Tips on Photographing South Africa

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South African Photography Tips

In South Africa, you have choices from shooting a site, animals, flowers, trees, waterfalls, wildlife, indigenous people, extreme sports, landscape, beautiful outdoor weddings, brides in their wedding dresses and underwater scenes. The tricks explained here will not get the perfect shots right away. You need to practice them. Living in South Africa shouldn’t make it difficult to practice and perfect your photography skills.

How to Shoot Landscape

Looking for the aesthetics of the barren, desolate desert? Go to the Northern Cape, or if you’re willing to travel a bit further, visit the Namib. Perhaps looking for the opposite? The Knysna lagoon is both serene and scenic, and you will be able to take shots of rare seahorses and other underwater life. Perhaps wanting a mix of the two? In the Western Cape, the Atlantic and Indian Oceans are never far away, and the region is blessed with fynbos (a species only found in South Africa).

  • Try using a wide angle lens from a close distance and see the amazing shots you can come up with. It’s not a shot that is done often because it’s opposite to teachings in photography
    If you have an SLR or compact digital camera, try getting the GigaPan Software system. It uses fantastic imaging technology for highly detailed shots.
  • You may have to make some minor modifications with lenses but it will be worth it because your images will look like a high end professional camera with telephoto lens was used

How to Shoot Flora

  • Work on controlling your depth. Use a tripod and make sure everything is in focus. The cable release will help you get a sharper image. If you want a close shot, use out-of-focus tricks to bring out your subject
  • Out-of-focus is best achieved with long lenses, wide open aperture and a subject that is not embedded in your background

Some of the best flora in South Africa can be found in the Cape where the 6 “great floral kingdoms” are found.

Crocodile in Botswana

How to Shoot Underwater

  • One of the problems of shooting with water is over exposure or underexposure. Practice either reducing or increasing your Basic Daylight Exposure or BDE
  • The shutter speed is also important because being under water, there so much fluidity and movement which you cannot control

Oryx in the Namib Desert

How to Shoot Wildlife

  • When shooting wildlife, professionals all agree that less is more. This means avoid a too busy background or too much of anything surrounding your animal subject. Game are majestic beings, and deserve their time in the spotlight – solo
  • It’s easy to do the first tip by filling in your photo with a close-up. This way, you have less background to worry about. The image of the Oryx above was taken in the beautiful Namib desert: the uniform background formed by the desert sands is ideal for capturing a wildlife subject. (In fact, the opportunities for taking beautiful photographs is so pervasive in the region that one might actually want to investigate the property for sale in Namibia!)

As you master these skills, you will advance and move onto more difficult shots. You will also notice that you will be taking more time preparing a shot than shooting. Your output will decrease but the quality of each photo will be astonishing.

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