Wild game photography

With the African continent’s diverse wildlife such as mammals, birds, reptiles and game animals, a safari is what every photographer dreams of.

Whether you are a pro with many years of experience or an amateur giving a shot to expressing art using the lens, Africa is heavenly place where you will find thousands of captivating subjects. Listed below are a couple of ideas to help you make the best out of your photographic journey.

Search for a game safari that can let you travel through the best spots that have a great deal of animals and wildlife. There are safari agencies that design safaris envisioned especially for wildlife and game photographers.

Test your skills at home

A drive to the local zoo before leave for the safari will help you prepare for taking better pictures while in the wild.

New photography gears

If you intend to buy a brand new DSLR camera and new lenses for your safari trip, be sure you understand how to operate it perfectly before you’re leaving for Africa.

One challenge is camera shake, especially with long telephoto lenses so you might want to invest in a vibration reduction/optical stabilization lens or camera body.

Bring spare equipment

if you have one more digital camera, take the spare with you as well as chaning lenses can expose the sensor to the dusty environment. Also make sure you take a bunch of of spare memory cards for backups and batteries.


Animal behaviors

Game animals usually don’t do anything interesting or they do it at night.

If there are specific animal species that you would like to focus on, read up on their behavior and read up onwhere they can frequently be found. This will help you track them without too much difficulty and predict their moves and actions, which will also let you to take some really great photosgraphies.

Don’t hesitate to pay extra for a private guide and vehicule at this will allow you to be in the wild rather than at a buffet in your lodge.

Don’t get too close

African animals are among the most dangerous: lions, elephant, rhinos, hippos can run and crush you down.

Don’t get too much carried away with trying to get as close as possible. Your safety is the biggest priority. Keep yourself at a safe distance while taking pictures, specially when photographing wild animals and this according to your guide. Photographing too close will most likely let the animals perceive that you are a threat and their reactions are sometime highly hostile.

The tripod

A good wildlife photographer is someone with a big tripod, a big lens and a lot of patience.

So, if you can, bring a good tripod and a beanbag. They are hard to carry around but a lightweight one will do marvels and you are in the jeep anyway.

Use your camera wisely

Animals move fast in the wild and they sometimes turn their backs when camera lenses are pointed towards them. You need to to keep your eyes pealed if you want to take amazing photos and shots.

One challenge is that the animals are too far away

Telephoto lenses with a 400mm-800mm focal length are the most desired to work with in this type of setting. Some animals such as birds however, are most optimally photographed with 500 millimeters lens. A shutter speed of 1 | 125 is best when shooting a subject that is moving. 1 | 500 or more is desired when shooting wild birds in flight. When photographing people or scenery, a standard 50mm lens will do.

For Canon Camera users, the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM, is probably a good choice. Also the must isĀ  the 300mm f/2.8 and 400mm f/2.8 with a 2x teleconverter.

Insurance

A lot of unpredictable things can happen during a safari trip. It’s better to be prepared than blame yourself afterwards should you face any big problems. Make sure to have your equipment insured.

As exciting and interesting as it is to take photographs of wildlife, always remember that safari activities are have risks, especially if you’ll be working closely with wildlife animals. It’s not ever a good idea to compromise your own safety in order to get that perfect shot. The appropriate attitude to wildlife and animal photography is a desire for new experiences balanced with sure common sense.

Remember that a one-week trip safari to Africa isn’t enough to take the world’s best photo of a lion.

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