For many people, the reason for coming on safari again and again is the anticipation of capturing outstanding images. Photography allows for unlimited freedom, flexibility and artistic expression, and is not a perfect science. For those photographers that are Composing Symphonic Wildlife Photographs with guidelines such as the ‘rule of thirds’, using focal points and not cutting off body parts, this post it for you! This is to take your photography to the next level. It is important, in life, to try new things, explore, and be ready for change. Try out some of these tips when you next go out and see how creative you can get with the images that you capture.
1. Look them in the eye
Often a shot is more striking when the subject matter is on eye level with the camera. This works especially with cats as it makes one feel as though you are on their level. Although often this is not the easiest image to achieve as certain animals dont appreciate us jumping out the car and lying on the ground. They don’t quite understand the concept of the perfect shot. Even though this would be the easiest way, there are other ways of getting an eye level shot without getting yourself eaten or trampled on! If the animal is on a termite mound or in a tree then the eye level shot can be achieved easily. At Londolozi we have created the safari for the senses vehicle with holes in the side of the vehicle in order to get the photographer at the perfect level.
Often we find ourselves cursing a branch or tree in a sighting when we are not able to get the ‘perfect’ shot but often these obstacles can work in our favour. You might not end up with the picture that was originally intended but one that is incredibly different. The image is composed using the natural shapes and lines to frame the subject.
3. Don’t put your camera away after dark
How often have you put your camera away as that sun goes below the horizon? There have been two separate posts by Jacqui Hemphill and Mike Sutherland to prove that this no longer has to be the case. Expand your portfolio and knowledge by experimenting with night photography.
4. Involve Contrasting Subjects
A great photograph can be comprised of many things. Some are amazingly simple whilst others intriguingly complex. I have found that the combination of interesting and contrasting subject matters provide for brilliantly unique pictures. In the bush this is as true for things such as cloud patterns, tree shapes and seasonal colors of the plant life. If you mix and match textures, shapes, patterns, colours and animals you will find that your images suddenly have many different elements and the photographs become that much more interesting.
5. Play with texture
The images speak for themselves:
6. The little things in life
Spiderwebs, flowers, insects and reptiles are so easy to overlook when driving and walking around the wilderness. If you are in camp, choose a small area and see how many things you can photograph in this area. I guarantee that you will be very surprised at the images you get of things such as the bark on trees, dew drops, colorful petals and camouflaged agamas.
7. Tell a story
At Londolozi there are many stories to be told that range back as far as 1926 and often these stories are told around a camp fire at night or from behind the wheel on game drive but often a story can be told in a single image. Often zooming in on a subject is not always complimentary to an image and sometimes it is worth getting more of the scenery in to tell the story of what is going on.
8. Blurred is not bad
Motion Blur is primarily about capturing a scene in which an object is frozen still, whilst everything around it is blurred in motion. Motion blur photography is a challenging technique that is, more often than not based on quite a large amount of luck. I have taken hundreds of pictures to only have two or three come out nicely. So if at first you don’t succeed, keep at it!
I hope that these creative tips will be useful in furthering your photographic skills. Feel free to leave comments below with any creative tips that you use in your photography!
Written by Kate Neill
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