Here are a few ideas to keep in mind while photographing on your travels.
BEFORE YOUR TRIP:
- Before your trip, look at other photos of the area to get ideas on what kinds of shots you want to take.
- Become familiar with your camera before your trip — and practice.
- Change the date and time settings on your camera to the local time.
DURING YOUR TRIP:
- Fill the frame.
- Remember the “rule of thirds” (don’t center your subject).
- Frame the subject with a doorway, window, or tree branches.
- Change your angle and/or vantage point. Get up high to shoot from above, or get low and shoot upwards.
- Show scale.
- Change focus.
- Change perspective: zoom in for details, then wide angle for an overview.
- Slow the shutter speed to show movement.
- Make it interesting: juxtaposition, pattern and texture, dynamic lines, color, lens flare, signs and icons, reflections, kids,
- Time the best lighting: dusk/dawn for silhouettes, noon for blue ocean, etc.
- Use a fill flash with strong mid-day sun.
- Show faces with emotion.
- Tell a story, offer a theme/quest/journey, seek the authentic (hailing a cab, planning with maps, bargaining in a market, etc.)
- Don’t forget to change lenses — Use telephoto to get close ups (of different parts of the animals) as well as and wide angle for vistas (of the landscape).
- Bring twice as much disk and battery than you think you need.
- With digital photography, you don’t have to wait for the perfect shot and the perfect lighting. Get a picture first, and then wait for the a better shot. You never know if the animal will move to make a better picture or just walk away, and the shot is lost.
- Bring a light-weight tripod.
- Take lots and lots of pictures!
- Back up for photos.
More Photography Tips for Safari:
- While watching one particular animal or group of animals, look around you. It’s easy to focus on one particular thing, but there might be a bird, interesting outline of tree, etc. worth recording.
- The roof of the safari vehicle is open for better game viewing, but sometimes you can get a good angle from down low or from the front/back of the vehicle.
- Use a mini-tripod or bean bag to keep the camera steady.
- Put your camera and lenses in plastic bags to keep the dust out.
Cheat Sheet Reminders:
- Rule of Thirds / Golden Ratio / Nautilus Shell
- Leading Lines
- Focus / Unfocus / Depth of Field
- Wide Overview
- Impression of location, experience