by Udo Kieslich, senior lecturer at the College of Digital Photography
Prepare an equipment checklist – this will help make sure you don’t forget essentials like tripod, lenses, extension tubes, batteries, filters, memory cards, flash, Lenspen, camera manual etc.
Be prepared – always have your camera and lenses ready, and make sure all your equipment is working. The night before your game drive check / reset your camera settings (White Balance, ISO, exposure compensation, file size, quality setting). Make sure your equipment is clean and that the batteries are fully charged. Always have spare memory cards and ideally even a storage device to download your images onto. You can never predict when something amazing might happen.
Be patient – it is very difficult to speed up or slow down nature, and without patience you will struggle to get good results. You often need to remain very still for an extended period of time before the animal starts behaving naturally. Very occasionally you’ll capture something unique at your first sighting of the animal, but most of the time you just have to be patient.
Research the area you’ll be visiting – check the sunrise and sunset times so you can decide on the optimum locations for each time of the day.
Photograph normal behaviour – wildlife photography does not always have to be of spectacular animal behaviour. Just seeing normal animal behaviour in a natural environment can make a great photograph.