Photo Safari

Day 6: Six Days of Africa Photo Safari Tips

sammon giraffes.jpg

Today is the last day of a series here on my blog: Six Days of Africa Photo Safari Tips.

I'm running this series in preparation for my 2014 Kenya/Tanzania Photo Safari, which is listed on my 2014 Workshops page.

Today's tip: Be prepared with the right photo gear. All my gear recos are listed on My Gear Page.

africa gear.jpg

Two camera bodies - so you can always have a telephoto lens and a wide-angle zoom lens at the ready. Currently, I am using Canon 5D Mark III cameras.

Telephoto lenses:
• 100-400mm zoom - for distant wildlife
• 70-200mm f/4 zoom - for closer wildlife
• 400mm DO lens with 1.4x tele-converter - for even more distant wildlife

rick sammon ths.jpg

Wide-angle lenses:
• 17-40mm lens - for landscapes
• 24-105mm IS lens - for landscapes and environmental portraits
• 15mm fish eye – for behind-the-scenes shots

Filters:
• Tiffen polarizing filter - to darken a blue sky and to reduce reflections on water

rick sammon 2.jpg

Accessories:
• Two battery chargers - for fast battery charging between game drives
• Storm Jacket - to protect your camera from rain and dust
• Blower - to keep your sensor clean
• Head-mounted flashlight - for hands-free shooting on night drives
• Plenty of memory cards

All this gear does something very important for you on your photo safari: it helps you tell the whole story of your experience - as opposed to only taking lots of close-ups photographs of the animals.

rick africa.jpg

I hope to see you on my Kenya/Tanzania workshop or on another one of my workshops.

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.

rick sammon a.jpg

Explore the light
Rick

This post sponsored by Adorama - great gear at great prices.   

Screen Shot 2012-12-17 at 1.49.33 PM.png

Day 3: Six Days of Africa Photo Safari Tips

rick sammon crossing.jpg

Today is the third day of a series here on my blog: Six Days of Africa Photo Safari Tips.

I'm running this series in preparation for my 2014 Kenya/Tanzania Photo Safari, which is listed on my 2014 Workshops page.

Today's tip: Strive for animal behavior shots.

rick sammon protectiong.jpg

Sure, portraits of wild animals are nice, and I'll share a few of my favorites tomorrow here on my blog. But behavior shots tell more of a story, such as the photograph above of a small herd of elephants protecting their young.

rick sammon lions.jpg

For good behavior shots, you first need to be lucky, as I was when I took the above photograph of a lion and lioness fighting.

But as lucky as you may be, being prepared to capture the behavior is a must - you must have a good understanding of light and composition, which I cover in my on-line classes.

And, of course, you must have the right lens. I recommend always having two cameras ready: one with a wide-angle zoom, say a 24-105mm, and one with a telephoto zoom, perhaps a 100-400mm lens. That's for starters. After that, you may want longer and shorter lenses in your camera bag. All my gear, including those lenses, is listed on My Gear page.

Planning can also help you get good behavior photographs. I planned one of my Africa photo safari workshops so the group would be there for the annual migration of the zebra and wildebeest. Talk about getting good behavior shots! The opening image of the migration is one of my favorite photo safari photos.

jumping sammon.jpg

In my first post in this series I shared a portrait I took of our guide. Again, portraits are nice, but behavior shots tell more of a story, such as the above photograph that I took of a Masai warrior demonstrating his jumping skills.

rick sammon protection.jpg

Here's something else about behavior shots: they can make you smile, as I do when I look at this photograph of a mommy elephant and her baby.

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

Explore the light,
Rick

This post sponsored by Borrow lenses - which rents all the lenses you'll need on a photo safari. Back-up cameras, too.

Day 2: Six Days of Africa Photo Safari Tips

sammon giraffe.jpg

Today is the second day of a series here on my blog: Six Days of Africa Photo Safari Tips.

I'm running this series in preparation for my 2014 Kenya/Tanzania Photo Safari, which is listed on my 2014 Workshops page.

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 these lenses on My Gear page.

mosess copy.jpg

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.

shows eles on tilt.jpg

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.

show lion and LR.jpg

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, 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

This post sponsored by Borrow lenses - which rents all the lenses you'll need on a photo safari. Back-up cameras, too.

Screen Shot 2012-12-13 at 8.14.00 AM.png

Photographers Chase Light & Capture Light

rick sammon 1.jpg

Light is the main element in every photograph. No light, no photograph. That's the point I make in my Kelby Training class on Light. Once we learn how to see and capture light, we are on our way to making good photographs . . . which is different than simply taking pictures.

rick sammon 4.jpg

Here's my favorite "chasing the light" experience. We are on safari in Kenya and, off in the distance, we see two giant rain storms coming together. Several giraffes were in the scene.

I envisioned a photograph of a giraffe between the two storm clouds, the animal's head isolated against the blue sky background. Isolating a subject's head, as I also did in the photograph below of our driver/guide Moses, is a good composition technique.

Envisioning the end result is important. Basically, if you envision the end-result (set a goal), you'll get a higher percentage of "keepers."

moses.jpg

We had to move fast. I asked Moses to speed up, go left, go right, slow down, back up, and so on, until we were in exactly the right position to catch the light at the best possible angle.

I shot with my Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 24-105mm IS lens set at 55mm. We were that close! The Canon 24-105mm IS lens, by the way, is my favorite lens. Versatile and super sharp.

rick sammon 2.jpg

So my friends, chase and capture the light, which is what we do on my workshops. Great fun!

Explore the light,
Rick

This site powered by (designed and hosted on) Squarespace. Use one-click to get started with your own awesome Squarespace site. Check out my On Safari Gallery in my Galleries to see more of my Africa images.


This post sponsored by Adorama - great gear at great prices.

Screen Shot 2012-12-17 at 1.49.33 PM.png