Michael Laubscher - Wild Eye - Wildlife Photography

Wait for it!

Michael Laubscher All Authors, Michael 2 Comments

I’m sure we all know that feeling when you set out on that first safari of the trip. You feel the need to snap away at the first animal you see regardless of its activity.

It is important to fight this feeling. You do not want to spend hours during or after you trip deleting all the images that are not worth keeping such as twenty similar images of sleeping lions.

You want to create images that either tell a story or gets the viewer thinking.


General movements of animals is a good start.

Try and capture an image that shows your audience that the animal was moving.



Follow the animal and push the shutter when you see the animal picks up its paws, hooves, feet or when it jumps.

An experienced guide or a personal general knowledge of the wildlife in the area that you are in will always help to predict the animals next move and to create that image you want.




Elephants are animals that spend great time dust or water bathing during warmer days.


Lions always have a watchful eye on vultures circling in the sky or that are perched up in the tree.


As with most animals, after a nap, a series of yawning will happen and movement will follow.


Hippo in water that is not deep enough for them will often spray up water with their nostrils so that the mist keeps their head and back moist.


A bird on a perch will eventually take off, this will definitely test your patience.


Birds on the hunt are good ones to follow as they have to throw their meal up into the air in order to eat it.


Wait for a sly oxpecker to whisper into its hosts ear.

Thirsty animals are good animals to be around. When capturing them, timing is crucial. Wait for that animal to lap up the water or to flick off the water from its lips.




Keep your eyes open for any tension that might be building.

Aggressive behaviour always allows for a good story in an image. You just need to wait for the right time to capture it.

blog2-6 blog2-7

The true cat comes out in lions at meal times! Fighting, hissing and snarling is a given so keep your eyes open and the camera ready.


Waterbuck are very aggressive and territorial animals so the presence of females usually gets the boys blood boiling.


A number of hippo in a small body of water often leads to a splash around.

A good, fun and sometimes interesting way, probably one of my favourite ways in capturing the “action” shot is to spend time with the youngsters.

They are a bundle of energy so when around them, always be ready!


Young predators, particularly leopards spend lots of time stalking their mothers. This teaches them the skills of hunting. SO… wait for the leap!


Lions; the only social cat in the world have to work on their social bond everyday. Young lions will do this in a very playful manner so just wait for it.


For what reason I have NO idea, rhino calves suddenly jump into action with no obvious reason. The rhino in the image above ran to and from my vehicle for about twenty minutes non stop while mom was feeding. This gave me ample time to capture an image with all four of its feet in the air and a small cloud of dust.

I know it is tempting to just let that shutter run. I am, at times a sucker for it as well. Excitement and adrenaline gets the better of all of us. All I will say and what you have to continuously tell yourself is… WAIT FOR IT!

Until next time!

Happy snapping!


About the Author

Michael Laubscher


Haunted by the allure of spectacular wildlife and African sunsets. I am a hunter-gatherer of natural light and candid moments, an appetite whet with a taste of the unknown and the smell of home; “This Is Africa”! I look forward to sharing life long experiences with you and helping you capture them. Please feel free to go check out my Instagram account

Share this Post

Comments 2

  1. Pingback: Wait for it! - Africa Freak

  2. Pingback: Two Tips That Will Improve Your Photography - Wild Eye

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *