African Travel Photography Tips
It’s time to hit the road with Nomad, and you’re excited for your once-in-a-lifetime trip. Maybe you’re going alone, or with family and friends. Either way, we sure you’re going to be bringing your camera along, and there’s no better way to practice your photography than on tour with us. We can guarantee you that one of the best souvenirs you can bring back from your trip is a stunning photograph – it’ll look perfect on the wall of your home!
To make the most of this photographic opportunity, we’ve put together a list of 7 tried-and-tested travel photography tips to guide you through the best ways of capturing those magical moments while on tour with us.
Tip 1: Research the location
Find out as much as you can about your destination by reading up on it in guide books or the internet. Reading forums of other people’s first-hand experiences, especially on what time of year is best to go (you’d be surprised how lighting can differ at different times of the year), is really handy. Your research will prepare you in knowing what gear to take, as well as preparing you mentally of what to expect, photographically speaking.
Tip 2: Essential packing
All photographers know what their bare essentials are, such as batteries and chargers. Be sure to double check that you’ve packed all of this, as you may not be able to buy the right battery/lens/memory card while you’re in the middle of the bush!
One thing we can’t reiterate enough is that you pack plenty of memory cards. We can also suggest bringing multiple smaller cards rather than just shooting on one card that has lots of memory. This is because if that one card flakes out in the middle of nowhere, you won’t be taking any more photos. It can get quite dusty on the truck on tour, so we recommend finding a way of storing your cards that keeps them clean and dust free.
If you really want to get serious about your photography, then taking a tripod is something you should consider. A tripod is essential for non-shaky night shots as well as for self-timer or remote-control based shots, so that you can be in the photo. If you’re not looking to take something bulky, than consider a gorilla tripod – it grips onto practically anything and will fit in your bag easily.
Tip 3: Back it up
Losing your images can really dampen your trip, if not ruin your experience entirely. What we can suggest, is backing up your images on the road. There are a number of ways to do this, but the simplest is to buy a device that’ll do all your backing up for you. There are a number on the market (google “portable photo storage devices”) and they can be used without a computer, saving weight and worry on a trip. Turn the device on, insert a memory card and hit the button! Instant, up to 30 minutes instant depending on card size, backup!
Another solution is to take your laptop along with you, with a portable harddrive. However, this is the more cumbersome option. You can copy the image from the memory cards to both your laptop (if you have space) and to your portable device.
Whatever backup option you go with, do not do not erase or format your memory cards after you back them up, unless you are totally out of space and it is a must. You will then have two copies of your precious memories.
Tip 4: Pack a longer lens
Travelling in Africa offers many photographic opportunities of wild animals. Often times, these animals will be positioned at a far-away distance, so a longer lens will allow you to zoom in for a closer encounter. A lens of 18-200mm is a bare minimum. A wide angle lens shouldn’t be glanced over either, like a 24-105, perfect for panoramic shots and portraits.
Tip 5: Get creative
If you’ve taken thousands of photographs of wildlife, and looking to add a creative twist to your photography, than adding a panning blur is a perfect solution. To make your life easier, put your camera onto ‘A’ mode, or Aperture Priority, so you set an aperture which will give you that low shutter speed. Then, as an animal is moving alongside you, simply take a bunch of photos following the animal as it is moving i.e. ‘panning’ with the camera. Hopefully this will give you the creative effect that you’re looking for.
Tip 6: Break the rules
Having a subject always centered in your images is not always the most appealing option, artistically speaking. What we can recommend is reading up on the rule of thirds and then playing around with positioning of your subject in your frame. Learn the rules, and then break them like a pro!
Tip 7: Remember, you’re on holiday!
Don’t let your photography become a task – always try and and enjoy yourself! This is a holiday, not an assignment for National Geographic! Don’t get anxious if you don’t get “the shot”, rather, take the time to look around and absorb the amazing atmosphere around you. Your sanity and your fellow travelers will thank you for it!
Some of our most photographic tours:
From deserts, to tropical wilderness, pristine beaches, fascinating local tribes, cultures and wildlife, this tour will diminish your bucket list!