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Pointers by Paul's Photo

Lessons from Africa: People

Here’s the third in a series of lessons learned on Creative Photo Academy’s Kenya Photo Safaris in 2023. In the history of photography Humans are the most interesting and most famous subject. Looking at the top 100 photos of all time Humans are by far the most captured subject. On Safari in Africa, and virtually every travel destination, photos of people are a golden and often missed opportunity. What people do we capture? Your travel companions as well as the local people doing what they do! Let’s explore adding the humane element to our Safari and travel photos….

Lesson #1

Snap creative photos of your travel crew in action.

Your fellow travelers, friends and family on Safari are an obvious subject. Capturing them interacting with the local people and animals captures a great memory. Sharing where you are, what you are doing is your prime responsibility as a travel photographer. Look for unique moments, creative framing and perfect light to make the most memorable picture.

Lesson #2

Candid photos of local people can make award winning images!

The people who inhabit your favorite travel destination make it special! Photos of the locals in Africa are most often interesting and will generate questions and win awards.  Your guide pointing out the wildlife, local farmers tending their crops, villagers singing and dancing are easy photos to achieve, and quite rewarding. A wide to normal lens is often right tool to show the subject in the scene. Choose a fast shutter speed to freeze the action and a medium aperture to hold focus into the background.

Lesson #3

Share intimate portraits of the people you meet.

Whenever you are on safari or traveling there are moments with the local people where you make a connection. Capturing that moment with a portrait can be priceless! Engage your subject, position them with an attractive or neutral background and control the light on their face. Choose a medium telephoto lens (80 to 120mm) with a wide aperture (2.8 or 4) for success. Your portrait will be a great memory for you, and your subject. Be sure to re-connect with your subject and send their beautiful photo.

Simba Marara Expeditions and Creative Photo Academy are preparing our next Photo Safari to Tanzania in February 2024. Join us on an amazing adventure to capture the wonderful wildlife in Ngorongoro Crater, the Serengeti and one of Mark’s favorite Safari Lodge at Lake Ndutu.  Cap the experience off with amazing visits to the Endulen Market, Maasai Village, Datoga Blacksmith and Village and Hadzabe Village.  We will capture stunning wildlife and people photos. Our team will guide you to the best locations in comfort and with style. Every Adventure features fantastic opportunities to see the animals, make stunning photos and learn about their behavior. We hope you will join us in Africa, or Yosemite, Death Valley or Yellowstone!