PHOTO SAFARIS OVERVIEW
Learn to take your own stunning photos!
The Photo Safari Concept
Africa is a continent of incredible diversity. Glaciers on the equator, dense forests, endless savannas and bush country, lakes that stretch as far as the eye can see, deserts, mountains and miles of deserted beaches. This is the original safari destination and there is nothing like it anywhere else on the planet. Whatever part of this extraordinary continent you’d like to explore, whatever the adventure you seek, Isak Pretorius is the expert you will need to host the most enjoyable and memorable experiences within Africa, a continent he knows and loves. Isak is an expert photographic guide and highly acclaimed professional wildlife photographer specializing in taking you to breathtaking destinations and getting you the ultimate shots! Whether you’d like to get up close to the real Africa and its wildlife, by car, on foot, by boat or even by helicopter, he is the one to take you there and turn your dreams into the journey of a lifetime.
Identifying personal requirements
As we kick off the safari, your guides will spend one-on-one time with each participant to identify what level they are at and what areas they would most like to focus on. We will then explore the different components of photography with them as we get different light and travel to various destinations. There is no better learning opportunity than photographing so many world-class wildlife sightings day after day, in the ideal season, under professional guidance. The constant presence of a guide guarantees that your questions are answered immediately and this ensures a fast learning curve. Shooting day after day also ensures that all these lessons are fresh in the mind and are applied until programmed into your subconscious.
Subjects to be covered
We will look at the basic technicalities like shutter speed, aperture and focus and how these should be creatively manipulated in certain situations. E.g. to get the right amount of blur in golden grass. Composition is always the most important subject and it is best taught in the sighting, where the learning can be applied instantly. Your guides will always be available to point out how you can improve your composition and give you the technical breakdown behind their chosen advice. As we are presented with different weather and light conditions they will teach you to study the skies and how to make a pre-emptive decision on where to shoot when the light peaks. One of the great aspects of Mashatu is that it is a world dark sky reserve, meaning that we will spend plenty of time shooting at night. Shooting the Milky Way and star trails can be daunting, but we’ll show you how easy it actually is when you’re in the right place.
Presentations and editing
During middle of the day on days 2, 3 and 4 we will sit down for an informal presentation on editing or any other subject. The digital darkroom has become a crucial part of photography and the guides will present various techniques using images taken by the participants of the safari. Your guides have extensive experience with Photoshop, Lightroom, Bridge and Nik Color Efex, but they will also do their best to help with your program of choice.
One-on-one attention and creative freedom
The fact that there will only be a maximum of 6 photographers means that over the course of 5 days, each client will get plenty of assistance, guidance and tutoring from the guides. This also means that there will be far less lenses pointed at the same subjects than on normal safaris. This gives you a better chance to explore your creativity and to shoot the subjects from all angles.
On every safari we always discuss everything from the most fundamental principles, through to the philosophical and abstract. Whatever it is you would like to learn, were happy to help out. Our goal is to send you home with great images, new knowledge, fond memories and feeling inspired.
The topics are not fixed and will be altered to meet the specific requirements of all the guests. These could include the following:
- Understanding light
- Understanding composition
- Tutorials on advanced photo techniques
- Use of Lenses for various effects
- Post processing your images in Lightroom or Photoshop
- Cataloguing images
- Startrail and starscape photography
- Flash use and advanced flash use
During the photo workshop sessions there will be a chance for guests to bring their own photos for feedback and critique by the guides. Typically three photos from each guests per session are enough to not only see what different photos we all got from the same sightings but the feedback the critique on your photos is one of the best ways to improve your own photography.
On all our tours we may ask participants to rotate seats in the vehicles, taking it in turn to sit in the more popular seats in the front and the less popular ones in the rear. This requirement applies to everyone. If there is some reason why you can’t take your turn in the back of a vehicle (e.g. a bad back or travel sickness) please inform our office at the time of booking to see if we can accommodate you. We regret that anyone failing to inform us of such limitations before the tour will be expected to rotate seats in the same way as everyone else.
There is also other vehicle etiquette that we would like to ask you to adhere to. We give these guidelines to ensure a positive experience for all when on safari:
- Please keep noise levels low at an animal sighting. This allows people to enjoy the setting and listen to sounds that the animals may be making. Often these alert us to some behaviour and allows us to anticipate any action that may occur.
- If you are seated in the front of the vehicle, please have consideration for the people behind you. A pre-arranged chat at the start of the safari is an excellent way to work out how you will be photographing and working around each other. It provides a positive working environment and allows everyone to photograph happily in the vehicle.
- When photographing, keep movement to a minimum. If you are going to shift places, then alert the others and do so as swiftly and directly as possible.
- Please do not do anything to affect the behaviour of the animals.
- Your driver/ranger has to adhere to certain rules and etiquette at sightings that you may not be aware of. This may mean you cannot stop exactly where you would like. Please bear this in mind at sightings, especially when there are other vehicles from other camps around.
For safaris a Digital SLR camera is recommended, with at least a 200mm lens to capture wildlife im- ages. A laptop for downloading is also helpful, although we can download image if necessary. On a Photo tour, two DSLR camera bodies and lenses are advised. The type of lenses you take depend entirely on the destination. We will advise according to each tour should you need advise.
Most of our tours are all inclusive and we offer advice as to what to bring along. This is due to the differ- ent seasons and conditions of each safari. C4 Photo Safaris will always advise if you will be traveling in a Malaria area. If the tour is not all-inclusive, it will be clearly stated.
Each destination is hand picked by us for the beauty and photographic potential it holds. C4 Photo Safaris only travel to destinations that offer the best of what we are looking to photograph. If we know an area holds excellent wildlife, we will take tours there. There are many factors to consider- Seasonal variation can have a large impact on wildlife movements, animal and bird migrations, localalised animal movements etc. We of course take all this into consideration, ensuring that our tours are going to the best locations at the best times.
In most game reserves and wild areas there is no cell/mobile phone reception.
C4 Photo Safaris only operate with lodges and reserves that use the best rangers. They ensure your safety whilst on safari and use very strict procedures when dealing with dangerous animals. Each lodge has a safety briefing on arrival which, if adhered to, makes your stay very safe.
Your normal travel insurance covers you for safaris in Africa. C4 Photo Safaris are comprehensively in- sured for medical emergencies on safaris.
C4 Photo Safaris are not allowed to prescribe medical advice to clients. We will advise if the area visited is in a malaria area. You will need to consult with your local GP for medical advise on Malaria and prevention.
Most safari camps are able to handle food allergies but not with the degree of skill that five star hotels do. The best way to handle an intolerance, is to simply avoid eating that particu- lar food as the menus in camp are quite diverse. If you have a more uncommon allergy, like being allergic to eggs, and you know of a solution (like a powder substitute), then bring it along on sa- fari. If you have a deadly allergy, then be sure to travel with your own medication and request in camp that that ingredient be removed from the kitchen and the store. As a side note, it is helpful to remember that many safari camps have to fly produce in or truck it in, over hundreds of miles. Furthermore, the camps, although impressive looking, actually have minimal infrastructure behind the scenes. If you assist the camp in managing your allergy, it will be a great help.
Please check in with your local travel clinic or doctor for advice. From my experience, a yellow fever and hepatitis vaccination is a must, while the plethora of others are optional. Our safaris are conducted in low risk malarial areas but for your own peace of mind, we recommend that you take a prophylactic. In areas where you get tsetse flies in East Afri- ca, humans are not the primary disease carries, and contracting Tryps is very rare. There is nothing you can do about these flies except to dress appropriately (keep reading) and to apply mosie-guard. None of our current safari destinations carry significant amounts of tsetsi flies. The camps do have medicine kits and there is always an evacuation plan.
We do however find it practical to always travel through Africa with the following items:
- Immodium (keep this handy when traveling)
- Buscopan (for tummy cramps)
- Pain killers (that contain paracetamol and a muscle relaxant)
- Antihistamine cream and tablets for any allergic reactions
- Melatonin to help speedy recovery from jetlag
- Any medicine or ointments that you would normally take at home
- Mosquito repellant
- A product called Mosie-guard for areas where Tsetsi Flies occur (manufactured in the UK and Deet does not work)
- Tweezers for any thorns or splinters
- Re-hydrants sachets (very important)
- Disinfectant or antibiotic cream (just for nicks, cuts or grazes)
- Plasters (to cover nicks, cuts or grazes)
We advise that you only drink bottled water, which is always available in camps. Avoid ice as this is often made from local water which although is generally safe to drink, your foreign tummies might disagree! It is safe to eat fresh produce.
Both East and much of Southern Africa was a British colony and as such, you can expect that type of cuisine. The breakfasts usually consist of cereals and a hot English breakfast. Lunch- es are usually light with a variety of salads and always a meat option. Dinners are traditional English affairs usually with a soup starter and freshly baked camp bread. The main course will usually be a roast of sorts, with vegetables. Dessert is usually a simple affair consisting of fruit or a baked pudding. You will not go hungry! (A side note to mention is that between meals there are often not snacks readily available and breakfast is often only later in the morning. You might want to bring a few snacks or energy bars if you have a problem keeping your sugar levels up.)
The reality is that on any scheduled charters in Africa, there will be luggage restrictions. Short of charter- ing your own flight (which we can do), our advice is to bring only the essential camera equipment. Having too much equipment can actually hinder your photography. Also, you can get washing done in camp and with a fairly moderate to hot climate, you can afford to pack light. In short, bring fewer clothes so that you can bring more camera gear! Depending on the safari you book, we will be able to advise you on exact weight restrictions.
Our tours cover all travel, food and accommodation costs (unless otherwise stated). This means that spending money can be kept to souvenirs, curios and books. This normally amounts to Euro 10.00 per person per day.
C4 Photo Safaris has the full capacity to plan and run commercial photo shoots for professional clients. We are able to supply you with the best guides in the wildlife photography industry as well as organize and run all your ground handling logistics for the shoot. Our knowledge of African travel logistics combined with our specialized knowledge of wildlife and the best places to photograph them, places us in the perfect position to plan and run your commer- cial shoot. Please contact Shem with your request. Additionally we can supply photographers for the shoot where they would work under the production name. On all tours with c4 images and safaris, our guides have the right to take photographs. Their goal is to get you into the right position and tutor you into getting the best photograph. Once they have done so, they have full rights to take their own photographs. The rights of the guides and all of their images remains with the individual guide who took the photographs. No other person has any rights over the photographs taken by a guide representing C4 Photo Safaris.
- Camera bodies
- Body and lens caps
- Plastic zip lock bags
- Filters (UV, Polariser and graduated)
- Battery chargers
- Camera bag
- Digital card wallet
- Cable ties
- Batteries for flash gun
- Big Blower brush
- Sensor cleaning fluid
- Laptop/External hard drive
- Power for external hard drive
- Power adaptors
- Camera manuals
- Tripod head and quick release plate
- Lens cleaning cloth/s
- Camera vest
- Digital memory cards
*You don’t need to own the latest cameras and the longest lenses! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire about rental options.
- ID Documents
- Flight ticket/s
Accommodation and travel
- Foreign exchange
- Credit card/s
Personal items and clothing
- Sunscreen (one low factor and one higher factor SPF)
- Cotton shirts
- Warm top/s
- Wind breaker/rain jacket
- “Inners” thin light gloves to wear on cool early mornings