Africa photo tours

Day 4: Six Days of Africa Photo Safari Tips

Left, original. Right, Photoshop's Oil Paint filter.

Left, original. Right, Photoshop's Oil Paint filter.

Today is day four of Six Days of Africa Photo Safari Tips here on my blog.

I am running this series preparation for my 2015 Botswana digital photography workshop.

Shoot me an email for info about this awesome Botswana photography adventure.

Check out my Beauty of Botswana gallery to see my favorite photographs from my two previous trips to this wildlife wonderland. 

Also check out my on-line class: Capturing the Wild: Safari Photography. You can use my tips for making great pictures on a photo safari and at a wildlife park.

Today's tip: Have some plug-in and filter fun during your downtime.

Try creating beautiful black and white and sepia tone images with Topaz Black & White effects.

Try creating beautiful black and white and sepia tone images with Topaz Black & White effects.

Most of the action on a photo safari takes places in the early morning and late afternoon. During the day, especially during the summer months, it's sometimes so hot that the animals rest in the shade. What's more, when it's sunny, the light is not great for photography between 10 AM and 3 PM.

Little action and bad light means spending time, several hours a day, in your tent working on and playing with your pictures. On one Botswana safari, for example, we left our camp at 5 AM, returned at 9 AM, and did not go back out on safari until 4 PM.

Remove some of the from an image and you remove some of the reality, perhaps making a more artistic image.

Remove some of the from an image and you remove some of the reality, perhaps making a more artistic image.

Downtime is a good time to play with plug-ins. Plug-ins can help awaken the artist within; they can remove the reality from a picture for a more artistic image.

All of the plug-ins I use are on my Play and Save on Plug-ins page. You can save a bundle when you order a bundle.

Both photographs sharpened in Nik Sharpener Pro.

Both photographs sharpened in Nik Sharpener Pro.

Removing the reality is fun, but of course, so is getting the most realistic image. That often includes getting the sharpest possible picture. I sharpen my images using Nik Sharpener Pro, being careful not to over sharpen, which can, indeed, be tempting.

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Speaking of being in your tent, charging your batteries and laptop is important. Check with the camp management and find out when they switch generators, which can cause a power surge and zap gear. Don't have your gear plugged in during the switch.

Also bring a power strip/surge suppressor as an extra safeguard against power surges. Make sure the voltage of your strip you by at home matches the voltage of the camp. You may need a voltage converter if the power does not match.

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If you like the composition of the photographs in this post, and if you want to learn how to make the best possible exposure, check out my Kelby Training Classes on my On-Line Classes page.

I hope to see you on my Botswana workshop. We'll shoot at the golden hours, and process our pictures during downtime.

Explore the light,
Rick

This post sponsored by Adorama - great gear at great prices.  All my gear is listed on My Gear page.

Day 2: Six Days of Africa Photo Safari Tips

sammon giraffe.jpg

Today is day two of Six Days of Africa Photo Safari Tips here on my blog.

I am running this series in preparation for my 2015 Botswana digital photography workshop.

Shoot me an email for info about this awesome Botswana photography adventure.

Check out my Beauty of Botswana gallery to see my favorite photographs from my two previous trips to this wildlife wonderland.

Today's tip: Go wide.

First-time Africa photo safari photographers often focus on getting super close-ups of the animals with super-telephoto lenses, and subsequently don't take wide-angle shots.

sammon ele.jpg

Taking wide-angle shots on your photo safari is important. These shots give a "sense of place" to your photographs - and for sure add interest to your slide shows. After all, you can take close-ups of lions and giraffes in a wildlife park or zoo. Right?

Of course, you can also take "sense a place" photographs with a telephoto lens - as long as you include the surrounding area in the frame. Just shoot wide, and don't fill the frame with the subject.

sammon giraffes.jpg

Lenses used for these photographs:
Lone giraffe - Canon 24-105mm IS
Elephant and elephants passing safari vehicle – Canon 17-40mm
Several giraffes - Canon 100-400mm IS
Safari guide – Canon 15mm lens

You can read about (and get great prices on) these lenses on My Gear page.

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Getting back to telling the story, pictures of wild animals and beautiful landscapes are not the only pictures that tell the story of your photo safari. Behind-the-scenes shots do that, too.

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Behind-the-scenes pictures also bring back memories of your long safari drives and time with your guide - and how close the animals actually come your safari vehicle.

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I hope to see you on a photo safari or on any of my workshops. I'm there to help you make great pictures and process your images.

If you like the composition of the photographs in this post, and if you want to learn how to make the best possible exposure, on safari and at home, check out my Kelby Training Classes on my On-Line Classes page.

If you like stuff like this, you can subscribe to my blog here.

Explore the light,
Rick