Things to Avoid in Nature Photography

Can images really show the beauty of wild animals or the colors of an African sunset? Exceptional photographs give you a glimpse of nature. But even these excellent images don’t show all that’s out there. We can simply try our best.

By avoiding these mistakes I transformed the outcome of my photos.

Bad Backgrounds

Calm yourself.

I know you’re excited about the subject of your photograph. But the subject is surrounded with other features.

If you don’t take them into account you’ll regret it.

A busy background can attract attention. Whoever views the image may not even notice what you want him or her to see.

Make sure branches and grass don’t steal attention away from your subject. Because of positioning it may seem as if a branch is growing out of a lion’s ear. That’s not what you want people to focus on. Adjust your position or distance so your background complements the rest of the image.


If you don’t have patience yet animals will help you discover it.

Wildlife models follow their own schedules and minds. You can’t tell them what to do.

Patience links with expectation. If you think you’ll capture the perfect image you’ll often be disappointed. The greatest photographers know it takes time.

You may have to camp out if you really want an exceptional photograph. Pitch your tent and wait for:

  • The perfect sunset
  • The animal feeding a baby
  • The animal being killed
  • The bird flying at an angle that gives you a great shot

Are you prepared for this much effort?

Lack of Respect

Humans have a responsibility to look after nature. Not all of us take up that responsibility.

As a photographer who uses natural spaces you should respect your outdoor office. Make sure you don’t leave residue such as litter or other garbage.

Your choices determine whether others can enjoy the same beauty in future.

A Tiny Subject

It’s tough to approach a wild animal – they are easily spooked. Because of this, many wildlife photos have more wilderness than wildlife, with the animal becoming a tiny speck in its environment. This can be effective in some situations, but for the most part you want the animal to be large enough in the frame to see the detail in its eyes. This is where a good telephoto lens can really help you out. Using a long focal length (over 200mm) will allow you to keep your distance while still filling the frame.

The Missed Moment

We’ve all been there. You see the perfect shot, frame it, and hit the shutter. But by the time the camera focuses and the exposure is made, the animal has moved and all you end up with is the second after the perfect shot.

There are two ways to avoid this heartbreak:


This is a skill that can only come with practice and a keen eye. If you can learn to see when the perfect moment is about to happen, rather than when it is happening, you can hit the shutter right before the peak moment and cause the camera to snap at just the right time.

Continuous Shooting

When animals are in motion, you’ll get the best chance at a good result by using continuous shooting mode (also called “drive mode” or “burst mode”). With this, you can take several images per second and choose the most successful.

Higher-end DSLRs and mirrorless cameras will have a much faster maximum shooting speed, but no matter which camera you have, there are a few things that will help get the highest continuous shooting rate.

Animal Attack!

We don’t call it “wildlife” for nothing – the biggest mistake you can make is accidentally getting mauled. Animals are not adjusted to polite society, and can be pretty rough customers if you catch them at the wrong time, or in the wrong way. They spend most of their waking lives foraging for food, and a spat over a meal can turn ugly, fast. Never get in the way of lunch, unless you want to take its place.

Don’t approach a wild animal directly, and if they see you, avoid looking them in the eye. This is usually a sign of aggression. If you need to get closer, keep low and move in a broad zig-zag pattern to avoid frightening the animal.

Be aware of when mating season (or “rutting season”) is for the type of animal you’ll be photographing. Male mammals are full of testosterone at this time of year, and can be aggressive, violent, and very dangerous. Avoid photographing at these times. Similarly, find out when animals are likely to be giving birth and raising their young. We all know how risky it can be to get in between a mama bear and her cubs. Whenever you’re dealing with wildlife, always remember that any creature can be dangerous when provoked, and it’s very important to treat animals and their habitat with the utmost care and respect.

Blurry Image

Blur comes in many forms. Your entire image could be blurry due to camera shake; a problem which is magnified by the longer focal lengths needed for wildlife photography.

In landscape photography, using a tripod is a good technique to prevent camera shake, but a tripod is not as practical when photographing wildlife. Wildlife photography requires a more active shooting style – you’ll be moving around constantly – so unless you are using a lens that is too big to hold comfortably, forget the tripod. Also, because the animals are always in motion, you’ll need a fast shutter speed anyway. That leads me to the first method to combat camera shake blur: using a very fast shutter speed.

In landscape photography, you normally use a shutter speed that is at least 1/focal length of your lens. But usually that isn’t going to be fast enough when photographing wildlife because the animals are always in motion (even when they appear to be standing still). To avoid disappointment, you’ll need to use a much faster shutter speed to freeze both your own motion and the motion of the animal. Here is my rule of thumb when photographing wildlife: if the animal appears to be still, use a shutter speed of 1/500th of a second. If the animal is moving, you’ll have to adjust the shutter speed based on how fast they are moving. I suggest a minimum of 1/1,000th of a second, or faster if the animal is moving faster.

Lack of Knowledge

Professional photographers study their subjects. It’s the only way to showcase the best features. This applies to children, food and buildings.

If you want exceptional wildlife photographs you must know what’s coming.

Animal behavior is unpredictable but you can learn traits and general features:

  • Which animals love sun bathing?
  • What time of the day do animals feed?
  • What trees attract the most birds?

These answers tell you where and when to sit & wait—yes patience—for the perfect shot.

This may also save your life. If you’re not accustomed to working with wildlife you may take too many risks. Wild animals’ unpredictability may result in dangerous situations.

Do you know:

  • What a safe distance is
  • How animals act when they’re frustrated
  • What they will do to protect their young

Make sure your lack of knowledge doesn’t bring harm to you or others.

All the best to the African wildlife.

what mistake you experience on wildlife photography?

blog Courtesy by: John Stuart and  Anne McKinnell

Wildlife Photography

Ten Tips to Get Started in Wildlife Photography

1. Know your subject.

Understanding Wildlife Photography behavior is key to being a good wildlife photographer, especially when your subjects are wildlife. Research and observation will give you a greater chance of capturing an interesting moment than just walking by and snapping a photo.

2. Know your gear

Don’t be discouraged by not having the most professional photography equipment. The best camera is the one you have with you. When you know the pros and cons of your gear you’ll be able to take advantage of what is possible with what you have, and be prepared when the moment arises.

3. Get up early

The best light for outdoor photography occurs an hour after sunrise, and an hour before sunset. In my experience the best time to have wildlife encounters is early morning.

4. Go Prone

Low to the ground is usually a great angle to photograph wildlife. Try laying down, or other angles that might seem awkward at the time. You will be impressed with the difference it makes.

5. Be Patient

One of the things I love about photography is the instant gratification I get from an awesome shot. Wildlife takes a little more time to get that shot. Take the time to follow tip 1 and observe your subjects behavior to be ready. Frustration can get the best of you if you miss a perfect moment, brush it off and remind yourself you’re getting better as a photographer because of it.

6. Find your style

Rather than just framing your subject within the photo, try shooting wider and closer and see what style you prefer. Although I can’t always get as close as I’d like without owning a massive 600mm lens, I prefer close shots; especially of insects and flowers.

7. Be Considerate

Setting up a shot is one thing – but being cruel to the wildlife you are admiring is another. Using playback (playing a bird call) to attract subjects is generally frowned upon and in my opinion makes photography less enjoyable. Have lines drawn in the sand for what you’re willing to do for the perfect shot and stick to it. For me I will move small subjects like insects or amphibians, to a nearby location (like a rock or leaf) but I will never put them in danger or handle them excessively.

8. Plan your shot

If you want to capture a moment in a unique way – be prepared with the right settings. I’ve been caught off guard when I wanted to capture the movement of a frog jumping with a slow shutter but it leaped before I expected, and my camera was still set to a fast shutter speed. Know what you want to capture before it happens.

9. Enjoy Yourself

Don’t forget to enjoy your time in nature. I bring my camera everywhere but sometimes I’m out and just want to take it in without a lens in front of me. Don’t feel bad that you’re missing out; any experience in nature will make you a better wildlife photographer.

10. Get Inspired

Visit Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit to see some amazing wildlife photography from around the world.

How Long Do Brakes Last?

There’s nothing more important on a car than properly functioning brakes. It’s a safety issue, and it’s also about confidence: Feeling that your brakes aren’t up to the task of stopping your car is plain unnerving. You don’t need the stress. But how long do brakes last? And when should you replace them? Luckily, there are a few easy ways to know when it’s time to get your brakes checked or replaced.

Why Brake Pads Wear

Disc brakes slow and stop your car by using brake calipers (they’re like large, adjustable clamps) to squeeze brake pads (they look a little like hockey pucks sawed in half) against the brake discs, also known as rotors (Frisbee-sized metal discs). When you push the brake pedal, it causes the calipers to clamp down on the brake pads, which squeeze the rotors, transferring the kinetic energy of your car into thermal energy—heat—via friction. The friction created is what cuts the speed and brings your car to a halt. As the pads rub against the rotors, they both wear down slowly; the black dust you see on the wheels of some cars is the residue from the pad material and steel rotor that has worn off. Brake pads are an integral part of your car’s disc-braking system, and making sure they are in good condition is crucial to your safety.

How to Know If Your Brakes Are Worn Out

Disc brakes generally give a few clear indications that it’s time for a brake job. The first is something you can hear: Once brake pads are worn to the point of needing replacement, a thin metal strip in the pads will make a screeching noise or squeal when you apply the brakes. The noise is generally audible when the windows are up, but it may be masked by loud music or other environmental noise. However, not all cars have this feature, which is called a mechanical brake-wear sensor or a brake scraper, so check to see if yours does.

If you hear a scraping or a deeper grinding noise, it could well be that the brake pads have worn down to their metal backing plates and that those plates are being squeezed directly against the steel brake discs. This is dangerous. It reduces your stopping power significantly; your brakes won’t slow the vehicle adequately or possibly not at all if you let this go on for any length of time. This situation will also destroy your brake discs and possibly cause the brake system to fail entirely. Have any squealing or grinding noises checked immediately.

Conduct a Visual Check

A second way to know that it’s time to replace brakes is to visually check them. Look through the wheel spokes. You just might be able to see the outboard brake pad, where it touches the brake disc. If you can see it, make sure there is at least a quarter inch of material on the brake pad. If there is less, you should have the brakes checked; most likely, they’ll need to be replaced. If you can’t see the pad by looking through the spokes, then jack up the car, remove a front wheel, and check for pad wear. Bolt the wheel back on, jack up the rear of the car, remove a rear wheel, and check a rear brake as well. You’ll probably need a trouble light or flashlight to see the pads clearly in the dark fender wells. (If you want to be thorough, check all four brakes.)

What is often a simple pad replacement can turn into a far costlier and more complicated brake job if you find the pads worn and then ignore the situation. As noted above, if the pads have completely worn down, you will soon hear a grinding sound that means the pads’ backing plates are making contact with the brake rotors. If that happens, get ready to pay big bucks; you’ll need to replace chewed-up brake discs.

Other Indicators of Brake Issues

There are other symptoms of brake trouble that don’t involve wear to the brake pads. If your brakes don’t stop as readily as they used to, and if the pedal feels mushy, rather than firm, or slowly sinks toward the floor, there’s likely another problem. This could be water or air in the brake fluid, a fluid leak in the system, or a failing brake master cylinder.

If your car pulls to one side during braking, the brakes may be wearing unevenly, there might be a leak in one of the brake lines, or you might have an issue with your steering or front suspension that’s unrelated to brakes. If you feel a vibration or pulsation in the brake pedal during normal braking, this means your rotors are warped and require truing to smooth them out—or possibly replacement. If you’ve been driving aggressively or using the brakes hard while descending a mountain road, this brake roughness might abate when the brakes cool. If the vibration or pulsing continues, that is another sign they need to be inspected.

Some Brakes Wear Faster

Certain environments and driving situations cause brakes to wear at a faster rate. If you live in a mountainous area such Uluguru, Mbeya, Same-Gonja your brakes may wear quicker than if you lived in the flatlands of the Zanzibar. You’ll want to check your brakes more frequently.

There’s no more important a component on your car than your brakes, and now you know what to look and listen for to ensure they keep working properly. By being proactive in maintaining them, you’ll save you money in the long run, and you’ll stay safe.

Not at all during safari and but also thu your  daily drive,take a precaution.We need to be care full.Have a good time.

4x4 Safari

5 Tips from Look Tanzania 4×4 Safari

Game drive and adventure are tasteful and most memorable experiences ever.It taught that there is no substitute for proper research, planning and preparation before a trip. Despite better communications and much of the infrastructure measurably improved in wildlife in Tanzania, many of the lessons we learned then are still appropriate.

  1. Plan your route

Plan your route carefully and then make adequate provision for contingencies. Four-wheel drive vehicles are notoriously slow, so ensure that your stops are not too far apart and that you allow sufficient time to set up camp in the evenings. Having an itinerary makes it far easier to schedule fuel stops and to know when to top up on water and provisions, but do build in some flexibility for unexpected stops or detours, both of the emergency and exploratory kind.

  1. Travel light

Just as important as planning your route is the decision on what you need to take along for the trip. Most people who have been on a 4×4 safari will tell you that they took far too much with them.. Unless you are travelling way off the beaten track, provisions can generally be procured in most outlying areas. What you do need to consider is the little luxuries that may be harder to find the further you venture away from civilisation. It is probably wise to purchase your favourite beverages, dairy products, good meat, condiments and toiletries, before you leave the last city or big town.

  1. Modify your vehicle  

Experience taught that while you may go a long way in a standard 4×4, your safari will be a lot more enjoyable if your vehicle is fitted with the appropriate accessories.

First is the addition of a long-range fuel tank; safer and far more convenient than the option of carrying jerry cans on those long trips. The same goes for a fitted water tank; so much more suitable than plastic bottles and the water tastes better as well.  A sturdy aluminium roof rack will provide a solid platform for your folding tents, enabling you to comfortably sleep in a more secure environment.

A high-lift jack and a shovel can be secured outside the vehicle, as can one or two brackets to hold your gas bottles. As a precaution for travel on dusty roads, we have fitted snorkels to our 4×4 vehicle.  An air compressor, concealed in the engine compartment, will be invaluable when you need to inflate your tyres. Added bush/crash bars to vehicles as well as spotlights for driving, with a small rear fitted lamp for use in the camp. Installed dual battery systems in vehicle advisable.

Other items that we would recommend you to carry in a vehicle include a good quality GPS system. For our 4×4 vehicles, we have the Garmin Montana 600 GPS loaded with Tracks 4 Africa maps. Based on experience a fire-extinguisher is an absolute necessity, as is a comprehensive first-aid kit.

Finally, a good set of tools and recovery equipment is a must have. For those really challenging trips we would recommend adding a winch to the vehicle.

  1. Prepare your vehicle

Before you depart on your 4×4 safari, make sure that your vehicle has been adequately prepared for the journey you have planned. Aside from the obvious, like ensuring that your vehicle has been serviced, tyre pressures checked and fuel and water tanks filled, it is also advisable to test all of the accessories to ensure that they function correctly. Turn on the fridge/freezer unit, check that the air-compressor is working, fill the gas bottle/s, lock or fasten all of the loose items outside of the vehicle. Finally, make sure that all necessary moveable accessories have been stored in the vehicle, i.e. recovery gear, toolbox, etc.

  1. Know your equipment

It is a futile and highly frustrating exercise to arrive in the bush with equipment that you are unfamiliar with. For a start, make sure that you know how to rig and dismantle your tent, roof-top or otherwise. It may be a simple thing, If you’re fairly new to the game, be sure to learn how to operate a four-wheel drive vehicle, when to use high and low range and how to drive in thick sand. Other techniques to master include the use of a high-lift jack. For example, it is particularly important to stay well clear when you lower it in order to avoid being injured.