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 photographs.

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 best bet.

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 opportunities are:

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.

Collection of African safari pictures depicting most of the animals you can see on safari like lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, crocodile, chimpanzee, baboon, gorilla, rhino and many more species.

The five best African lion safari destinations will give you some excellent opportunities to take photographs of the king of the jungle.

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

The Verge

How to build a camera kit for adventure photography
The Verge
What began as a tentative relationship with outdoor photography has evolved into a full-on infatuation that's fed by digging into the work of legends like Ansel Adams and Instagram's most creative posters alike. Now, I find myself planning whole trips ...


myfox47

Hiawatha Homes resident finds his passion through photography
myfox47
What may look like a bedroom, is actually a photography studio. Donald Rack is a resident at Hiawatha Homes. Rack lives with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy – but that doesn't stop him from pursuing his passion for photography. “It's all just through my ...


Fstoppers

The Importance of Fulfilling a Brief in Photography
Fstoppers
When you're shooting for a client with specific needs, it's important that you're able to deliver what they require. This great video explores how a photographer planned, then adapted to get the shot. Coming to you from Gary Gough, this video follows ...


Washington Post

Video games are now so beautiful players are spending hours framing stunning works of Internet art
Washington Post
Furbo, 33, has played video games practically his entire life, but over the summer he found what he calls “a hobby within a hobby” — what's known by some as in-game photography. “For me ... it's the same as taking photos out in the real world,” Furbo ...


Ellison to hold photography show
Smoky Mountain News
8), also at Cullowhee Mountain Arts, Ellison will talk about the highs and lows of shooting street photography in small, rural towns such as Sylva, Bryson City, Franklin and Waynesville. She'll also discuss her efforts to record as much of the mountain ...


UC Berkeley

Vanished no more: Giant of photography Roman Vishniac finds a home at The Magnes
UC Berkeley
His entire photographic work is now coming to Berkeley from a 10-year stay at New York's International Center of Photography. The ICP has launched a rebirth of interest of Vishniac's work with a touring exhibition currently in London and then headed ...


Mother Nature Network (blog)

Squirrel can't believe who won the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards
Mother Nature Network (blog)
Just in time for the holidays, we've got the winners of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards — and they're sure to put a smile on your face. The overall winner was Mary McGowan for her hilarious photo of a surprised squirrel. Makes you wonder what ...


WTMJ-TV (press release) (blog)

A Big Sale on All Things Photography
WTMJ-TV (press release) (blog)
If you don't like waiting in line in the wee hours of Black Friday, that's ok. The folks at Art's Cameras Plus aren't big fans of it either. That's why they're offering Black Friday savings through Monday! Joining us with all the details is Tony ...


Hyperallergic

Discerning Photography's White Gaze
Hyperallergic
John Edwin Mason, a professor of African history and the history of photography with an expertise in the legacy of Gordon Parks, took to Twitter to express the ways the prize, and the demographics of its winners, speak to photography's greater ...


Android Central

Step up your photography with discounted camera essentials from Manfrotto, Joby, and Lowepro
Android Central
If you've got an aspiring photographer or avid Instagrammer in the family, Amazon has a sale on essential camera accessories from Manfrotto, Joby, and Lowepro that would certainly brighten up their Christmas, and maybe even level up their creative outlook.

Google News

Extreme Digital Photography: Beyond Point-and-shoot

When my old Olympus digital camera got broke while caving... Read More

A Guide to Underwater Cameras

There are two types of underwater camera systems: an ""amphibious""... Read More

How to Easily Select the Important Photography Category for Your Home Based Business

You may have already started to make money from your... Read More

The Benefits of Disposable Cameras

Disposable cameras are cheap and easy to use. If you... Read More

Getting The Right Digital Camera For You

There are really great advantages in digital photography:You can shoot... Read More

Photographing Kids

Kids grow up so quickly and while we are often... Read More

Digital Camera Bags - Purchasing and Using

Some compact cameras are small enough to fit in your... Read More

Photography 101 Part 3

ContentEven if you feel that you already know what kind... Read More

Is Digital Photography Expensive?

Being such a fascinating device as the digital camera, this... Read More

African Safari Photography Best Five Destinations

Good wildlife safari photography is not only about composition and... Read More

Photography Has No Gender

Women photographers are fortunate. Unlike other titles, photographer has no... Read More

Online Photo Sharing: Not Just for Family and Vacation Photos

You may have joined the photo-sharing craze to share your... Read More

Home Run Baseball Photography Tips

Strike one! Strike two! Strike three!Baseball! America's Pastime, and a... Read More

Digital Camera Memory Cards

A digital camera accessory you should purchase is a spare... Read More

Digital Wedding Photography: Myth Vs. Reality

1. Myth: Digital photos are pixilated or fuzzy. Reality: most... Read More

How To Make A Time-Lapse Video With Your Digital Video Camera

Getting the most out of your digital video camera can... Read More

Camcorder Techniques: How To Make Home Movies Your Family And Friends Will Be Excited To Watch

Pre-Production:It's all got to start somewhere, so before you even... Read More

The Paradigm: Going Digital

As you might imagine the paradigm shift from traditional film-based... Read More

Start Up a Nude Photography Business

There are major obstacles to overcome to get into nude... Read More

A New Way to Use Old Snapshots

If you're like me, you have hundreds of photographs sitting... Read More

Photography Contest - a fun and rewarding experience

Do you like to take photos? Are you always standing... Read More

Digital Film Processing is Really the Only Option for Truly Quality Prints

Digital photography has taken off like wildfire these days, primarily... Read More

Birthday Party Photo Tips ? How to Make Yours Truly Stand Out

How many of the birthday party pictures you've seen are... Read More

10 Steps to Buying a Digital Camera You Must Know

You are anxious to purchase your new digital camera! You... Read More

Entering the World of Digital Video Cameras

Gone are the days when you would need to employ... Read More