The most essential photo tip for your African safari

For many people going on safari is a once in a lifetime experience.

It is something that you plan for, save for and prepare for many months in advance. Now regardless of the luxury at the lodge or the world class cuisine that they serve up, there is one thing that will make or break your African experience.

Your field guide, or as many people like to call it, game ranger.

Wildlife Photography - Gerry van der Walt

The reality is that you will be spending between 6 and 10 hours a day with your guide. During this time your guide will show you some amazing things, drive you through some of the wildest bush you can imagine and, if you are lucky enough, put you in the best positions for photographs. Or so you hope.

Unfortunately a lot of guides out there are not as passionate about photography as they are about wildlife and nature. Strange but true. This does however not mean that you cannot come away from your African adventure without any good images.

On a related note, this is where photographic safaris come into themselves as you will be accompanied by not only an experienced field guide but also a professional wildlife photographer who will be able to guide you as you photograph African magic.

Wildlife Photography - Gerry van der Walt

While you are out on safari there is only one way to make sure you get the images that you want.

Ask! Yeah, just ask! 😉

Ask your guide to stop. Ask your guide to put the spotlight in a certain position. Ask your guide to move forward or back. Just ask.

There is an old joke in the industry that goes “What is the difference between God and a game ranger? God does not think he’s a game ranger.” This is sometimes the case but most of the time your guide will be only too happy to assist you in living your African dream.

So whether you want your guide to place the spotlight more towards the buffalo’s boss or move a little to the left so you can see the lion’s eyes clearly – just ask!



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