Trip report: Wildlife Photography course 14-16 July 2017

Johan van Zyl All Authors, Johan 4 Comments

To many people out there, the idea of Wildlife Photography, albeit a very romantic one, is usually very intimidating.  We hear all these big words of Exposures, ISO’s, Apertures and not matter how much research we do on the internet, there is just no logical explanation as to what all these things mean and do.

Recently I hosted another Wildlife Photography workshop at Cheetah Ridge in Nambiti Private Game Reserve.  Shortly after meeting Thalia, Des, Ande and Lindsey (our guests for the course) we had a quick introduction of everyone; what it is they would like to get out of the course and what they are struggling with etc, before it was time to start the first presentation.

The first presentation is most probably one of the aspects in photography that people struggle with most, the creative elements.  We worked through various subjects such as: Visual Mass, how much your eye is drawn to an image, the rule of thirds and placement of your subject in the frame.  All these elements play a vital role in the general feel of your image.

The second presentation revolved around the technical elements in photography, the ISO’s, Shutter Speeds, Aperture etc.  With camera’s in hand, everyone was able to see the results of changing different settings, using different modes and how all these elements compliment each other.  It usually is a lot of information to take in, but with our small groups, each and every individual receives personal attention to whatever elements they might be struggling with.

During the duration of the course there are four game drives where you can practice everything that has been covered during the presentations, and it was so rewarding hearing everyone come to grips with their settings and the results that would be achieved.

The beautiful winters night sky meant that on our last evening at Cheetah Ridge there was time to do some astro photography, which again, seems to be very intimidating to a lot of people.  Whilst at the lodge, we dialled in our settings on Manual Mode, grabbed our tripods and explored they breathtaking night sky just outside Cheetah Ridge.  The amazement on everyones faces and the excitement of what they have just created is most probably the single element about my job that I enjoy the most.  Knowing that you have just helped people create something that they have been wanting to do for ages.  Knowing you’ve installed a passion for people, a hobby that can mean so much to a lot of us.

Here are some of the beautiful images created by Des Van Tonder:  IG @desdot_imagery

We believe that Wildlife Photography should not be an intimidating prospect and you don’t need the latest and greatest lenses to join our courses or Safaris.  It is about enjoying the experience of Wildlife Photography, playing with your creative mind, and creating something that is yours.

There is still some space on our September course, why not join me and allow us to change the way you see your photography.


About the Author

Johan van Zyl


The opportunity of visiting some of the wildest, undisturbed areas and sharing my passion for wildlife, conservation and photography with like minded people is a privilege that I am forever grateful.

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