Photographing wildlife can be fun, especially when you set out on a photo safari. However, you need to be careful to ensure you do the right thing and protect the environment. There are many ways of doing this, so we have provided the following tips to help you get the best photos.
Table of Contents
1. Set out on a safari
You need to ensure you go on a safari to Africa and do some research into the environment before you set off. There are a number of ways of doing this, such as contacting local tour operators or visiting websites like the Kenya Wildlife Service, Tanzania National Parks or Zambia Tourism Board. You should also check whether you need a permit from the government in the country you are visiting. The government website will give you information about permits, including details of how to get one.
2. Look for animals where they live
If you want to photograph the big five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, buffalo) then you need to find where they live. When you set out on a safari you will be taken to a location that may be known as a lion or leopard pride. In most cases you will need to wait until the pride moves away from the tourists before you can take your picture. If you have a zoom lens you can use it to focus on specific individuals.
3. Avoid disturbing animals
When you take a picture, you need to be aware that you are disturbing the animals. Some animals, like elephants, have a very sensitive nature and may react badly to the noise of you taking a photo. Try to take your photographs at the end of the day and early morning, when animals are moving around and they are likely to be more relaxed. If you see animals running towards you, try to take pictures from a safe distance.
4. Be patient
Animals move in their own time and there will be times when you cannot get a shot. Be prepared to wait patiently for the perfect moment and it could be a while. You may have to wait at least 20 minutes before a large animal comes into your view. Also, if you are photographing wild animals, the light may change quickly and you may need to change lenses. In this case it is important to have a second camera ready and to have access to your flash.
5. Use a telephoto lens
The most effective way of photographing animals is to use a telephoto lens. This means the lens will be longer than normal, so it will give you a wider view. It will also increase the magnification, making the animals appear larger. When using a telephoto lens, it is a good idea to use a cable release so the shutter stays open for a short period of time. You will be able to capture some very close up images of the animals.
6. Learn how to use the controls
The camera you have bought will come with instruction, but it is still worth learning how to use it. It will enable you to take more impressive shots. Try to use the zoom controls and the manual focusing to ensure you take sharp and clear pictures.
7. Learn to use the flash
If you are using a telephoto lens and the sun is shining, you need to ensure you have a flash to balance the bright sun. Use the flash if you want to highlight an animal that is in silhouette.
8. Take lots of practice shots
Take plenty of practice shots to get used to the camera and the lens. It will enable you to know what settings to use and how the camera will react to different lighting conditions.
9. Create an escape plan
When you are out on a safari, it is important to have an escape plan. The best plan is to have a companion that can help you if things go wrong. They will be able to help you if you become lost or if you have a flat tire.
10. Carry essential items
You will need a camera, spare batteries, a waterproof bag to keep the camera dry, a tripod and a memory card. You will also need a torch. When you leave your tent you will need a hat and sunglasses to protect your eyes from the glare. You will also need insect repellent.
11. Stay out of the way of the animal
When you are trying to take a picture of an animal, you need to stay out of the way. If the animal wants to get up and move, it will do so. You may be able to take a picture by waiting for it to move towards you.
12. Be prepared for rain
When you are out on a safari, you need to be prepared for rain. It can be difficult to take a picture if the weather is poor. If it rains, your camera may be ruined, so you should carry a rain cover. It will keep the camera and your gear safe. It is also worth carrying a tarpaulin, which you can place over your tent to protect it from the rain.
13. Don’t feed the animals
When you are photographing wild animals you should not feed them. It can be tempting to do this, especially if they are nearby, but it is not allowed. It can cause problems for the animals and their habits may be changed. Also, you don’t want to attract them to your campsite, which could upset other visitors.
14. Stay healthy
To avoid any problems, you need to take care of yourself when you are out on a safari. Drink plenty of water and eat well. You should wear comfortable clothes and try to avoid the sun. When you return to camp you will need to wash any dirt off your body and wash your clothes to remove any insects.
I hope you enjoyed this article about the most popular best tips for safari photography. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below!
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