About the Author

Robert Ball

Guest contributor

Robbie developed a passion for the African bush from many visits to his family’s small holding in a greater conservancy just outside Johannesburg. Living in the big city his whole life, he always found refuge in the outdoors and has grown to appreciate ...

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on Photo, Video or just enjoy the moment

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Well said Robbie! Whilst out on a game drive, it can be difficult to choose whether to shoot still or video when coming across a special sighting, but I’ve found that if the subject (s) are in action mode, then a video may tell a better story. The aforementioned can be trumped however, when you come across a sighting like a family of elephants playing in the water and watching them is so much fun, a camera is secondary.

Senior Digital Ranger

Excellent summary..pro photographer here in Atlanta. Safari trip to TZ yearly so all those considerations are in play with me and my group. One additional factor has begun influence my decisions..as I age, weight and bulk of cameras, lenses, etc. is a factor…not only wheeling thru airports, but in and out and up and down in land cruiser. We are doing more binocular use and less big camera use as the years go by….and of course, my photo inventory has 100,000 and examples of every situation/animal, etc. Just got back from TZ several weeks ago and this year we were disappointed with the scarcity of big cats (leopards, cheetahs)…it always looks like there are plenty of leopards in Lon and I’m jealous. Keep up the good work. Jim

Senior Digital Ranger

Hi Robbie, good points made. I tend to watch through the camera & lens so I get a telescopic view. That was I get to see every single muscle twitch.

A great blog, Robbie.
The other day my daughter asked me whether I wouldn’t rather sit on the vehicle enjoying the moment instead of taking 100 more photos of the same animal. To a certain degree it’s an excellent idea to just watch and enjoy. On the other hand it is such a pleasure for me to make a nice video out of all the clips and/ or produce a beautiful book with my pictures. I can relive again and again what I have seen and enjoyed so much. So, I guess, it will be 1’000 more photos of all those wonderful wild animals….. And when I am too old to travel any more I can still enjoy my numerous safaris with the help of these pictures.

Over the three times I’ve been to Londolozi I’ve reduced the number of photos/videos I’ve taken. I’m more likely to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the event, and then record the happening in my journal. I plan to do the same in 29 days as we begin trip four.

My first visit to Londolozi was more than 25 years ago; my newly purchased Nikon 6000 and a ‘How to take photographs while on safari’ book accompanied me. My main remembrance from the book was to sometimes put the camera down and use your eyes, brain and emotions to absorb what you are seeing. All these years later, I now have a Nikon D850, an array of lenses and an iPhone – but some of my best memories are when I’ve put all that fancy equipment down and just experienced the wonder that I’m viewing.

Robert, there is no right or wrong way to enjoy a safari in my opinion. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, pictures, and videos.

Robbie you have given options while out on safari to either take photos or a video. It is difficult sometimes to choose between the two, and even trying to get the right ISO right , putting best lens on. A person must now your camera and its settings, someone still learning the camera’s ability is going to struggle. The Rangers from Londolozi are incredibly good photographers and also they know how to use Lightroom to their advantage which is a magnificent tool. Stunning videos and photos of these beautiful animals.

All three! As you mentioned, there are different moments when each option seems like the best idea…..and with the newer cameras, you can also take stills while you are videoing….so you get the best of both!

Robbie, We were amazed by all of the TWIP videos too! Incredible work by your brilliant team! Thanks for the reminder of how valuable images and videos are. With the quality of video we can get on our iPhones now, we will try to tell more stories in video on our next visit!

Senior Digital Ranger

Robert – interesting comparisons here. I remember many years ago in the days of actual photographic film only (!), running out of film just before we witnessed an amazingly large Elephant group crossing across the Zambezi right in front of our canoes. Upset I didn’t have more film, the Guide (now legendary) suggested I just “shut my eyes” and remember – I always have that recall of the moment but also relish the many memories of photos digital and other we have to return to.

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10 April, 2798
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