Every photographer, whether they have turned their hobby into a profession or are simply enjoying the immense fun and creativity that is associated with picking up a camera and snapping away at all sorts of things, can benefit from having a guide when they embark on their first photo safari.
The ever changing Kruger National Park is the kind of place that every photographer dreams of visiting. Even if you are not a massive wildlife photography fan, you can agree that the animals, plants, birds and trees all make for exquisite images.
Photos from the Park feature in coffee books, magazines and prints all over the world, and are treasured for their beauty and for the fact that they are quite the conversation starter. The sheer abundance of the number of animals in the Park, and the diversity of the species, makes even a single day in the Kruger well worth the visit.
One benefit of signing up for a photo safari is that the wildlife that roam the Park are quite used to passing vehicles so they are not likely to flee when a safari vehicle gets too close.
Clear Days: On these days, you’ll want to get out there in the 2 hours after the sun has risen and in the 2 hours before the sun sets. These are your “golden hours” when you will have the best possible natural lighting. Early morning lighting provides a certain clear brightness that you won’t get at any other time of the day.
Afternoon sunlight has a deeper glow to it, and this makes it the perfect light for setting the mood.
Overcast days: Although they are quite rare, these are perfect days for shooting as the light is ideal for just about the whole day. On these days you can also bring in your flash and use it to really bring the subject into focus.
Turn off your vehicle: If you are a part of a guided safari group, your guide will know how important it is to turn off the engine. The vibration of a running engine can cause your images to blur, so if you are travelling on your own, remember to cut the engine.
Animal close ups: Obviously you can’t leave your vehicle and just walk up to the animals. Instead you should either have a quality lens that allows you to zoom without lowering the quality of the image or you need to just be patient and hope the animal comes closer to you.
Some of these are simply Park rules while others are good practices to keep in mind: