Africa is a photographer’s paradise - wildlife at your fingertips, out of this world sunrises/sets, and continuous landscapes that beg to snapped. Londolozi’s Amanda Ritchie shares her top ten tips to capturing that perfect shot, from being an amateur to seasonal traveller, these tips will assure the perfect picture each time.
1. Get to grips with the exposure triangle
Photography is, quite literally, the art of painting with light. In order to capture the wildlife at its best, you need to understand how these three parameters work together and when to use them to tell your photographic story.
2. Pack a range of lenses
Out on safari, you will get great opportunities to get up close and personal with the wildlife as well as photograph extraordinary natural scenery. A good telephoto lens with a decent range is an absolute must. A great suggestion is to bring an 80-400mm lens along with a wide-angle lens for landscapes and stars. In the African bushveld, a good wide-angle lens will never go amiss! If you do not have access to high-end photographic equipment, you can easily rent gear from the photographic studio at Londolozi.
3. Keep your camera steady
There’s nothing more heartbreaking than getting the opportunity for the perfect shot, and getting a case of camera-shake. When on safari be sure to use a trusty bean-bag to steady your camera and telephoto lens. Go one step further and use a Wimberley arm unit for the ultimate steady shot. Grab a tripod for star photography, or when you’re in the mood for some long-exposure shots. This simple yet powerful trick will enhance the crispness of your images like no other!
4. Pack lots of memory cards
We highly recommend capturing your images in a RAW format and this extra file size will warrant the need for additional memory cards. Bring lots of these memory cards (SD or CF) with you to ensure piece of mind that you’ll never run out of space.
5. Know your gear and camera settings
Navigating your camera’s settings should be as mechanical as driving a car. When out in the wild be secure in the knowledge that you won’t need your manual to change your settings at speed. Know the minimum shutter speed needed to get a crisp shot for your camera/lens combo, know how to quickly toggle between your focus points, and know how to change aperture, shutter speed and ISO without taking your eye away from the view-finder. Presets are a useful tool for ultra smooth operating.
6. Limit the time you change your lenses out in the field
The bush is a dusty place, and leaving your camera or lens exposed for any length of time leads to dust settling on both. If at all possible, carry two cameras with separate lenses on them so that a dusty lens is never a worry.
7. Character & environment
It’s a no-brainer that we all want to capture the character and soul of the animals in the bush, and for that you will want to zoom into a tight shot of your subject. Remember that you need to capture the environment around you, too. Here is where your wide-angle lens comes in, giving you the opportunity to zoom out and capture the vastness in addition to the intimate moments.
8. Know the rules, but break the rules
Be familiar with things like the rule of thirds and know how to read a histogram and let those guide you when shooting. But be ready to get creative and break those rules whenever you see fit in order to really tell a story. Photography is an art form and is limitless in its expression.
9. Experience the bush, don’t just photograph it
Remember to balance the amount of time you spend shooting with sitting and enjoying your experience. Take in the smells and sights and textures first hand- not just from behind your lens.
10. Don’t be too hard on yourself
At the end of the day, this is your experience. If you captured a moment that tells a story for you, cutting off an ear or a set of legs really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, does it?
Londolozi have several properties which are all magnificent, and are the perfect location to test your new found phot-skills and enjoy a perfect safari holiday. Take a look at the properties and speak to one of our experts today on 020 7843 3500 or email email@example.com.
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