa - Kruger National Park
Botswana - Moremi
Namibia - Etosha
3. Patience and Luck
Everything comes to him who waits is a very relevant saying for
wildlife photography. Patience will help you get better photographs
because you will be able to take pictures of animal behaviour that
you would otherwise have missed.
The role of luck mustn't be underestimated either. There is no
guarantee of what you will encounter in a game reserve and whatever
you do get to see and photograph is a matter of a little bit of
planning and a lot of good fortune.
4. Light and Composition
Because you are at the mercy of the elements in wildlife
photography, you don't have too much control over the light. Flash
is of no use when the animal is at a distance and you can't wait for
better light conditions because the subject could move off at any
moment so you need to make the best of what you have.
And due to the habits of nocturnal species you will find yourself
taking lots of pictures in low light conditions at dawn and dusk
which is why a fast lens and a dead rest is essential. Using
bracketing (changing the exposure by one stop up and down) will also
help get the optimal exposure in the available light.
What you do have some control over is the position of the safari
vehicle which can be moved to change the aspect of light that is
falling on the animal somewhat but even that is sometimes not
possible because in most reserves you are not allowed to go off-road
and moving might scare the subject away.
Composition is something you do have more control of however and you
can apply the rule of thirds and framing using the available
vegetation just as well as in any other form of photography.
Be especially careful using the autofocus on your camera because it
will cheerfully focus on a twig or tuft of grass close to your
animal subject and spoil your composition.
You will also need to make your compositional decisions quickly as
wildlife often doesn't hang about long waiting for you to make your
mind up so it pays to have a solid foundation in the basics.
About the Author:
Collection of African safari pictures depicting most of the animals
you can see on safari like lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant,
crocodile and many more species...http://www.african-safari-pictures.com
.The five best safari destinations to photograph the king of the
Have you gone on vacation to Africa
and would like to share your experiences with others on this site?
If yes please contact us today by clicking here
and we will gladly contact you with instructions on how to submit