Wednesday, January 17, 2007
From national parks to foreign lands, travel means new places and new sights for your camera. Here are tips on bringing home your best travel shots ever.
The New Safari Lens: Today, the staple safari lens is the small and light 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 lens. On a digital SLR with a 1.5x magnification factor, it acts like the old standard 300mm did on a 35mm film camera, but with zoom flexibility. Teleconverters can still be used to reach out with more power, and all this with image stabilization in some brands.
The Compact Camera Alternative: For photographers who want to bring along the most compact, yet still powerful package, the compact, digital, large-zoom cameras with all-in-one designs include 10-12x zooms. Together, camera and lens are smaller than most digital SLR bodies alone.
Easy Targets: Animals in most popular safari parks are habituated to the presence of tourist vehicles. Strong telephotos can be too strong for them at times. Make sure you have some medium focal-length zooms to back off, and take scenic portraits that include the spectacular landscape features of wild Africa.
Going Light Is A Plus: Air routes to East Africa may involve multiple stops and/or plane changes. If you can whittle down all your luggage to carry-on limits, you can travel with the peace of mind that you'll arrive at your destination with everything you started with. East Africa has mild temperatures throughout the year, so light clothes make this packing goal easy to achieve.
Shooting And Saving: Safaris are trips of a lifetime, so plan to take hundreds of photographs. Use the largest-capacity memory cards you can afford. Carry a solution for downloading, viewing and backing up, whether it's a small laptop or a photo viewer/hard drive (such as the Epson P-4000 Multimedia Storage Viewer).
Power In The Bush: Most safari lodges have electricity for recharging batteries, if not by outlet in your room, then by power strips in the common areas. Otherwise, many safari vehicles have 12V lighter outlets where automobile-type charging devices can be used. The best insurance is carrying extra camera batteries.
• 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 zoom
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