Wild4 African Photographic Safaris

Wild4 African Photographic Safaris

Authentic small group photo tours to South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana and Namibia

SEPTEMBER 2015 - Wildlife PANORAMAS - Male Lion, South Africa

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 2nd Sep 2015

Creating panoramic images of Landscapes is a widely used technique - but what about panoramic images of wildlife subjects ?

This is a short article that explains when, how and why you should use this technique if the opportunity to do so arises.

WHEN ?
If you are too close to your subject to fit it in the frame with your telephoto lens then this technique can work for you - yes you can move further away or even use a lens with a zoom, but this is not going to achieve the desired effect.

HOW ?
This technique is achieved by taking VERTICAL images of your subject. Start by first taking an out of focus image of the ground ! - this will then alert you later in Lightroom that it is the start of your sequence from which you will build your panoramic image.

Next - take 3 or 4 images of your subject, making sure that a part of the image in your first shot overlaps a part of the image in the next and so on until you have taken all the shots you need - also make sure that you leave space on the left and on the right of the subject.

At the end of the sequence take another out of focus shot of the ground so that you know where your sequence ends.

> In Lightroom CC - select the images you want to use - and then enable the LENS CORRECTION option for the lens you have used.

> then use the "PANORAMA" option in the "PHOTO MERGE" menu - your images will be merged into a panorama.

> ** Note that it is recommended that you take these images in MANUAL MODE to guarantee that all the images have exactly the same EXPOSURE

WHY ?
The main reason for this technique is so that you can create an image of your subject that has a really good "bokeh"... the effect of the "bokeh" is improved because you are closer to your subject. Moving further back would help you fit the animal into your frame without having to create a panoramic image, but the "bokeh" will also be affected and the background will become more distracting.

In photography, bokeh is the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens. - it is a Japanese word meaning "blur" - wikipedia

EXAMPLE 1:
In this first example I took 4 images as quickly as I could hoping that the subject did not move a significant amount.

Settings:
MANUAL MODE
1/200 sec @ f4 ISO 400 white balance 5200K - for all images

1)


2)


3)


4)


THE FINAL RESULT:



EXAMPLE 2:

Just to show the incredible power and versatility of the new lightroom Panorama feature, I created this next example with 3 of the images from EXAMPLE 1 and a single image taken when the Lion yawned.

I had to first modify two of the original images as there was too much of the Lions head in each of these two images.

Here you will see how I cropped off part of the face so as not to make it the prominent feature in the image. My reason for this is beacuse I wanted to insert the yawning image in between the two, and wanted to make the yawning image the most prominent of them all. The Panorama software stitched the images into a panorama of a yawning Lion.


1) I first cropped off the right hand side of the 1st original image




2) I also cropped off a bit of the left hand side of the 3rd original image




3) This image of the Lion yawning replaced original image no 2




4) I did nothing to the original image no 4




THE FINAL RESULT:

The software did an amazing job of stitching together these 4 images into the final yawning shot below:

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1 Comment

  • Lovely to be “too close”.  Great idea to get the wonderful stitched combo with the crops.

    Witta Priester - May 25th, 2016 at 5:38pm

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Testimonials Shopping for a travel adventure on the Web is somewhat risky, but when I wanted to go on an African photo safari, I really had no choice. I looked around and finally picked Wild4 Photographic Safaris for one reason: the vehicle. It was obvious that this was an outfit that understood photographic details and the needs of serious wildlife photographers. With a capacity for 10 passengers, the vehicle takes just three photographers. The three photographers' benches feature platforms to steady big lenses on both sides of the vehicle, and loads of storage space and pockets for lenses, bodies, accessories, binoculars, field guides, water, etc. I can not imagine a better platform for photography in the bush veldt. What is not as obvious in the on-line description is that the vehicle comes equipped with Stu Porter, the Wild4 owner and guide. Stu, who bears a striking resemblance to movie actor Matt Damon, is a deceptively shy young man with an encyclopaedic knowledge of Kruger National Park, its animals, geography, geology, climate, seasons, and, of course, rules. He also has the eyes of an eagle and is the best leopard spotter in South Africa. Stu's knowledge and patience are seemingly infinite, and he somehow manages to be aware both of his passengers' needs and everything around us. He does everything humanly possible to give you the opportunity to get the best shot. And if you need more than just the opportunity, he can instruct even the most seasoned photographer on technique. Stu grew up next to Kruger National Park, and his mother (who does the meal preparation for the safari) started taking him there as soon as he was old enough. He has been accumulating his knowledge of the park and its animals all his life, and that comes in very handy when you need to know something about animal behavior. In short, Wild4 Photographic Safaris is all about the vehicle, with spacious seats, shooting platforms and Stu Porter as standard equipment. You can't do better. Thank you, Stu!

George Cathcart, USA


Testimonials We just got back from our first trip to Kenya, our third trip with the Wild 4 Team. We would not consider doing an African photo safari with anyone else. As usual, Justyna did a great job with the bookings and paperwork. Stu and our drivers (James, Julius and Mamai) did a fantastic job on game sightings and positioning our trucks for the best possible photo opportunities. Members of our safari got to see and photograph animals from Aardwolf to Zebra. It was truly a trip of a lifetime. Time to start planning our 4th safari with the the Wild 4 Team!

Michael & Toni Anderson, USA