Phototips

I have created a series of books, interactive CD-ROMs and interactive PDFs. To find out more, visit www.phototips.co.za.

Phototrips

I lead photographic workshops to various destinations, including South Africa, Botswana and Kenya.

Telephoto lens

A telephoto lens is any lens that magnifies the subject, i.e. a lens longer than 85mm. Telephoto lenses are divided into further subtypes, namely: medium telephoto lenses and super telephoto lenses. Beginner tip A telephoto lens is a necessity for wildlife...

Balancing the white

White balance refers to the colour temperature setting of your camera. Beginner tip Use the automatic white balance setting. Today’s cameras are very accurate when it comes to white balance. If your camera makes a mistake, you can always fix it on the computer (just...

Wide angle lens

A wide angle lens is any lens shorter than 50mm. If you attach a wide angle lens to your camera, everything will look smaller than the reality. A wide angle lens is used mostly for landscapes and scenery. Beginner tip Don’t be intimidated by other people’s big lenses....

Contrasting light – the no-go zone

The light during the middle of a sunny day in Africa is often too contrasting for photography. If you try to photograph under these circumstances, the light will appear harsh and the shadows will appear as black holes in the image. Follow the example of the animals...

Aperture priority is the priority

The most practical shooting mode for nature photography is one of the semi-automatic modes: Program, Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority. Beginner tip If you are only starting out, don’t worry too much about the exposure settings on the camera: concentrate on taking...

Medium telephoto lens

A medium telephoto lens is a lens between 85mm and 200mm. Beginner tip The first lens you should purchase to take wildlife photographs with is a medium telephoto lens. If your budget allows, buy a lens that is fast, i.e. f2.8 or f4. With a fast lens, you can use a...

Camera – the time freezer

It can slice through time – even the hardest of times. It can fuel memories. It can freeze anything – even fire. Cameras for all types Digital cameras come in four types: point-and-shoot, advanced compact, single-lens reflex (SLR) and camera phone. Beginner tip When...

Standard lens – boring or brilliant?

A standard lens is 50mm and a standard zoom lens is typically 35-70mm. These are the lenses usually sold with SLR cameras. The magnification perspective of a standard lens is the closest to that of the human eye. Beginner tip Use the lens that came with the camera....

Graduated neutral density (ND) filter – the leveller

A graduated neutral density filter is a filter that is half dark and half clear. It can normally be attached to the front of the lens with a lens holder, so that the position of the filter can be changed relative to the lens. Graduated ND filters are used to eliminate...

Evaluating metering modes

A metering mode is the method in which the camera light meter determines the correct exposure. You can generally choose between multi-zone, partial, spot or centre-weighted metering modes. The difference between multi-zone and the rest is that with this setting the...