Take yourself on a photographic adventure
What is a Safari?
Safari is actually a Swahili word meaning journey, “The caravan and equipment of a hunting expedition especially in eastern Africa”
But other words can mean a safari too – exploration, expedition, adventure, wilderness, animals and birds. So it’s time to go on an adventure.
Why go on safari?
While a few lucky people are off enjoying the Annual BootCamp Photo Safari in Africa, everyone else can go on their own adventure too. It’s such a fun theme learning to photograph wildlife. You get to go outdoors and go on an adventure, even if it’s exploring what’s available in your own local area.
Photographed this image in Botswana on my annual BootCamp Safari where I get to share the amazing African experience with other photographers from around the world. I submitted this image into this BootCamp Challenge because I set myself and extra mini-challenge one morning around a water hole – to use panning and a relatively slow shutter speed (1/60 sec on 200mm lens) to show movement in my shot. What do you think? Brent
Tips for capturing amazing wildlife photography.
- Manage your expectations.
- Try to go somewhere when the rhythm peaks (the best season and time). Really feel the experience, not just capture it.
- Remember – sometimes it’s all about energy and luck
- Use a long lens (400mm – 600mm) and try a monopod to stabilize your camera and lens to avoid camera shake.
- Don’t forget to be prepared for yourself too; sun protection, sturdy walking shoes, water and a sturdy camera strap.
- Always shoot in RAW, to be able to get the most from your wildlife images in post-production.
- Where possible use a fast shutter speed, and remember to double the focal length of your lens. So with a 500mm lens, aim to shoot at 1/1000 second or faster.
- Use Auto ISO and shoot in multiple or burst mode (many images in quick succession).
- Don’t forget your focus, try middle focus and if your camera has animal eye detection, turn it on.
Leopard Walking into the Sun (Savuti, Botswana)
Wildlife photography is all about luck – being in the right place at the right time. It’s also about being prepared with your camera and long lens ready to pickup and shoot at a moments notice like when your subject walks between other safari vehicles into the sun. I got lucky here in the Savuti area of Botswana! Photographed using a very fast shutter speed 1/1600 sec on my long 600mm lens. Brent
How can you make your images more artistic?
After the shoot – remember how you felt when you captured your images and try to reflect that in your post-processing. This is where you can get creative too.
Remember you want your main subject to attract the eye, not all the distracting elements.
Analyse your images, what worked and what didn’t, and what settings did you use? Learn from your mistakes and learn from your successes too.
Slow down and enjoy the creative process.
Photo BootCamp Magazine
Let’s take a look at what our BootCamp members have captured for their wildlife challenge for this month.
And be sure to check out how you can join BootCamp at the end of the magazine!
JOIN BRENT ON SAFARI
Join Brent and a small group of friendly photographers in Africa for a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Inside BootCamp Magazine
Let’s take a look at this month’s magazine. Here is our featured artist of the month, Eugene Brannan, from the United States
Lions are synonymous with Africa and an African safari is not complete without seeing these beautiful animals. Lion cubs are an added bonus and is sure to please the safari group! These two cubs were seen in the Chobe National Park in Botswana on the recent Photo Boot Camp Safari 2022 The lion pride had made a kill and was feasting on the carcass of a buffalo. These two cubs had already eaten their fill of the kill and were seen frolicking and playing on the fringes of the area of the “kill”. Such a contrast to the brutal carnal scenes of lions tearing apart the buffalo carcass, these two cubs were enjoying playing with each other and the warmth of the morning sun. They were fortunate to be close to the kill, only about 20-30 feet away, watching the pride eat to satisfaction, relax in the morning sun and then return to feed again. Cubs will be cubs as they played with each other and then interacted with their older brothers/sisters, cousins, and adults in the pride.
This month’s featured magazine cover image is by Laura Griffiths from South Africa.
She just returned from her private Botswana Safari with 3400 images to sort through. Hence she has not had a chance to get through them, only uploaded them into Lr which took some time. In the meantime Laura has isolated this lioness as she was one of the best cat sightings we had, early in the morning striding through the bush, right up to our vehicle on her way to somewhere. Looking for her family. Later that evening they encountered her and a large pride. She gave a call and they all came out of the surrounding bush immediately, but the policy evidently is not to use lighting on the game. It was already past twilight so the most incredible opportunity to shoot these beautiful beasts was lost, including cubs playing right on the tracks in front of the vehicle. Even headlights would have done the trick. Elsewhere in Botswana for many years, they have done night drives with spotlights after twilight has passed, but at Chobe, it seems that everyone has to be back in camp by dark at the latest. Different strokes for different folks. Her shutter speed was set for always being able to zoom to 600mm no matter what. No time to change it. However, being able to hold the lens stable not for the 600mm stretch AND deal with a moving target taught her to be on the upper end of the shutter speed rather than lower. So much movement to deal with.
Let’s take a look at some of the amazing wildlife images our BootCamp members‘ have created this month.
We’ll start with Laima Ratajczak from Australia. They celebrated each Easter down south camping at Augusta and this is when this challenge came through. She wasn’t on safari but she was on an adventure climbing over rocks and walking along the coast when she spotted this crab. It scuttled under a boulder, right on the water’s edge with the waves coming in so it was a bit tricky to get down close with her camera. Laima loved the colours so she just had to post this. Settings….very random!!! She thinks she had her camera on Aperture Priority. Taken with her Canon kit lens.
- Remember sometimes it’s all about luck and energy, manage your expectations.
- Use a long lens, like 400mm – 600mm and try a monopod for stability
- Don’t forget the sunscreen, sturdy shoes and water
- Use Auto ISO and shoot in burst mode
- Turn on animal eye detection, don’t forget to focus
- Remember to enjoy the experience, not just capture it
Want to join Brent and a small group of friendly photographers in Africa for a once-in-a-lifetime experience? Click here more more details.
Did you enjoy this article? Check out these related articles, too:
Do This Now
Please leave me a comment below – I’d love to know what you think. Brent