How to photograph wildlife: Kenya a country in East Africa is known for its incredible bio- diversity and one of the world’s most exciting wildlife destinations. It is known for its wildlife with the famous ones being Lions ,leopards, Zebras, Buffaloes, Giraffes, Elephants, Rhinoceros Hippos and much more. There are around 25,000 species of animals and 7,000 species of plants that have been recorded so far in Kenya ,with 2,000 fungi and Bacteria. Kenya apart from being home to the Big five animals is also home to a good number of gazelles,  impalas, antelope, Zebras, Wildebeest, waterbucks, among others.The Big cats are Cheetahs, with its smaller cats being serval, civets and caracal. The Kenyan primates include Olive, Yellow baboons, colobus, vervet, and golden monkeys.

There is no better way to capture Kenya’s bio- diversity than photography, photography guarantees a memory safari. This article will provide you with the simple step to follow for a quality wildlife photography.

Know you Camera.

The first step for a good photo is to know the type of camera you’re using. This is the first simple step to do before leaving for a safari trip or wildlife filled getaways of Kenya. Ensure that you read your camera manual from front to back and also ensure that you can manage it in manual settings ,do not depend on its auto set ups only. Spend enough time learning about your Camera’s buttons and all it functions. Today most Camera models come with programmed technology that work in your favour but it is very important to learn the basics of how it functions.

The next step is to learn about the light triangle, in photography this is the exposure triangle which is the relationship between shutter speed ,ISO and aperture. Find out how to balance these using the manual mode. On a Kenya safari tour ,you’ll need to master these to be able to master these to achieve clarity and exposure to be able to control the depth of the field. In photography, while you can’t be able to control your environment, but it is possible to control the output by learning how to adapt these three controls to be in good shape. To those who are very new or beginners ,take a beginner’s photography course or speak to your local camera shop before you start your safari tour because shooting using manual can be challenging.

To those who are not comfortable shooting manually, use the DSLR camera which is designed to shoot in program, aperture, or shutter modes which are semi-automated and can produce good results when used correctly. But do not be scared by the manual modes, because with some practise you’ll be able to control the settings for a perfect special shot that is entirely yours.

Ensure that you do as much practice shooting as possible before your safari trip. Take your camera out and shoot as much as possible to get comfortable with all its settings and understanding various elements your environment can present at different times such as harsh or scant lighting.

Get the right camera and lenses

It is recommended that you use a good quality full frame DSLR or a mirror less camera. For those in your first safari, you might not be ready to invest in or be able to decide on one camera, renting your a camera might be better for you. A full- frame photo sensor or a digital sensor which is similar to the size of classic 35mm cameras, is suitable as opposed to a crop sensor that produces a tighter field of view. This is very good for low- lighted conditions and perfect for night shots, you don’t have to worry when capturing leopards, hyenas ,Hippos and lions after dark.

How to photograph wildlife
Will taking a photo with a meerkat on his lens!

Another very important thing to do for a memorable safari shot ,is to bring a handful of lenses to pair with your camera. There is a good-quality fish-eye lens, macro lens, these are very crucial when taking photos very close to a small subject. 70 – 200mm f/2.8 lens for shooting midrange subjects and a good zoom lens 200- 500mm with at least f/4 aperture this is very important in adapting to the depth of field and the amount of light entering the camera.

Get up and out early

In kenya National Parks and National reserves the best animal sightings and perfect wildlife shots happen early in the morning that is why many game drives usually are done before the sunrise. The night before your Kenya safari tour check and confirm to make sure that you have all your camera gear ready to go and charge the chargeable equipment. Don’t  forget to carry a good storage memory card and extra batteries, pack if your camera comes with one, How to photograph wildlife

Taking a photograph before sunrise offers ,gives a perfect image of the wildlife against the backdrop of the rising sun, which adds depth to your photos. The morning shots offers the opportunity to capture images that benefit from the golden light, side lighting, and the direct light. This I the time that you can gradually experience different effects of lightning, blue light, yellow light, golden light and other types of changing lighting fro the same sitting position ,shooting the same image but getting different results.

Look for the eyes

The other important wildlife photography tip is to look for the eyes of the wildlife. When you’re eye to eye with an animal in the savannah ,your excitement level rises. It is an experience you’ll never forget and it is even more better when you manage to capture the wildlife looking directly at you. When taking a portrait of an animal is just like when you are taking a portrait of a person for the same reason. Focus on the eyes, How to photograph wildlife

The other thing to note is to be aware of your lighting and where it is coming from. That is taking note of the position of the sun. The direction of the light will determine whether you will need to adjust your settings or ask your guide to re adjust the position of the vehicle for the best capture angle.

Ensure that your camera is focused on the eyes, this is easy task for those with face detection cameras which makes it easier to focus. The eyes need to be sharp, for they tell a story and it also bring the photo to life, How to photograph wildlife

Show low not high

This is in relation to angles ,low is always better . Low on the ground is better than an upward angle. The angle can make an animal look bigger and more impressive which enables a greater silhouette. Consider carrying a monopod which is a single-leg tripod. This enables you to mount your camera to it and lower it to the ground from your seat in the safari vehicle to enable it Achieve a leveled shot.

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