Top Tips for Your Photographic Safari

Top Tips for Your Safari Photographic 

Recently, we tapped into the expertise of our much loved wildlife photographer, Chad Cocking, to gain some insights for aspiring photographers heading on a safari at Tanda Tula. Below are a few points highlighting some of his invaluable advice to help you elevate your photography from mere holiday snapshots to stunning wildlife portraits. 

Consider the light: 

Optimal lighting conditions, typically found in the soft glow of early mornings or late afternoons, can enhance your photographs in the most amazing ways. Position yourself so that the light falls gently onto your subject, preferably from behind you or slightly to the side, illuminating its three-dimensional features. 

Mind the composition: 

Great wildlife photography goes beyond capturing the subject; it encapsulates its surroundings. Before clicking the shutter, evaluate your frame. Is there excess foreground? Would a tighter zoom improve the shot? Experiment with placing the subject off-centre and incorporating elements like overhead trees for added depth. 

Observe behavioural cues: 

Stay vigilant for captivating animal behaviours. Whether it’s lions greeting one another or birds in flight, these fleeting moments often create extraordinary images. Beyond mere documentation, aim to capture the essence of these interactions. 

Review your shots: 

Regularly check your images to make sure they meet your expectations. In the excitement of the moment, it’s easy to overlook inadvertent changes to settings or forget adjustments made earlier. A quick glance at the back of your camera can prevent potential frustrations later on. 

Always be prepared: 

Be aware of your camera settings as you navigate through the wild areas on safari in the Timbavati. Try to anticipate scenarios and adjust settings accordingly to adapt to changing lighting conditions. Whether it’s tweaking ISO levels for fading light or setting exposure compensation for dramatic sunsets, readiness ensures you’re poised to seize every photographic opportunity. 

Embrace the moment: 

While photography can be integral to any safari experience, remember to also take time to immerse yourself fully in the wonders of nature’s surroundings. Occasionally, put down your camera, look up, take a deep breath, and appreciate your surroundings. Some moments defy capture and, instead, are best lived in the moment. 

Incorporating these tips into your next safari trip will not only refine your photographic skills but also deepen your appreciation for the beautiful landscapes and wildlife encounters that Africa has to offer.