Help with African Photo Safari

Started Jan 8, 2013 | Discussions thread
Sandy Senior Member • Posts: 2,124
Re: Help with African Photo Safari

I have been on several safaris including Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana as well as Madagascar, India and last October we were back in S Africa.  The advice you have been given is good.  A few points to add (or perhaps I missed them in the posts).

Take a rocket blower and clean your sensor regularly.  It's a d*** nuisance when you find that all your shots for a couple of days have dust specks visible.

Lenses - the 70-400 is ideal and 90% of your wildlife shots will be with it.  Use a P&S for the wider angle stuff.  Changing lenses is OK (I've done it often enough on a vehicle) but better not to.

Consider bracketing exposure and consider continuous shooting for some occasions.

Low light can pose problems but not too much - the dusk and dawn periods are pretty short ie it is either dark or at least adequate light, not much time in between.   Anyway, do check out hand held twilight, and multi frame noise reduction (neither is available in RAW settings) for stationary subjects.  Hi iso isn't as bad as some folks suggest. It looks a lot worse on a LCD screen, especially if you pixel peep, than on a print.

Use spot metering for birds and smaller animals.  nb you can try AEL options.  For focusing you might try wide area and press the centre button of the multifunction control if you want spot focus. ie learn your camera.  you could do worse than getting the appropriate Gary Friedman ebook and studying it.

Always be prepared - nothing happens, then in a flash ...... eg see below

Take care. There is a news item right now about someone who got a bit too close to rhinos and suffered accordingly.  The report suggests the wild life expert said to get a bit closer - you cannot be serious!  We've had some "interesting" experiences.  Last safari, we were having a refreshment break when there was a quiet but urgent call, "Get into the Land Rover."   You don't ask, you just do.  Three young bull elephants appeared from nowhere and jostled the vehicle, one checked whether he could lift it but was diverted by the others who started some sparring.  Too close for my 70-400 which was set at 3m-inf focus.  However my wife had her priorities right and has the lot on video.


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 Sandy's gear list:Sandy's gear list
Sony a77 II Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G Sony DT 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM +1 more
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