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African Photography Safari
The Concept by Greg du Toit
African safari specialists that cater especially for photographers and their partners! A successful African photographic safari or an African photography workshop is dependent on many different factors and as a professional African wildlife photographer and expert safari guide, I can help make sure that your African photography safari is a safari of a lifetime and that you return home with exceptional wildlife images in the bag!
The different elements of an African Photography Safari:
You, the photographer: Before booking your Africa photographic safari, think about your specific photographic passions and expectations. Is it true wilderness, away from the maddening crowds of tourists, that you find most appealing or perhaps are you looking to specifically photograph cheetah, leopard, flamingos or gorillas? Do you enjoy African savanna landscapes, traditional cultures or African wildlife photography - or perhaps a combination of all three! The safaris that I design, are aimed to GUARANTEE exceptional photographic opportunities (the very best that Africa has to offer), but each safari is also designed to offer you an authentic African safari experience! Wild freedom and beauty are always on my agenda! This type of holistic safari is relished by both photographers and non-photographing partners alike!
Where and When: The most elementary decision will be which country or combination of countries to visit on your African photography tour? Also, which parks or ecosystems to visit and to make sure that it is the right time of year to maximize photographic potential. Africa is a harsh continent and rainy seasons as well as hot dry seasons need to be factored in. There is however, far more to African wildlife photography, as nature beats to her own rhythm - we need to understand her cycles and seasons if we want to maximize our photographic opportunities. For example, there is a certain time of year that the wildebeest cross the Mara River and a certain time of year that the wildlife disappears into the inaccessible Miombo Woodland of Ruaha National Park. Similarly, the best view of Mount Kilimanjaro is in the middle of the monsoon rains. Having lived in Africa my entire life and working as a professional African wildlife photographer, I use my local knowledge of the various countries and ecosystems to ensure that my African photography tours run at the best times of year to facilitate excellent photography.
Whose Leading: Another key component to successful African safari tours is that of your guide! Africa has many excellent local driver guides with exceptional knowledge of fauna and flora. Unfortunately, most of these guides have very little photographic knowledge. By joining your photographic safari, and sitting in front, I am able to direct the driver to ensure that you are parked in the best position to maximize photographic opportunities. There is nothing worse than having a wonderful African wildlife subject and then parking, facing directly into the sun (unless it is very low and back-lit of course). There is however, much more to having an expert photographic guide join you on your photographic safari:
Location Location: The next important step in Africa photographic travel is choosing the right camps or lodges, that will allow you as a wildlife photographer to access the best areas and at the right time of day, to make use of the golden light. For example, the Masai Mara has many camps but there are only a few that allow quick access to the various wildebeest crossing points or that allow one to get away from other vehicle traffic. Using the correct safari camp or lodge is a key component of an African photography safari! Exclusive use of a vehicle with freedom and flexibility is also essential to allow a nature photographer the time and freedom to work a particular subject or area. Does the safari camp have sufficient power for the running of laptops and charging of batteries? How far is the safari camp from the best game viewing areas? Can we alight from the vehicle or drive off-road? The answer to these simple questions can mean the difference between a successful African safari photography tour or not. As an African safari specialist, I am able to select the best properties for your African safari travel.
Whilst on a safari drive, I will tutor you and give you specific relevant coaching on camera techniques and settings (whether you shoot Nikon or Canon). Using my knowledge and experience as a professional wildlife photographer, I will also preempt unique animal behaviour to make sure you get that rare and unique shot! Much of African wildlife photography is having knowledge of wildlife and I will part with this knowledge while on safari. The role of an expert photographic guide is not limited to the field but once back in camp; both informal and more formal discussions are held discussing various aspects of photography. This practical Africa photo workshop component facilitates the ideal environment for you as the photographer to ask questions and to gain confidence in areas where you are unsure. Do you need help post processing or want to gain a deeper understanding of your flash? Then join me on an Africa photographic tour!
Whose Stressing: Lastly, by having me host and guide your safari, I am able to co-ordinate all your logistics and make sure that traveling through Africa is as pleasant an experience as possible. This leaves you to then focus on your photography and to not have to worry about your travel plans whilst on an African Photography Safari.
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©Copyright. Greg du Toit Safaris & Photographic. 2013