About the Author

James Tyrrell

Photographic Guide/Media Team

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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10 Comments

on Photography 101: Take a Practice Shot

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Mark Sadler
Explorer

Thanks James. Super tips. Guy also stressed these points to me over the weekend. You have a great team of Rangers and Trackers!

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Thanks Mark!
Hmmm, they’re ok…
Haha 😉

Joan Schmiidt
Master Tracker

James, I loved the little leopard in the tree – but you took the photo of trees,
you didn’t see the leopard in the tree🤗

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hahaha well spotted Joan! WHoops! I KNEW that photo was in there for a reason. I had totally forgotten about that!

Cheung Yc
Digital Ranger

The little one just hide very well

Jane Addey
Explorer

Great reminder James – thanks
And yes you can post process many things – but a blurred image is never really recoverable – so I always say be ready for action – landscapes don’t move – leaving time to set your camera!
Very much looking forward to putting this all into practice again at Londolozi in April

Ian Hall
Master Tracker

Spot on, if you excuse the pun.

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

Great advice and so necessary whilst shooting animals, sports and people. I was so looking forward to capturing more wildlife there in a month but a freak accident has left me in a full arm cast after breaking two bones 😬😢. So I’ve had to cancel my stay there. So disappointed!!

Phil Schultz
Senior Digital Ranger

………Or, just keep snapping! (100) photos at a leopard sighting should be your bare minimum in the digital photography age (but, aim for closer to 400). Snap, snap, snap! Don’t stop! If you’re anticipating the leopard about to do something you want to capture, start snapping before your best guess at when this action will occur. Again….don’t stop. If your first snap looks blurry….shame on you!….you shouldn’t be looking at that last snap because your finger should still be pressing down like a piston in a Formula One race car. This can all be sorted out when you get back to the room or back home. In the field is not the time. If the leopard yawns, if the leopard stretches, you should snap a minimum of (5) snaps. A leopard goes for a drink, continual snapping until the drinking is done! You’re bound to get at least one money tongue shot this way. If a lion pair is mating, don’t forget that the actual act will be followed by some fantastic snarling action from the pair…….(8) snaps minimum! If an elephant charges your vehicle….well, I can forgive you for forgetting to snap in a moment of self-preservation……..but if you can stomach the courage…..snap, snap, snap! Chances are the guide isn’t going to let the ellie get tot he vehicle anyway and you’ll go home with photos and a story to tell. Want a challenge? Try and catch a Lilac-breasted roller taking flight displaying the colors of the underside of it’s wings. I’ve tried this on a few dozen game drives across two safaris and not even the snap, snap, snap technique has succeeded in catching this one, but keep trying!

Callum Evans
Guest contributor

Always take a practice shot!!

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