Snapping the Perfect, Up-Close Action Shot in the African Bush

by Sandy Salle on April 3, 2012

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Sadly, we can’t all be fabulous wildlife photographers and videographers like those who film Planet Earth and National Geographic documentaries . . . Right? Well, not necessarily! Camtraps are the perfect way to snap the best wildlife photographs in the field.

Signaled by movement, Camtraps allow you to take pictures of wildlife at close proximity while enabling you to stay out of harm’s way. All you have to do is set the camera up appropriately and wait for the perfect shots to come to you.

With the right wildlife photography tips, you’ll be snapping up-close shots of leopards in action, lion cubs tumbling about, exotic birds in flight, and lions on the prowl in no time.

Below are some wildlife photography tips for the amateur photographers out there:

Patience is definitely a virtue! Without a sense of patience, you will never get that perfect shot. All exceptional photographers possess the uncanny ability to wait for that once-in-a -lifetime moment. It could take months to get that perfect shot—sometimes even years. The great thing about Camtraps is that you don’t have to actually take the shots. Your camera will automatically snap shots with movement.

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It’s all in the placement. When placing your camera in the field, make sure you do your research on where residential wildlife congregate. Some of the most frequented spots are watering holes. It’s also a smart idea to analyze your surroundings when finding the perfect place to prop your camera. Look for animal prints, droppings, and any other signs that signal animal activity—any of these telltale signs signify that there is animal activity and that you will likely have success in that location.

Mount it. Depending on how large your subject will be, place the camera at the right height from the ground, mounting it in place on a stake. Take a few test shots to ensure that it’s at the right height. You also want to be certain that you are not too far from where your subject will be. This can take some trial and error sessions; so if you set up your camera one day and get bad shots, adjust the distance and / or height of your camera.

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Clear the area. Make sure you don’t get any false movement shots due to swaying vegetation. Clear out the area in front of your camera so that no vegetation sways in front of your camera and signals a shot.

Properly house your camera. Make sure you protect your camera from the natural elements (wind, rain, and even curious critters!) by purchasing a protective outer shell for your camera.

Use the right camera. Be sure to choose a camera with a fast shutter and trigger speed so that animals in mid action are caught clearly. The Cabelas brand has some of the best cameras for camtraps.

Does the subject of photography interest you? Let us know and we’ll be sure to feature more posts on African wildlife photography!

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