About the Author

James Tyrrell


James had hardly touched a camera when he came to Londolozi, but his writing skills that complemented his Honours degree in Zoology meant that he was quickly snapped up by the Londolozi blog team. An environment rich in photographers helped him develop the ...

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on Close, Closer, Closest: Trying Different Photographic Angles

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I am just as guilty of taking hundreds of photos of the same animal in the same position.

James, Most impressive pictures. Loved the headliner of the giraffe drinking with legs spread out. Very clear and defined selections. I think sometimes we are so willing to capture as many photos as possible we miss some of the action around the subject. Thanks for the tips

James, what you state is so true. Wait for the “money “ shot!📷. I’ve been quite guilty in the past, shooting with reckless abandon, hoping for a focused and interesting image. Back in film days, I’d take 25 rolls of film, have them developed, only to keep 100-200 pictures. When on safari or in a magical setting at a rocky beach, the temptation is to point and shoot because you never know when the perfect wave hits or a leopard decides to race down from its tree tower…..but I’m improving, observing first, settings applied and wait. We’ll see what happens on my next trip😘📷📷

Hi Denise,
The best photographers out there say if they capture 5 or 6 great photos a year, they’re happy!
Food for thought…

I captured my 5 or 6 last year during my sixteen days on safari while shooting half the number of images as the previous year which was 13 days. Big improvement, but I’m still editing- looking at five of the same shot, eyes peeled to find the perfect one, is difficult. So no more shooting on Ch!!! I stop for a few days to refresh my view. 😘

Master Tracker

The joy of slide was that it forced you to consider the shots as I found you could only see one roll per drive as the last thing to do is change the film whilst all the dust was flying about.

Hi Ian,
I couldn’t agree more. Each shot cost money so you thought long and hard about what you wanted to capture!

Master Tracker

And what is more, each shot gave about 50 million of pixels and a wider , more subtle colour palette with Ektachrome and a more vivid palette with Velvia. I preferred Ektachrome Pro, but the results could be enlarged easily . But digital is a lot handier, especially for airshows where I will shoot 700-1000 shots in a day.

James you hit the nail on the head! The temptation to take photos for the sake of taking photos is a powerful one. I don’t believe anybody needs some of the functions touted in modern ‘upgrades’ today. In any event if you shoot in RAW it’s going to slow your continuous shooting function down considerably as the larger files take up more space in the buffer memory. Added to this, some cameras have a tendency to ‘walk’ if you don’t have them on a tripod and they can walk your subject right out off the viewfinder/screen. What I find particularly frustrating if I’m trying to take a picture of a bird taking off is taking a whole scad of photos and then waiting for the buffer memory to clear. Then taking ANOTHER lot of photos and waiting for the buffer memory to clear (my Canon Powershot SX60HS can take almost 70 photos before it starts to drag it’s feet). And still the confounded bird doesn’t take off. So you stop shooting to let the buffer memory take a breath – and the bird flies off! I try to limit how many shots I take as well because I always feel that the continuous scrutiny can stress a bird. Still – we are all grateful for continuous shooting I am sure.

Excellent advice if only one can control their impulse. I think the subconscious urge occurs because one knows that the guest has a limited opportunity since the Safari has a time frame; whereas Londolozi staff have ongoing opportunities. Nevertheless, one can at least try not to press that button repeatedly! Good luck with that! Lol….

Absolutely can relate! Sometimes, less is more…

I know I’m a slow learner but it’s taken me 8 trips to Africa to learn the lesson you’ve explained so well! I don’t even use the ‘fast’ option/continual shots on my Canon – slow keeps the repeats down to a more manageable level!

James, We are always hoping for the perfect shot, and our motto has always been “pixels are free”. Unfortunately our editing time afterwards is not! 😉

Haha Michael you couldn’t have said it better!

Paradox of choice is a very real phenomenon and it’s no different when trying to select the BEST of a series of photographs. I don’t hold my shutter down and still get too many images to sort through, but when I finally sit down to organize them there is so much satisfaction in deleting the bad ones right away. I hate clutter – real or digital – so purging photo files always makes me feel better so long as I can decide. 🙂

Hi Chelsea.
Haha I feel better when I’ve purged a folder but I can agonise for so long over the decision of which ones to get rid of 🙁

James, love the blog!!! We sometimes get carried away with the moment and hold the shutter release down far too long. And your advice is heart felt. I hope we get the opportunity to witness the head-flick on our next trip to Londolozi!

I’ve definitely become a lot more picky when it comes to selecting my photos, especially when it comes to Kirstenbosch’s birds.

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