Safari Photography Tips
Breathe slowly as you gaze through your viewfinder. The lion resting beneath an acacia is your star and the African bush your studio as you wait for the performance to begin. Finger hovering, ready for that moment of magic, to capture and to hold it, immortalised on film."
Before you go
- A point-and-shoot compact camera will not do your subject matter justice. A digital SLR with a telephoto lens will ensure wonderful shots but for convenience a CSC is ideal and offers many of the features of an SLR, including interchangeable lenses, but is much smaller. In an ideal world, take two cameras to negate the need to change lenses.
- Take a course in photography before you go, do your own research and play with your camera before you go to find your footing before you leave.
- Your research should show you what types of filters and lenses to take. Along with this, make sure you take lens cleaner, a gorillapod/monopod or beanbag as well as extra batteries and memory cards.
- You can’t choose your fellow travellers, so to be sure you can get the photos you long for, you may wish to go private.
During your holiday
- Keep your camera on at all times; you never know when that magical moment will occur.
- Have fun and don’t just gaze through your view finder. Take binoculars and keep your eyes open for other photo opportunities.
- The golden hours are an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset, make the most of these stunning lighting conditions.
- A little bit of patience and luck will serve you well, though if you’re after something specific you may wish to upgrade to a private safari so you don’t have to worry about other guests.
- If you wish for a particular angle, ask on the approach. Be quiet and move slowly to avoid spooking the wildlife.
- When it comes to taking the photo, focus, framing and composition are all important. When taking pictures of wildlife focus on the eyes and don’t take just one picture, take many and mix up the composition. Bear in mind your subject and decide whether a portrait or landscape image would do it more justice.
- Stay safe. No matter how magical, a photo is no good to you if you’re not around to see it.
- Keep empty and full memory cards separate and keep your battery charged. Take a spare battery for emergencies as circumstances may not always allow you to charge your camera overnight.
When you return
- Upload your images before you forget/lose your memory card or accidentally shoot over them.
- Edit if you need to, but don’t go mad. Natural is best.
- Show them off!