On Safari

  • Fletche 18 Apr 2011 14:08:42 3,418 posts
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    No, not the 80's ITV show with Christopher Biggins, but my holiday to Kenya in June.

    Just wondering if anyone has been and taken photos on a safari and if so, any tips or experiences you could share. Have all the equipment I need, the safari itself is just myself, Mrs Fletche and the guide, so hopefully we will have plenty of time and space to take some good shots, but being a beginner anything that you feel may help would be appreciated.
  • Trowel 18 Apr 2011 14:13:58 21,960 posts
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    We're going in November to Tanzania, so any tips also appreciated here. I know Dougs and THFourteen have been in the last few years.

    Personally I'm taking a massive pair of binocs, a monopod, and my FinePix HS10 with 30x zoom and HD recording \o/
  • Deleted user 18 April 2011 14:15:10
    My best advice would be to avoid using long length lenses if you can. The fact is they're harder to get focus with, and because a lot of your shots will be taken while you and/or your subject are moving, chances are you'll come back with a shit load of blurry shots.

    To be honest, that's likely to be the case anyway. The conditions are really tough. Tell your guide that ideally you'll be stationary to get good shots and they should be able to help.
  • Dirtbox 18 Apr 2011 14:15:40 90,213 posts
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    Post deleted
  • billythekid 18 Apr 2011 14:44:58 12,196 posts
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    It takes a while for your eyes to sort of tune in to scouring the bush for animals, but you're with a guide so that shouldn't bother you.
    I didn't see a single fucking animal for the first 3 hours!
    I went to SA wanting to photograph the big five and the devious leopard was the only one to elude me.

    Also if you're not going to use big zoom lenses here then when are you meant to use them?
  • Deleted user 18 April 2011 15:01:17
    I was in Kenya in 1998 and dealt with a video camera mostly. I had a film SLR with a Sigma 70-300 cheap lens and managed to get wonderful shots of an entire lion colony with cubs, a shy leopard in a tree and loads of zebras, gnus and what else! The guide was ace, he drove us close enough to these wonderful animals and they were all chilling in the shadows letting us take pictures. 300mm felt enough to be honest.

    One thing I remember is these empty plains with no vegetation except these umbrella/mushroom shaped trees, they broke the horizon very nicely.

    I also remember very bright skies (not blue but white) and bright red ground. I wanted to do shallow DOF on the video camera and luckily I had 2 ND filters in the bag which proved very useful. Even ISO 100 and 1/10.000s exposure could be trouble on a very open lens - this is valid if you go for portrait and closeups of animals in full sunlight I suppose.
  • ram 18 Apr 2011 15:20:07 3,599 posts
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    Er what?! Not taking a zoom lens on safari is not good advice. Unless you want photos of dots that might or might not be animals.

    It will more than likely be nice and bright anyway, just use a reasonably high ISO if necessary to get a high shutter speed and you'll be fine. If you've got Image Stabilization as well, then you will be laughing all the way to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards.
  • Deleted user 18 April 2011 15:58:27
    I meant long as in LONG. Some dude on my safari had rented some crazy massive lens and he just couldn't get a good shot with it. I reckon anything over 300 may well give you problems.
  • Deleted user 18 April 2011 16:07:19
    Actually my other tip is don’t become so obsessed with taking photos that you forget to enjoy the general experience. It’s very easy to see the whole thing as nothing but a “shoot”.
  • ram 18 Apr 2011 16:08:23 3,599 posts
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    300mm isn't particularly long and shouldn't lead to many problems in bright conditions and the some dude you are basing your opinion on should have practised with his rented lens before he went out on the safari.
  • Deleted user 18 April 2011 16:11:44
    I don't know what length he had, but it was a fair bit longer than 300 I'd have thought. I agree 300 is probably fine (as per my post).

    Like I say, I don't think he'd realised how much of the safari would be spend moving (car/boat). Something to consider anyway.
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