Photography by Dook.
The number five trip of a lifetime, according to Virtuoso’s 2016 Travel Dreams
survey: Photographing the big five on an African safari.
Be it a herd of elephants at a watering hole or a leap of leopards sprinting across the plain, witnessing these creatures up close is an incredible experience – we don’t blame you for wanting to return home from safari with a few frameworthy photographs.
Travel photographer and Virtuoso Life
lives in South Africa and travels often to photograph the continent’s wildlife. Here, he shares a few of his best tips:
Posted by Amy Cassell on June 27, 2016.
- “Plan your trip near the end of the dry season [it varies by country, your travel advisor can help], when less vegetation means more activity near watering holes.”
- “If you’ve bought a new camera or lens for the trip, practice before you go. You won't have time to read the manual when there’s a lion a few feet away.”
- “If you have a DSLR camera but don’t have a long lens, rent one. Just make sure it has a fixed f-stop and vibration reduction. I like the 200mm-400mm F4 or 200mm-500mm F5.6. Make sure it’s covered by rental insurance.”
- “For amateur photographers looking for a no-fuss camera, the Nikon Coolpix P900 has a staggering 83X optical zoom. It’ll take great photos in multiple situations, including long-distance shots of those colorful birds.”
- “Be sure to bring spare batteries; using the vibration reduction tool to minimize the blur caused by a shaky camera eats up power.”
- “If you plan on printing out your photos, be sure your camera is set to take the highest quality image – in most cases that’s either raw or .jpeg large.”
- “Obey the rule of thirds. Don't center your point of interest in the frame, be it an animal, person, mountain, or something else. This simple composition technique makes a huge difference.”
- “Don't just take close-up animal photos. Zoom in and out, show where the animal is amongst the landscape, and shoot in both landscape and portrait mode.”
- “If you’re serious about taking wildlife photos, consider renting a private game vehicle, especially one that is allowed to go off-road to follow the big five. Ask if it's a private concession so you are not swamped with vehicles from other lodges.”
- “You’re on vacation, don't pressure yourself into trying to capture a National Geographic-caliber photo. Tell a story: your trip isn’t just animals, it’s about your family, the lodging and its staff, the food you eat, and the entire journey.”
Amy Cassell is Virtuoso Life’s
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