Going on a safari can an expensive journey, so you want to make the most out of the experience. One of the best ways to remember it is to take amazing photos on your trip. Whether you are an amateur or experienced photographer, the game changes when you are on a safari. Numerous photography challenges must be tackled, such as animals that are in motion, awkward angles, not disturbing your subjects to get the perfect shot, etc. This is why it is so vital that you know what to expect, so you plan appropriately and be better prepared when the perfect photo opportunity presents itself.
Get the best possible safari photos by planning the type of photographs you would like to take. You want pictures that are going to last the test of time and allow you to remember your experience. If you are worried about ruining shots because your photography skills are not the best, we put together a list of nifty tips and tricks to help you along the way. Here are some basics to help you take your craft to the next level.
1. There Will Be Some Difficult Shots
Even the best photographers will have a hard time on a safari shoot. The best of times to shoot is at dawn and dusk, and then sometimes the light makes it hard. You need to ensure that you have a slower shutter speed on your camera to always catch the best images. Another critical element to consider is the fact that wild animals don't take direction from photographers. Telling them where to stand or how to pose is not going to happen. Balance your photo in your usual manner is not going to work.
2. Pick the Right Camera
One of the critical elements of taking excellent pictures is selecting the right equipment. And your most important piece of equipment is your camera. Choose the best camera for your needs. You will need to think about your budget as well as what you are going to carry. If you are looking for something easy to handle, you need to think about a DSLR which will offer you an easy shot. In addition to that, it will provide you with a lot of flexibility to choose the kind of shot you desire. There are also many options that allow you to have small or wide-angle lenses with your camera.
A few other options include compact cameras; these can compete well with the higher end DSLRs out there. With a compact camera, you are going to have something that is light and easy to port around. If you need help with choosing the right camera, speak to a professional at your local photo stores. Remember you need a good zoom and a camera that will catch a good shot in poor or low lighting.
3. Think About the Composition of Your Shot
Next, you need to make sure you have the right eye to identify opportunities for beautiful pictures. Identifying good and bad shots takes practice, so try and do a lot of this beforehand. Again, composition techniques that have worked in the past for you might not work in the safari setting. Make sure that you have all the control that you can in this scenario. As a rule, try not to shoot from above, also you want to ensure that you have your subject against a blank backdrop.
When you are taking a picture, you want to shoot as close as you can so that you are going to be able to capture the personality of your subject. You want to think about the composition and make it as wide as possible. Remember you want to capture the entire animal if you are going to get one. That means that you need to try and position the subject strategically and the centre is not always the best position.
4. Consider Accessories That Will Help You Get a Better Shot
The right accessories will ensure that you can capture incredible images. You need to think about how you are shooting, and you may want to make use of a camera stand to keep the camera stable. This will help you have less shaking in the car and a better chance of capturing more precise images. A stand will also help with better shots when you are going to shave a slow shutter speed. If you are not keen on a camera stand a good alternative is a tripod.
When you are thinking about a camera, there are a few things that you cannot pass up on. You need to ensure that you have a dustproof case to protect your camera and your lens. Also, make sure that you have tons of backup memory cards as well as batteries.
5. Realise it Takes Practice
Anytime that you are working with new equipment, you need to know that you are going to have to practice before you go to the site. Think about how you are shooting, is it manual, or are you using predetermined settings? Analysing the location is also key; consider the way and the depth from where you are shooting. You want to even think about reading the manual before your trip. A trip to the zoo or local wildlife reserve is an excellent way to get used to catching different kinds of animals on your safari.
6. Safety is Key
Although this is the last point, it cannot be emphasised enough. Make sure you keep a safe distance and do not go too near wildlife while photographing them. You need to follow the instructions of your guides and never wander out of range. Many mistakes happen every year because of lack of attention and respecting distances maintained from animals. A reasonable suggested distance is 50 or more feet, hence a good zoom lens is critical to the success of your shot.