About the Author

Chris Taylor


Chris was born and raised in the Kwa-Zulu/Natal Midlands where his family inspired his early passion for the natural world. Exploring Southern Africa as he grew up, this passion was allowed to develop and his curiosity to expand. After high school, Chris spent ...

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on What Makes a Good Wildlife Photograph?

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All so captivating. You closed in the best way: the emotional link between mother and calf also the calf looks directly to the camera. Really well done

Thanks Francesca! Glad you enjoyed it.

Chris, thanks for the lessons in photography. Great pictures.

Thanks William.

Dean, I loved the leopard🤗, I loved lions🤗

Master Tracker

Lovely article , if I could suggest
* Rule of thirds , notice the effect of not having the subject in the centre of the shot
* Spot metering, use the animal and not the background
* Generally have the aperture set as fast as possible , to blur the background and to avoid camera shake
* Try and get the shot so the camera is looking straight into the eyes
* If possible, try to tell a story. In the Impala photo all are drinking bar one, or the leopard stalking using an elephant as cover

All really valid points Ian. Thank you.

Photography is a very interesting subject and is a large part of people’s lives today. Be it just taking foto’s at home or on holiday, everyone wants some kind of a reminder of where they have been and what took place at a certain time. Today’s photography is much quicker than a few years back. I worked in the dark room for a photographic shop, developing black and white foto’s and enlarging colour foto’s from a negative. Today you use a media card going digital and can print at home. Today’s camera’s are so advanved ,it helps especially if you’re just beginning out in photography. Light, background , framing and using the right lens helps to get the better picture. Taking foto’s of wild animals in the bush is tricky and they don’t stay in one spot for too long. Never the less photography is unique and the more you experiment with your camera the more you want to learn.

We are very lucky at how advanced the camera technology has become. It helps us out a lot when trying to get the perfect shot – especially if you take the time to practise.

Great framework for taking interesting, personal images! Thanks, Chris!

Thanks Vin, glad you enjoyed it.

Good to see you acknowledge luck as a key ingredient, but unlike me, where sheer volume of shots and a great deal of luck is essential, it is quite clear your skills are rapidly overtaking luck. Timing and patience are also key – as in your fantastic shot of a leopard through the elephant ‘frame. Quite superb.

Luck is a key ingredient in a lot of things but especially wildlife photography! But I think it was Gary Player who once said, “the more you practise, the luckier you get”

Chris, yes it was Gary Player! I would love to be there more often to get more practise but a combination of COVID and the Bank Manager make that difficult from the UK. J.

Chris, wow! Great article. Thank you for sharing some of your knowledge. The Leopard coming down the tree. I so love that image!

Thanks Mike. Glad you enjoyed the post and the image.

All the photos shown are great, Chris. Technical aspects, light and perspective are certainly very important points.In animal photography – as you said – anticipation is also very important. I admire the guides and trackers who very often have that good idea of what will happen next, so that you can position the cars and your guests in the best place for taking a great photo.

Thanks Christa. It’s always an exciting challenge for the guides and trackers to anticipate and predict the animals movements and behaviour. We don’t always get it right but even then, we learn from it.
Hope you are keeping well.

Chris, a great lesson layed out in an easy to understand manual ! Thanks a heap🙏🏻.. if I can put aside my excitement at witnessing whatever the scene might be and the fear of missing something special, I might just get a perfect shot one day, that’s if I remember to charge the batteries ‼️😁 Your beautiful photographs will inspire me to try a little harder when we finally get a chance to venture your way.

Thanks Cally, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Sometimes the excitement levels do get quite high – even for me as a guide – and causes us to miss that perfect shot. However it’s also important to remember to not let the camera get in the way of enjoying something special. I often have moments where simply choose not to pick my camera up, just to enjoy what is happening in front me without any distractions. So don’t feel bad if you don’t get the shot!

Very enjoyable overview Chris. Lucie and I are particular believers in your comment: “Nobody gets it right all the time, but practicing with your camera, being quick with the settings, and knowing its capabilities are all non-negotiable in getting a great shot.” And the knowledge you Guides provide in animal behavior is priceless! We both remember one of our first safaris when watching the Mashaba female in a tree and JV said “Get ready she’s coming down the tree and when she gets about two meters from the bottom she will leap to the ground. Press and hold the shutter release the instant she looks towards the ground”. Best advice ever and some of our best shots of leopards!!!

Thanks Bob. Good to hear that you managed to get some great photos of one of the most well known leopards in the Sabi Sands and that JV was there to guide you through it all.

Senior Digital Ranger

A+ teaching session Chris! (less a couple of typos,.. 🙂 ) – You’re conclusion is absolutely spot on pertaining to photography. More so, that of how Wild Life photography should be come to be accomplished. Every pictures tells it’s own story upon giving the viewer perspective and time for thought. The first thought that comes mind many a times is “WOW!”, .. while other pictures give way to a feeling of tranquility, or expressions of love. –
For those of us who don’t live in South Africa, thus we live from afar, and sadly, can’t do the luxury of a safari),.. the pictures are a daily escape from our “mainland norm” and a way to relax for a while.

Chris, Thanks for the great reminder of all the key elements of getting a great shot! We feel that luck is one of the greatest gifts you can get, especially when shooting images of wildlife!

Very true. Thanks Michael and Terry.

I am a novice in this wildlife photography world. I hope to continue to learn and explore and develop my skills further as I travel on safari.

Chris, very good tips for trying for that special wildlife photo. It also helps to have good lenses to achieve the sharpness that is essential for most shots. I learned the hard way !

Thanks Denise. You’re right; good equipment goes a long way to getting you the right photo!

Senior Digital Ranger

To be able to capture a moment in time with a photograph has always amazed me. It can and most times does touch our hears deeply. I can think of no greater gift than a beautiful
photograph 💖

I agree Barbi. A good, meaningful photograph can carry so much.

You state in your article how the picture is to tell a story, evoke an emotion, the photos that you share do just that. My favorite is the lighting with the lion. Spectacular. You presented a quick lesson on photography and shared examples of each one. Well done.

Thanks Linda. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

Digital Tracker

Wow there are some exceptional photos here! Absolutely stunning. A very interesting article thanks!

Thanks Carly.

Incredible post Chris!! The information was deeply engaging, and the photos you chose to illustrate your thoughts and the point make in the article are stunning!!

This is all very exciting and inspirational for me, as I am preparing to leave from the U.S.A. and visit Londolozi in a liitle more than a week. It will be my third visit. I have been following these daily events very closely as the time to depart from New York is very close. Thank you all for your terrific photos and very interesting accounts of your sights and sounds of mother nature in Londolozi.

Hi Joel, that is amazing news that you are going to be able to make it across here. We are so looking forward to having you. While you are here shout if you need any help or photographic tips. I am sure you will have an amazing time while you are here. It is a great time to visit.

Thank you Chris. Very insightful. Preparation and composition are critical in photography. Great article.

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