In preparation for my April 2013 Tanzania photo safari (info on my Workshops page)
I'm running a new series here on my blog: Six Days of Africa Photo
Safari Tips. Scroll down to read my previous posts in this series.
Today's tip: Know your gear's limitations, and envision the end result in Photoshop or Lightroom.
You have several limitations and challenges on a photo safari: shooting from a vehicle is the main one.
Shooting from a vehicle means you may not be able to get as close to an animal as you'd like, so it may be small in the frame. What's more, you may not be able to compose the picture (with pleasing background for example) as you would if you were on foot.
Often times, you only have time to point and shoot, or else you miss the shot. That means knowing your camera settings so well that you can make exposure and focus decisions in a matter of seconds. That takes practice. Hours of it. If you are a Canon user, my Canon SLR classes will help you get to know your camera.
Photoshop and Lightroom can help you turn your one-the-run snapshots into great shots. Simple cropping can help tremendously. So does blurring the background and foreground, as does dodging and blurring.
Applying a filter can help enhance the light, as well as add a creative touch to an image. Of course, adjusting Levels and Curves can add Contrast and Saturation to an image, too.
For my photograph of a lion on the Masai Mara, I cropped the image and added the Midnight Filter in Nik Color Efex Pro. All my plug-ins are on my Save on Plug-ins page.
Then I used Convert to Smart Filters in Photoshop to selectively blur the foreground and background and some of the lion's body - leaving its head sharp. I also used the Dodge tool to lighten the lion's eyes.
In a few minutes, I turned a snapshot into a much more interesting photograph.
When you are shooting, envision the end result. If you do you will get, well . . . better end results.
I teach Photoshop on all my workshops. I hope you can join the photo and Photoshop fun!
Speaking of composition, my best selling class on Kelby Training Classes is on Composition. Info on my On-Line Classes page.
Explore the light.
This post sponsored by Borrow lenses - which rents all the lenses you'll need on a photo safari. Back-up cameras, too.