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Photography Tips For Your African Safari
By July 6, 2023 No Comments

Photography Tips For Your African Safari

Africa is undoubtedly blessed with some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Tourists often take photographs to remember their time here, as it is usually one of the most exciting experiences of their lives. From the awe-inspiring vistas of the Serengeti National Park to the majestic herds of wildebeest and zebra in the Kruger National Park, these amazing sights in Africa are unending.

However, if you are looking to take your photography skills to the next level on your African safari, you will need to know some key African safari photography tips for capturing these stunning sights. Find out some of the most important things to keep in mind when photographing your African safari.

Photographing Landscapes

One of the most important things to consider when photographing landscapes is having a high-quality camera that can capture rich, detailed images. This might mean investing in a digital single-lens reflex or mirrorless camera with a wide aperture and high megapixels, in addition to your safari photography equipment. With these, you can achieve sharp focus throughout your photograph.

Next, and arguably the most important factor to think about when taking pictures of landscapes during your African safari is what time of day it is. The quality of lighting can drastically change the look of a scene, which is why dusk and dawn often produce the most picturesque results. At these times, shadows are elongated from the low sun angle and create a warm golden hue.

Furthermore, you should keep backlighting in mind when taking pictures of landscapes while on your African safari. In these situations, the lighting coming from behind an object can often cause a bright glare and make details difficult to see. In these cases, try to position yourself or your subjects so that they are between you and the sun to reduce this effect.

Wildlife Photography

When it comes to taking wildlife photos on your African safari, wildlife photographers need to be both patient and prepared. Since many animals are skittish and can quickly flee from sight, it is important to have your camera at the ready so you can snap a photo whenever you get wildlife sightings.

Additionally, if you want to add emotion and life to your pictures, professional photographers recommend taking close-ups or portraits while focusing on the animal’s eyes. This will make sure that most of their face is visible and in focus. It is also best to ask everyone to stay stationary while you take the photo and to thank them when you’re done. This will help to ensure that your wildlife photos are as clear and beautiful as possible.

Lastly, be sure to keep the lighting in mind when taking pictures of animals on your African safari. This will help you achieve better results by avoiding harsh shadows and unwanted glare from the sun. As with landscapes, dawn and dusk are typically the best times for photographing wildlife due to the more even lighting available.

Photographing on Night Drives

While there is very little light available during a night drive while on an African safari, it is still possible to take amazing photos. One of the most important things to keep in mind when photographing at night is using long exposures. This will help you capture the light trails left by lanterns and headlights, as well as any animals that may pass through your frame during this time.

To make the best use of these light trails, use a slow shutter speed to let in as much light as possible. If you have a tripod or window mount for camera support, the lowest shutter speed you should go is 1/150th of a second. If you’re taking handheld photos, start with 1/100th of a second to let in enough light without blurring the photo by shaking the camera. In addition, set your aperture to the lowest f-stop possible. For example, some higher-end cameras can go as low as f2.8, while mid-range cameras may only be able to go down to around f5.6.

Finally, consider the type of telephoto lens you should carry along. Use a zoom lens to minimize the amount of light that is lost as you change your distance from an object. A prime lens will have less distortion and produce higher-quality images, but it may not be ideal if you are photographing from a moving vehicle in low-light conditions. By choosing a zoom lens for night drives, a professional photographer can get close to an object and then change the distance without sacrificing quality.

General African Safari Photography Tips

While there are many tips that you can follow to ensure better results when taking photos on your African photo safari, some of the most important ones include:

  • Manage your ISO settings. When shooting in low-light conditions, such as at dawn or dusk, an increase in the ISO can help you achieve a brighter photo without using a flash. To avoid capturing too much grain and noise, keep your ISO around 800 to 1600 for the best results. Keep in mind that while professional cameras can have an ISO range above 5000, lower-priced models will typically max out at 1600.
  • Keep shooting! The more photos you take, the better your chances of capturing a great shot. This is especially true for wildlife photography, as animals may quickly move in and out of sight. Having a continuous shooting mode on your camera will help ensure that you don’t miss any opportunities for a great photo.
  • Don’t forget storage. A crucial tip for anyone doing an African photographic safari is to bring enough memory cards. With all the chances you’ll have for action shots, wildlife photography tends to rack up a high number of saved frames- meaning you’ll quickly fill any smaller-sized memory cards. We recommend having larger ones that can last an entire day’s worth of shooting for photographic safaris.

In Summary

Whether you are looking to capture beautiful landscapes during your African photography safari or want to take amazing photos of the wildlife that roam these lands, with these African safari photography tips and a bit of practice, you will be sure to come home with stunning photos that you can treasure for years to come.


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