3 Top Tips for a Photogenic Safari

By July 11, 2019August 16th, 2019Wildlife

Hwange National Park is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful National Parks in Zimbabwe, and one of the most photogenic too. Here are some of our 3 top tips on capturing a picture-perfect holiday when you next visit us:

1. Light fantastic

The light changes during the course of the day, as well as during the different seasons in Hwange National Park. During the day, the light becomes harsher, and photographs are better taken before 9am in the morning and after 3pm. Most photographers think the first 10minutes of light after sunrise, and the last 10minutes of light before sunset are the most magical. However, our summer is also our rainy season, so if the day is cloudy then it makes for dramatic lighting and excellent photographs no matter the time of the day.

Elephants Hwange National Park

2. Know your animals

Here the knowledge of our guides can really help you get some amazing photographs. Our guides intimately understand the wildlife and birds and are able to judge an animal’s behaviour and anticipate its next movements…allowing you to get your camera ready in time. Although we are lucky to have 4 of the Big 5 in the park, our guides enjoying showing guests all that the park has to offer from the more common but very comical Vervet Monkey, the every-industrious dung beetle and the glorious flocks of which all make for interesting compositions.

Big 5 Hwange National Park

Photo credit: Neil Fairlie

Cheetah Hwange National Park

3. Use different angles

When shooting wildlife, it is important to consider the angles and height of where you are versus where your subject is. At The Hide, you have lots of different levels to choose from. Our underground hide allows you to safely from a very low angle and get some pretty remarkable angles. A game drive allows you to shoot with a top view which is good for panoramic, scenic photographs whilst our game walks give you the opportunity for lower angles, closer to the ground.

Here is some good advice from the famous  Will Burrard Lucas:

“A good wildlife photograph is rarely taken looking down at the subject. The camera is almost always on the same level as the subject or lower. This is important for two reasons: 1) It gives the subject greater presence and helps the viewer connect with the animal 2) It increases the distance between the subject and the background, which helps throw the background out of focus and draw attention to the subject. If possible, lie on the ground to get as low as possible. If you are on safari, then shoot out of the window rather than from the roof of your vehicle. I often sit in the footwell of the vehicle to get down lower!”

Birding Hwange National Park
Wild Pig Hwange National Park
Photographic Angles Neil Fairlie

Neil Fairlie – Reel Life Safaris

It goes without saying that great photography takes patience and a bit of luck! To help you with the odds of getting the shots you really want, you can now book Neil Farlie as your own personal photographic guide for your stay. Neil is one of the best wildlife photographers in Zimbabwe and will be able to accompany you during your stay. A native Zimbabwean, Neil Fairlie is a professional wildlife documentary filmmaker with a profound knowledge and deep respect for Africa and its wildlife. His formal experience spans a decade, including the recent Netflix series Our Planet, but his intimate knowledge of the bush, natural instincts and his skill in capturing unique moments of animal behaviour on film make him a brilliant photographic safari guide.

He will show you how to most effectively set up your camera, get into the right positions and angles, and spend time with a subject in order to perfect that shot. Find out more about Neil here, watch his video and get in touch with us if you’d like to learn more!