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African Photogragphy inspiration wanted!!!

African Photogragphy inspiration wanted!!!

Old Apr 28th 2007, 11:43 am
  #1  
The_niner_nation
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Posts: n/a
Default African Photogragphy inspiration wanted!!!

As I ahve psoted before, I am really excited to be going to Kenya for a
safari, and in readiness for this trip, i have invested in a Canon 400d DSLR
camera ( the xti rebel to my american friends!).

So far, im only armed with the kit lens 18-55mm and a cheap canon 90-300mm
telephoto lens, and seriously considering taking evening classes so I can
take really good shots...what i am asking in this post is if any of you have
uploaded your safari pictures could you please share the links with me, as
I'd love to see the type of photo opps that *may* present themselves to me
on my vacation...

As my safari is overland and camping, I am not anticipating any sort of
electricity points to charge my equipment ( or showers and decent toilets,
for that matter!), so I will be amred with 5 or 6 pre-charged batteries and
tons of 2gb compact flash cards :-)
Peace!
 
Old Apr 28th 2007, 12:04 pm
  #2  
Johan W. Elzenga
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Default Re: African Photogragphy inspiration wanted!!!

the_niner_nation <[email protected]> wrote:

> As my safari is overland and camping, I am not anticipating any sort of
> electricity points to charge my equipment ( or showers and decent toilets,
> for that matter!), so I will be amred with 5 or 6 pre-charged batteries and
> tons of 2gb compact flash cards :-)

Buy an inverter. That's a relatively small device that fits in the
cigaret lighter of your car, and gives 220 V output. They are usually
between 70 and 130 Watt (but I've seen them up to 300 W). Even 70 W is
enough to power your battery charger.


--
Johan W. Elzenga johan<<at>>johanfoto.nl
Editor / Photographer http://www.johanfoto.com
 
Old Apr 28th 2007, 1:19 pm
  #3  
Michael Kilpatrick
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: African Photogragphy inspiration wanted!!!

It definitely helps to be very familiar with your camera, as things can
happen quickly, and don't be afraid to use high iso when the light gets
bad, as it often will.

It's also a good idea to think about composition, rather than placing the
animal in the middle of the frame every time. Possibly practise at your
local zoo.

Just my 2c worth.

These shots were taken in South Africa 3 years ago:

http://www.pbase.com/mrk03/south_africa_2004

Regards, and have a great trip.

Michael
 
Old Apr 28th 2007, 6:53 pm
  #4  
John Macdonald
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Default Re: African Photogragphy inspiration wanted!!!

In message <[email protected]>,
the_niner_nation <[email protected]> writes
>As I ahve psoted before, I am really excited to be going to Kenya for a
>safari, and in readiness for this trip, i have invested in a Canon 400d DSLR
>camera ( the xti rebel to my american friends!).
>
>So far, im only armed with the kit lens 18-55mm and a cheap canon 90-300mm
>telephoto lens, and seriously considering taking evening classes so I can
>take really good shots...what i am asking in this post is if any of you have
>uploaded your safari pictures could you please share the links with me, as
>I'd love to see the type of photo opps that *may* present themselves to me
>on my vacation...
>
>As my safari is overland and camping, I am not anticipating any sort of
>electricity points to charge my equipment ( or showers and decent toilets,
>for that matter!), so I will be amred with 5 or 6 pre-charged batteries and
>tons of 2gb compact flash cards :-)
>Peace!
>
>
>
Your first trip will be very exciting. It will only be surpassed by
your second; and then your third...

You should be able to charge from the cigar lighter socket on your
vehicle. If its an overland truck I would expect them to have some
provision for charging - some of their clients will not be able to
survive without their mobile phones!

My next most important piece of equipment is a bean bag which you can
fill with rice on your first day.

I recently switched to digital and was pleasantly surprised to find I
could use ISO 400 and get excellent results (Canon 5D). Check how high
you can go with acceptable noise. This will help give high shutter
speeds and sharp pictures. (If you are considering another lens then
Canon IS is worth the extra money.)

You can buy cheap image storage devices - basically a portable hard
drive - you may take more pictures than you expect!

Ask the driver to switch off the engine before taking shots.

You will get your best pictures in the morning and the evening, make
sure you are out early and late.

Practice focussing on the eye and recomposing - may be at your local
zoo?

Experiment by all means, but you will still get most good shots with the
sun behind you!

My wife and I have done a few trips, mainly southern Africa but also
Kenyan, Tanzania and Uganda. Please have a look at our offering and get
back to us if we can help further.

www.wildworldweb.co.uk

--
John Macdonald
 
Old Apr 28th 2007, 9:51 pm
  #5  
Liz Leyden
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: African Photogragphy inspiration wanted!!!

In message <[email protected]>
"the_niner_nation" <[email protected]> wrote:

> As I ahve psoted before, I am really excited to be going to Kenya for a
> safari, and in readiness for this trip, i have invested in a Canon 400d DSLR
> camera ( the xti rebel to my american friends!).
>
> So far, im only armed with the kit lens 18-55mm and a cheap canon 90-300mm
> telephoto lens, and seriously considering taking evening classes so I can
> take really good shots...what i am asking in this post is if any of you have
> uploaded your safari pictures could you please share the links with me, as
> I'd love to see the type of photo opps that *may* present themselves to me
> on my vacation...
I hope your cheap 90-300 is better than the cheap 75-300 Canon I
bought which is a real discrace - the equivalent Sigma is better,
though I went for the 100-300EX as a replacement.
>
> As my safari is overland and camping, I am not anticipating any sort of
> electricity points to charge my equipment ( or showers and decent toilets,
> for that matter!), so I will be amred with 5 or 6 pre-charged batteries and
> tons of 2gb compact flash cards :-)
> Peace!

If you're on one of these big overland truck things, your main
problems will be keeping everyone else still while you're
photographing (any overlanding trucks I've seen have had several
children/teens on board and/or their priorities have been 'other than
wildlife viewing' (they tend to be very noisy and often scare animals
away) and an odd, high angle for all of your pics. While on a normal
safari minibus or 4x4, I take probably over 50% of my pics from the
lower window rather than the roof hatch for the better angle. Though,
of course, the height will help you when the animals are behind or in
bushes.

Loads of pics on my website so you'll get the idea. They're almost all
scans of slides and all are heavily scrunched down from when I didn't
have broadband. Digital will be fine, I just haven't had the time to
upload from last year's 100% digital trip. I second the advice to get
an inverter: you'll certainly need more than 6xbatteries worth, also
for storage (but lock your very best images on your card as backup)
and practising at the zoo.

Safari njema

Liz
--
http://www.v-liz.com - Kenya; Tanzania; Namibia; India; Galapagos
Photo Gallery:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/g...?memberID5111
 
Old Apr 28th 2007, 10:20 pm
  #6  
The_niner_nation
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Default Re: African Photogragphy inspiration wanted!!!

"John Macdonald" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> In message <[email protected]>, the_niner_nation
> <[email protected]> writes
>>As I ahve psoted before, I am really excited to be going to Kenya for a
>>safari, and in readiness for this trip, i have invested in a Canon 400d
>>DSLR
>>camera ( the xti rebel to my american friends!).
>>
>>So far, im only armed with the kit lens 18-55mm and a cheap canon 90-300mm
>>telephoto lens, and seriously considering taking evening classes so I can
>>take really good shots...what i am asking in this post is if any of you
>>have
>>uploaded your safari pictures could you please share the links with me, as
>>I'd love to see the type of photo opps that *may* present themselves to me
>>on my vacation...
>>
>>As my safari is overland and camping, I am not anticipating any sort of
>>electricity points to charge my equipment ( or showers and decent toilets,
>>for that matter!), so I will be amred with 5 or 6 pre-charged batteries
>>and
>>tons of 2gb compact flash cards :-)
>>Peace!
>>
>>
>>
> Your first trip will be very exciting. It will only be surpassed by your
> second; and then your third...
>
> You should be able to charge from the cigar lighter socket on your
> vehicle. If its an overland truck I would expect them to have some
> provision for charging - some of their clients will not be able to survive
> without their mobile phones!
>
> My next most important piece of equipment is a bean bag which you can fill
> with rice on your first day.
>
> I recently switched to digital and was pleasantly surprised to find I
> could use ISO 400 and get excellent results (Canon 5D). Check how high
> you can go with acceptable noise. This will help give high shutter speeds
> and sharp pictures. (If you are considering another lens then Canon IS is
> worth the extra money.)
>
> You can buy cheap image storage devices - basically a portable hard
> drive - you may take more pictures than you expect!
>


Thanks for a really useful response...I already have a portable hard drive
( an Archos 60gb personal media player), but the challenge with taking that
is that it will drain battery life from it's self at the same time as
draining the camera battery at an alarming level durning photo transfer

I am entertaining the idea of taking a laptop with me, but on an overland
safari, I can't even begin to think how practicle this would be.


awsome photos in your web journal..really amazing :-)
 
Old Apr 29th 2007, 1:26 am
  #7  
The_niner_nation
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: African Photogragphy inspiration wanted!!!

>
> If you're on one of these big overland truck things, your main
> problems will be keeping everyone else still while you're
> photographing (any overlanding trucks I've seen have had several
> children/teens on board and/or their priorities have been 'other than
> wildlife viewing' (they tend to be very noisy and often scare animals
> away) and an odd, high angle for all of your pics. While on a normal
> safari minibus or 4x4, I take probably over 50% of my pics from the
> lower window rather than the roof hatch for the better angle. Though,
> of course, the height will help you when the animals are behind or in
> bushes.
>
> Loads of pics on my website so you'll get the idea. They're almost all
> scans of slides and all are heavily scrunched down from when I didn't
> have broadband. Digital will be fine, I just haven't had the time to
> upload from last year's 100% digital trip. I second the advice to get
> an inverter: you'll certainly need more than 6xbatteries worth, also
> for storage (but lock your very best images on your card as backup)
> and practising at the zoo.
>
> Safari njema
>
> Liz
> --
> http://www.v-liz.com - Kenya; Tanzania; Namibia; India; Galapagos
> Photo Gallery:
> http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/g...?memberID5111
>

Hi, Liz, thanks always for your help..

i have no idea if my lens is better than yours, the lens I have is this
one..

http://www.canon-europe.com/For_Home...4556/index.asp
it dosn't have image stabilisation.

I don't have the steadiest hands int he world, so i will be taking a bean
bag and maybe a tri/mono pod, as I realise that the majority of game drives
are very early morning or at dusk when lighting isn't optimum.

being new to 'proper' photography, I might potter around the independant
camera shops and ask for advice, and prepare to spend way over my modest
budget for the right lens...no matter how hard i try or alter the settings
on my camera, even using a tri pod I can never get the crisp,sharp picutres
everyone else seems to be getting with their 400d, so i am certain I need to
invest in a decent lens.

I realise that overlanding isn't the best safari, but on my budget it's all
I can afford, but the operator has said that they use mini-buses and not the
big trucks, but I see your point and I am somewhat resigned to being in the
company of restless kids.

Thanks again for yr help, I have seen your weblink often and it's in my
favourites!
 
Old Apr 29th 2007, 7:13 am
  #8  
-Bill
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: African Photogragphy inspiration wanted!!!

> "the_niner_nation" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>...what i am asking in this post is if any of you have
> uploaded your safari pictures could you please share the links with me, as
> I'd love to see the type of photo opps that *may* present themselves to me
> on my vacation...

Here are a couple of links to a trip we took in January to
Tanzania ... some cat pics, starting with lions (the serval catching
mice was the cat highlight though) ...

http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/ta..._2007/lion.htm ...
and a few bird pics ...

http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/ta...07/birds_1.htm

Follow the links and there's a narrative describing what we saw each
game drive in January. The Mara should offer similar opportunities.

Your 90-300 won't be long enough for the tight bird pics but it's
enough for the herbies and cats (sometimes the lions will lay by the
car to get shade, and click around a bit and you'll find a cheetah who
jumped onto the roof ... I needed a 24 mm to get him .

Have a good trip!

Bill
 
Old Apr 29th 2007, 7:39 am
  #9  
Liz Leyden
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: African Photogragphy inspiration wanted!!!

In message <[email protected]>
"the_niner_nation" <[email protected]> wrote:


> Hi, Liz, thanks always for your help..
>
> i have no idea if my lens is better than yours, the lens I have is this
> one..
>
> http://www.canon-europe.com/For_Home...ras/EF_Lenses/
> Zoom_Lenses/EF_90300mm_f4556/index.asp
> it dosn't have image stabilisation.
If it did, you wouldn't be calling it 'cheap'!
I think the one they say it's "optically similar to" is the one I've
got. :-(
>
> I don't have the steadiest hands int he world, so i will be taking a bean
> bag and maybe a tri/mono pod, as I realise that the majority of game drives
> are very early morning or at dusk when lighting isn't optimum.
I can hardly imagine you could set up a tripod in a minibus. I usually
just rest my lens on the edge of the window opening or the top. Last
year, the construction of one of the vehicles my group used made that
a bit difficult and it was a bit high for me (c5' 7") but that's the
first time that was an issue. When I was just travelling with my
husband, I had window mounts with quick releases in strategic places,
not feasible in a group. It depends how many in your vehicle are keen
photographers: you have to share the space, but often people just want
one quick shap. *But* then they don't want to wait for you to get your
'better shot'! Morning and evening game drives are to give you the
chance to get best light. However, the sun rises and sets incredibly
quickly, so you have to be lucky to find something within range to
shoot in the good light. Again, in a group trip, others may only be
interested in e.g. lions, leopards or elephants and won't want to stop
while you photograph whatever's in the best light. Again, it depends
on who you have in your group.
>
> being new to 'proper' photography, I might potter around the independant
> camera shops and ask for advice, and prepare to spend way over my modest
> budget for the right lens...no matter how hard i try or alter the settings
> on my camera, even using a tri pod I can never get the crisp,sharp picutres
> everyone else seems to be getting with their 400d, so i am certain I need to
> invest in a decent lens.
Sadly, that sounds very like my cheap Canon.
I could even see on the LCD screen that the images weren't sharp,
often without zooming in.
One of the blokes on my last safari was using a similarly priced Sigma
(75-300 IIRC) on his 30D and his images were fine. I panicked into
buying the more expensive 100-300 which is great, but it has no close
focus and it's too heavy for me to carry round my neck for long.
Advantage: it has f4 to 300mm.
>
> I realise that overlanding isn't the best safari, but on my budget it's all
> I can afford, but the operator has said that they use mini-buses and not the
> big trucks, but I see your point and I am somewhat resigned to being in the
> company of restless kids.
With any safari, who you're with can make or break your trip. Best is
to arrange an independent trip, then you can decide where and for how
long you're going, what you're going to do every day and when etc. but
it you're on your own it's a very expensive option, especially if you
have to go in the high season. One other person, and it's hardly any
more expensive than an organised 'seat on a bus' trip!

I wonder why your trip is called an 'overland' rather than a 'mobile
participatory camping' trip? I always think of overlanding as being
long trips on these big high trucks, blaring music loudly.

Anyway, unless your travelling companions are a real nightmare (one
woman on my trip last year was pretty bad, but we soon split into the
'fun bus' and the 'other one', so I hardly saw her.) you'll have a
great time and hopefully you'll fall in love with Africa.

It's great that you're going when you can: I left it far too late!

Safari njema

Liz
--
http://www.v-liz.com - Kenya; Tanzania; Namibia; India; Galapagos
Photo Gallery:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/g...?memberID5111
 
Old Apr 30th 2007, 3:44 am
  #10  
Hans-Georg Michna
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Default Re: African Photogragphy inspiration wanted!!!

On Sun, 29 Apr 2007 20:39:33 +0100, Liz Leyden wrote:

>I can hardly imagine you could set up a tripod in a minibus. I usually
>just rest my lens on the edge of the window opening or the top.

The little trick here is a little bean bag, which I always carry
with my compact camera. Mine is actually a rice bag. Lentils and
similar things work just as well. Even sand works, but is heavy.

If you make one, it has to be about half full, never completely
full. And it can be fairly small, about as big as the camera,
but not as thick.

You can put it on top of the upper edge of the window glass
pane, then you can crank the window up or down to adjust the
height. You can also fold the bean bag into a corner of the open
window area and squeeze the camera against it.

Its main advantage, compared to putting the camera directly onto
something, is that you can adjust the camera angle, and the
camera tends to stay that way more easily.

Hans-Georg

--
No mail, please.
 
Old Apr 30th 2007, 3:44 am
  #11  
Hans-Georg Michna
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: African Photogragphy inspiration wanted!!!

On 29 Apr 2007 12:13:04 -0700, Bill wrote:

>Here are a couple of links to a trip we took in January to
>Tanzania ... some cat pics, starting with lions (the serval catching
>mice was the cat highlight though) ...
>
>http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/ta..._2007/lion.htm ...
>and a few bird pics ...
>
>http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/ta...07/birds_1.htm

Bill,

thanks for the web pages! Wonderful photos, very well presented.

Hans-Georg

--
No mail, please.
 
Old May 2nd 2007, 5:27 am
  #12  
-Hh
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: African Photogragphy inspiration wanted!!!

"the_niner_nation" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> i have no idea if my lens is better than yours, the lens I have is this
> one..
>
> http://www.canon-europe.com/For_Home...eras/EF_Lenses...
> it dosn't have image stabilisation.

The page says that its optically based on Canon's 75-300 f/4-5.6 III,
which was replaced over a year ago by the much optically better 70-300
(and 70-300 IS).

Its a "medium" performance lens close in, but gets soft at telephoto.
You should plan to shoot at f/8 or higher, and to do this, boost your
ISO speed to ISO 400 so as to avoid shooting this lens wide-open (ie,
f/5.6) - its worth the trade.

BTW, here's my photos from southern Tanzania last year (Mikmumi,
Mufindi, Katavi & Ruaha):

<http://www.huntzinger.com/photo/2006/Tanzania_album-2006s.pdf>

While I own the 75-300 IS lens, before going on this trip, I paid to
upgrad to L glass quality with the 70-200 f/2.8 IS which I used
extensively with a 1.4x teleconverter, which effectively transformed
it into a 100-300 f/4 lens, which then mounted on the EOS 20D, this
resulted in an effective length of 150-450mm f/4. While this glass
was expensive, the trip was more expensive, so it was a good
investment.

> I don't have the steadiest hands int he world, so i will be taking a bean
> bag and maybe a tri/mono pod, as I realise that the majority of game drives
> are very early morning or at dusk when lighting isn't optimum.

Beanbag is the way to go. IMO, the one to get is the one made by
Kenesis:

<http://kgear.com/r/>

The straps make it look odd, but what they allows it to do is to
reconfigure to become taller when in a self-supporting mode.

FWIW, I thought about taking a tripod or monopod, but found that for
the types of vehicles that I was riding in, the beanbag was the only
real practical tool. When you read the reports from the high-end
photographers (big "L" glass, etc), you'll see that they have rooftop
mounts and relatively few passengers per safari vehicle, which allows
them elbow room to set up.


> being new to 'proper' photography, I might potter around the independant
> camera shops and ask for advice, and prepare to spend way over my modest
> budget for the right lens...no matter how hard i try or alter the settings
> on my camera, even using a tri pod I can never get the crisp,sharp picutres
> everyone else seems to be getting with their 400d, so i am certain I need to
> invest in a decent lens.

I'd say the first thing to do would be for you to test out your gear
right now - - sandbag it and shoot with each lens, etc, and see if
peraphs your 400 is defective in that it isn't autofocusing properly,
or if your telephoto is a bad one. You really have to make sure your
gear's working correctly before you leave home. BTW, also consider
throwing the lens in question on an old 35mm Canon for testing.


> I realise that overlanding isn't the best safari, but on my budget it's all
> I can afford, but the operator has said that they use mini-buses and not the
> big trucks, but I see your point and I am somewhat resigned to being in the
> company of restless kids.

If you already have a 35mm body, consider taking it along - - they get
great battery life, its already paid for and its cheap insurance in
case the digital goes south or just runs out of power. Also consider
carefully just how much data storage you're taking - - don't be
surprised if you shoot 200+ images per day, as it is very easy to do
so with so many new-to-you subjects.


-hh
 
Old May 2nd 2007, 7:27 pm
  #13  
Liz Leyden
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: African Photogragphy inspiration wanted!!!

In message <[email protected]>
Hans-Georg Michna <[email protected]>
wrote:

> On Sun, 29 Apr 2007 20:39:33 +0100, Liz Leyden wrote:
>
>>I can hardly imagine you could set up a tripod in a minibus. I usually
>>just rest my lens on the edge of the window opening or the top.
>
> The little trick here is a little bean bag, which I always carry
> with my compact camera. Mine is actually a rice bag. Lentils and
> similar things work just as well. Even sand works, but is heavy.

I've tried the beanbag route, and didn't take to it. In any case, with
the particular vehicle I mentioned, I was on tiptoe balancing my lens
directly on the opening, which wasn't very stable. One or two inches
more would have been impossible (so would a window mount have been).
This was the first time I've had that problem, and I don't know how
many of that particular vehicle are in use.

I'm fairly tall for a female. One of our party could hardly *see* out
of the roof hatch!

I did take a monopod and found it quite useful around the lodge
grounds and when watching the lodge dancers. A tripod would have been
fine for these uses too, but our UK flight weight restrictions
wouldn't have allowed it: it's shocking how much heavier my case is
now that I have to carry all the toiletries/first aid and field guides
instead of halving them. Thank the inventor of wheels for cases!
One time I took a tripod (on a private trip), and despite putting it
in the middle, packed all round with clothes, it ripped the case!
Another time when we flew from Stone Town to Mombasa to start our
safari, I forgot about it and had to go back to the airport for it.
:-(

Slainte

Liz

--
http://www.v-liz.com - Kenya; Tanzania; Namibia; India; Galapagos
Photo Gallery:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/g...?memberID5111
 
Old May 3rd 2007, 9:37 pm
  #14  
Rita Daggett
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: African Photogragphy inspiration wanted!!!

> >
> >>I can hardly imagine you could set up a tripod in a minibus.
My husband managed it on trips where you are in open vehicles (Zambia,
Botswana) and when we were sat for a long time looking at eg a pride of
lions devouring a buffalo carcass.


--
Rita Daggett
 
Old May 4th 2007, 5:36 am
  #15  
Liz Leyden
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: African Photogragphy inspiration wanted!!!

In message <[email protected]>
"Rita Daggett" <[email protected]> wrote:

>> >
>> >>I can hardly imagine you could set up a tripod in a minibus.
> My husband managed it on trips where you are in open vehicles (Zambia,
> Botswana) and when we were sat for a long time looking at eg a pride of
> lions devouring a buffalo carcass.
Oh yes, I did it in Selous!

Slainte

Liz

--
http://www.v-liz.com - Kenya; Tanzania; Namibia; India; Galapagos
Photo Gallery:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/g...?memberID5111
 

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