Almost everyone who has and will visit Kapama Private Game Reserve for a Big Five safari has a camera, whether it is an entry level DSLR, a smart phone, a bridge camera or a mirrorless system. Going on safari is an incredible experience and many of us want to document and remember it by taking photos. So, I decided to put together a small piece on the basics of wildlife photography for those of you who are new to the world of photography and want to leave Kapama with great memories.
Smart phones can take incredible photos these days. It all comes down to what type of photographs you are wanting to get. Luckily for us here, we often get quite close to the majority of the animals, so big lenses aren’t necesserilay always required. If you are coming on safari and want to leave with memories and some photos to show your family or share on social media platforms, then a bridge camera or smart phone could be efficient. If you are looking to print photos of your trip or what to take your experience a step further, then a DSLR with a mid-length telephoto lens like a 70-300mm might suit you a liitle better.
Composition refers to the placement of elements in your picture. Basically, how the scene fits into your shot. Composition is one of the greatest tools in photography and it doesn’t matter what camera you are using. There are a few rules or guidelines referring to composition. The most well-known one being ‘The Rule of Thirds.’ This refers to placing elements off-centre. On safari this would include things like your animal/bird, the horizon and the sun. This helps your image to tell a story. In the example on the left, having the horizon just below the centre of the frame and keeping the tree and sun to the right helps make the photo. In the example on the right, the lion has negative space on his left allowing you to show him off in his environment in an aesthetically pleasing way.