Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Virtual Photo Safari Part III: Be Aware of the Background

Each day this week I will take you on a daily virtual photo safari to Kenya's Masai Mara. Each post will feature a safari tip and a photo tip - or two. 

I took the images for the posts on a recent trek to the Masia Mara organized by &Beyond, a leader in African travel tours. Bateleur was our base camp for the eight-day photo safari. 

Scroll down to read previous posts.

Safari Tip: Meet with your guide in advance and plan your entire safari and daily trips. Tell him or her your goals. My goal was to get two good photographs per day, which I felt was a realistic goal.

Photo Tip: Know that in most cases, you will be shooting from a vehicle, which may jiggle when others in the vehicle may giggle. Be prepared to steady your camera with a bean bag or camera support - or hold your camera very steady. And because you and the animals will be moving, I think you'll get your best composition with a zoom lens.

The background can make or break a photograph. Above: the background, and framing the subject against the interesting background, makes the shot. And get this: I took these shots during an intense downpour. And I mean intense! Both the giraffes and our open-sided Land Rover were getting soaked!

Another photo tip: don't shy away from the rainy season. You might get dramatic sky backgrounds.

Both shots were taken with my Canon 7D and 100-400mm IS lens.

If you'd like to join one of my travel tours/workshops, see the Workshops page of my site. Shoot me an email if you are interested in a 4-person workshop to Tanzania in 2012.

To see more of my travel pictures, check out my Travel and Nature Photography ebook.

If I were still into doing traditional books, I'd do a book on the wildlife in the Mara. Once I settle down from the trip, I'll add these pictures to my apps. Or, I might do an app: 24/7 Photo Safari. If you are interested in a safari-type app, shoot me an email.

If you are going on safari, or want to look as though you are going on safari (ha ha), check out the clothes offered by ExOfficio. Here is my favorite shirt.

Explore the light,

P.S. A great read about Kenya: West with The Night.


JennGrover said...

Hey Rick, any plans on making your apps available to Android or Windows Phone users?

Rick Sammon said...

Jenn... I get that question a lot! It's a whole different system and I'd need an Android developer....

Thank you,

Unknown said...

Ironically, I just built a PowerPoint slide on this very subject for my Safari presentation to my Photography Club for tomorrow night! I have now added a hyperlink to your article for folks to find more info. Thanks.

Buddy Eleazer said...

I'm Unknown from above comment. Sorry to not have left my name. The other point illustrated in these images is to remember to compose landscapes with your wildlife. Many zoom in so tight that the sense of setting is lost.

Rick Sammon said...

Buddy.... Thanks for your comment. On this trip, I actually composed much wider than usual, for some reason...

Thank you,

Cynthia Fisher said...

Great tips. Will be at the wonderful place in 2 weeks. 4th time in 2 years.

Wayne Miller said...

Hi Rick, thanks for sharing! Why did you choose the 7D over your other bodies for this trip?

Rick Sammon said...

Wayne... 7D has the cropped sensor, so the lenses act like longer lenses.

I shot with the 5D Mark II, too. Wide angle shots.

Thank you all,