Unlike many of the sites and twitter feeds my focus has always been about operations and logistics and being different. If you want to photography the migration and get the shots you see all over the web there is a million recommendations on camera, lenses, places to stand, times of year etc etc.
For an alternative experience, a much closer association to the real Africa and and different perspective sometimes we just need to look behind, or just simply walk away (well drive in most cases). So my top 10 might be less obvious, or indeed I hope a different approach.
Of course my tips are not for the tick list Safari where the big 5 is the objective, this is for the person who wants to return with images that are different, and who is interested in the experience and the adventure rather than just seeing a set of animals hanging around. So whilst not for everyone, certainly might be of interest to some.
1. Pick the smallest group booking you can afford to travel with, ideally be on your own
2. Find the best guide you can afford
3. Look for a different angle for a specific subject and stick to it for a period of time
4. Use a different lens from the crowd. It will make you creative and unique
5. Spend the first day checking out the area no camera just visualise the light and the shadows
6. Dont compromise and shoot because you are there, move around for a better angle or better position
7. Sit in the same place for a couple of hours, most tours stay for 45 min, its when others move on that refreshing things start
8. Back Up your images and leave any processing for at least 1 week. It will help you whittle out the images you took that made you feel good, to the images that just now look good, or have potential.
9. Pre-visualise a shot before you hit the shutter, what is the subject, what is the story, who is the audience ? All of these are personal answers, but questions we should all ask. Sometimes shoot and pray will work as somethings will just happen fast, but be prepared with the environmental set. If you missed the shot, don’t worry enjoy the experience.
10. Never, Never, Never leave without asking what you can do for the local community or environment. It will give your images a purpose, a story, a longevity, a relevance and a meaning. The image is already improved.
I hope that helps some of you who are interested in taking pictures on Safari. To others it might be a reminder, the rest ah thanks for reading.
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