Tip Number 5 – Use a wide-angle lens
Instead of focussing up close on an animal with a longer lens, zoom out and include the environment. A close-up portrait is great, but zooming out and including the environment helps tell a different story, especially in iconic areas such as the wide-open plains of the Masai Mara or under dramatic weather conditions. A versatile, wider zoom lens like the Nikon 24-200mm for example provides easy framing opportunities, allowing for super-wide or mid-range telephoto shots. Wider focal lengths work well with large groups of animals like a herd of elephants or migrating wildebeests. Adding context to your subjects helps tell a greater story.
Tip Number 6 – Buffer management
Be careful when shooting at a fast frame rate, always keep some buffer capacity in reserve. The buffer is the amount of photos the camera can store before it sends the data to the memory card. Modern cameras have larger buffer capacities and are capable of clearing the buffer very quickly, but a lot of cameras have limited buffer capacity. If the buffer is full, the camera will pause or slow down, and it’s a dangerous situation to be in. Keep the buffer for when the action peaks to avoid missing out on pinnacle moments. Get to know your camera buffer, it’s an important specification to understand.
Get more out of the buffer by trying these few changes in the camera:
- Shoot in 12-bit instead of 14-bit RAW
- Use faster memory cards
- Shoot in JPG (I don’t recommend this if you want to edit your photos)