Wildlife photography: Just Enjoy The Moment

I have had the great privilege of being the resident professional photographer at Governors’ Camps in the Masai Mara since May 2022 and when discussing photography with our guests, I try my best to advise people that there’s a fine line between photographically capturing a moment out in the Mara and simply just enjoying it yourself.  What I mean by that is; I believe it is important to capture the moment on a camera but I also believe it is even more important to enjoy a few particular experiences through your own field of view rather than your camera’s.

“Late one afternoon we found a very large bull elephant grazing in the Musiara marsh area” . Taken on a Nikon D850 with a 70-200mm F2.8 lens.

When traveling on safari it is essential to bring a camera; whether it is your camera, your mobile phone, or a camera you have borrowed from a friend, it is very important to return home with a few memories which you can look back on, remember and discuss with your family and friends.

“A very young Hyena cub came out of the safety of its den to explore its immediate surroundings”.  Taken on a Nikon D850 with a 200-500mm F5.6 lens

For me, capturing a moment or an experience is very important. Obtaining the best pictures possible, whilst enjoying the experience is the ultimate goal.  Something I often mention to our guests and in fact, often remind myself, is to take as many pictures as you can but once you have got what you need, take a moment to sit back and enjoy what’s unfolding in front of you.

“As the Topi pride woke up from resting all afternoon, they used a termite mound as a vantage point to scan the savannah for potential prey”.  Taken on a Nikon D850 with a 70-200mm F2.8 lens

One of the most amazing chances we get whilst viewing wildlife in the Masai Mara is the unbelievable privilege to spend up-close and personal time with many different animals. We get the opportunity to spend time sitting with different species, observing, waiting and watching them go about their daily lives as if we weren’t even there. You will have ample time to take photos and then to just sit and enjoy what’s happening around you. Listening, watching and observing nature and what it presents to us is such an important part of the safari experience, I believe.

“After patiently waiting with ‘Romi’ the leopardess as she rested, we were treated to a beautiful sighting; she decided to use a fallen tree as a vantage point to inspect her surroundings for prey’”.  Taken on a Nikon D850 with a 70-200mm F2.8 lens

All in all, I guess what I’m trying to get at is; take as many photos as you can, and capture every special moment that presents itself. But most importantly, don’t forget to take it all in, enjoy each moment as it comes and allow yourself to watch, listen and use your own, natural field of view.

By Nick Penny, resident photographer for Governors’ Camp Collection. To find out more about a photo safari or an accompanied game drive with any of our resident photographers, please click HERE.



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