Ten Tips for Photography On Safari

10 Tips For Photography On Safari
Photo: Kjell Bergh, Borton Overseas

Capturing aspects of a safari on film is uppermost in the minds of many travelers. Camera technology has become so advanced in recent years that it is easier than ever for amateurs to take professional-quality photographs. With the help of our 10 photography tips, you’ll be able to better capture your safari experience.

1) Choose the right equipment
The choice of the correct camera equipment will determine the quality of your photographs on safari. For photography of birds and animals, a good digital SLR camera and telephoto lens is necessary.

2) SD Cards 
An image storage device of some sort is recommended. Make sure you have enough card storage; most people take more photographs than they expect to.

3) Camera Batteries
Charging facilities for cameras can be limited when on safari, so please bring enough camera batteries to last you at least 3 days.

4) Reduce camera shake
Space and weight will usually limit you carrying a large tripod, but a small cloth bag filled with rice or dry beans provides a wonderful support to reduce camera shake (the greatest cause of blurred images). Simply pack an empty bag, and fill it when you get to Africa.

5) Protect against dust and heat
Dust and heat are the biggest enemies to your equipment, but since it needs to be by your side (or in your lap, around your neck) during game drives, it is advisable to wrap it loosely in a T-shirt or insert the camera into a clear plastic bag with a rubber band closing around the lens.

6) Find the right light
Light is what makes or breaks a photograph, and this is always best when the sun is lower in the sky. “Golden” light and less intense shadows exist early mornings and early evenings. Snap away!

7) Place subjects off center
Avoid “placing” the subject in the dead center of the picture frame (a common mistake) as this can result in a lifeless picture. A subject set on one side of the frame suggests movement, as the viewers eye automatically drifts from the point of interest to the space and back again.

8) Careful photographing locals 
Photographing local people and structures is a sensitive issue and you should talk to your guide about any intentions you have.

9) Clean daily
Make sure to bring your camera cleaning equipment. Most cameras will need to be cleaned daily of dust and sand during safari.

10) See it with your own eyes
Photography can be great fun, but be careful that you do not become preoccupied with your camera or video equipment on safari. Don’t forget to enjoy the pleasure of being in the African wilderness.