5 Tips On How to Photograph Birds on Your Safari

Whenever you are on safari, you want to capture the vast variety of flora and fauna with your camera. This experience is exhilarating, especially if you are a professional photographer. Since the best memories are those captured by photographs, you will need to have a good camera whenever you are taking a safari.

Everyone who has travelled will tell you the thrill that comes with a jungle safari. But then, there is more than enjoying the fun. How do you ensure that this experience remains memorable for years to come? It is apparently by seizing every moment of capturing the breathtaking scenes of the jungle via your camera. Here are five tips you need for the perfect bird photography whenever you are on safari:

1. Choose the right park

With thousands of parks all over the world, selecting the best one for bird watching is vital. Not all parks are endowed with a variety of bird species. If you take a safari in a park with numerous bird species, you will have an easy time taking those shots of attractive birds.

For instance, Madikwe park in South Africa is considered one of the best safari destinations in Africa. It hosts the big five and other cats, and most interestingly, numerous bird species. The park is home to 350 bird species, therefore, ranking highly in a tourist’s list of bird watching sites. Though this might seem so obvious, it is the first step to taking the perfect photos of birds whenever you are on safari.

2. Equip yourself with the right gear.

Taking the perfect photos of those birds you see on a safari requires some professionalism. Just as any job would need the right tool combination, photography is no exception. Bird photography requires a combination of great autofocus and high frame rates, which should have the reach of long focal length lenses. Using the full gear of the most established camera brands such as Canon and Nikon gets your bird photography session covered. Specifically, such gear includes the professional 1Dx camera body coupled with various lenses. An example of such lenses is the Canon 600mm F4L lens.

3. Choose even lighting

Capturing light is often considered the ultimate photography. Therefore, before capturing that shot, consider the amount of light available. Generally, all birds have a standard behaviour of perching on tree branches. This means that whenever you want to take such bird photographs, you have to shoot upwards and the light from the sun will be dominant.

On the other hand, a bird might be located on a dimly lit branch. In this case, the background becomes brighter than the bird. Therefore, lightening the bird to ensure that photos are captured with even lighting. Alternatively, you may decide to focus on the birds whose surrounding is evenly lit. The perfect shots are that colourful bird you see should not be bright and should not have dark spots either.

4. Ensure stability.

This will be crucial for anyone using large lenses to get close to the action. Most of these lenses are quite heavy. Therefore, if you need that perfect photo of a bird, rest your arms so that your camera becomes stable. Use stabilizing equipment if need be. Since most bird photography will be done on a drive, stability bean bags are recommended for photographers. A vehicle mount could also come in handy so that you end up with the perfect photograph.

5. Capture the personality or behaviour of the bird

Make your photos stand out! Separate them from the ordinary photographs. The perfect bird photo would be the one that brings out the behaviour of the bird. Capture that eagle soaring high or a vulture hovering around a carcass.

Showcasing a bird’s behaviour or attitude on a photo makes you a stand-out photographer. It also brings the bird photograph to life, saucing up the scenery.

So, whenever you are out on safari, remember to take a shot any time a bird gets to your camera frame. Seize every opportunity. In any case, that bird photo will stand out if it bears the unique features highlighted above. While maintaining professionalism in your photography, don’t forget to enjoy yourself.

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