Kilimanjaro Safari Photography

Discussion in 'Photography Board' started by Justplainmk, May 13, 2013.

  1. Justplainmk

    Justplainmk Earning My Ears

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    This will only be my second visit to Disney World and I'm absolutely obsessed. I am an amateur photographer so I am excited to out my skills to the test. However, the last time I was there I did not have a chance to ride Kilimanjaro Safari (my family and I got so swept up in the excitement of just being there I think we forgot!). I was wondering how the animals are located and how good are my photo chances? I have a canon rebel t3i, and I also have a zoom lens as well. Are the animals far enough away that I would need extra zoom to get good shots? How bumpy is the ride? Is it even safe to bring my camera?
     
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  3. ThurlFan

    ThurlFan Grim Ghost

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    The ride is very bumpy in places, but not to the point it presents a hazard to your equipment :thumbsup2

    I would absolutely recommend the zoom lens for sure (I bring my 55-250 on my XSi), but be aware that you'll want a fast shutter speed and use the image stabilization if you have it on your lens. Also be aware that you will have to be quick on the draw for many of the animals. Although the drivers do slow down when they can, often times by the time you recognize a shot you want the driver is either turning or speeding up and the opportunity is gone.

    Since it's your first time on the safari, I'd say try to enjoy the ride. The elephants are usually good for some quality pictures, and when the driver talks about the baobab trees and termite mounds you can usually get some good wide savannah shots as well as trying to zoom in on the giraffes and antelope/gazelle critters. I find the 55-250 gives me good versatility in zoom range. Most likely there won't be animals close enough that you'd need to be wider than 50mm on that camera.

    Have fun! :banana:
     
  4. nbaresejr

    nbaresejr Mouseketeer

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    It is very safe to bring your t3i. I took my t2i with me last month and used my 70-200L in the photos below. I have tons more at home and need to upload them soon.

    I rode 2 times on 2 seperate days. The left side of the truck seemed to be better for animals. I rode 1 on the far left and 1 on the far right. The 1st image is from riding on the right side and the 2nd is from riding on the far left.

    The ride is bumpy but the drivers stop when there is a good photo op.

    [​IMG]
    Baby Giraffe by nickbarese, on Flickr

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    The Lion Sleeps Today by nickbarese, on Flickr
     
  5. Revan

    Revan Mouseketeer

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    I'd say more than anything make sure you are sitting on either end of the bench seat.
     
  6. Cafeen

    Cafeen DIS Veteran

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    As others have said, it IS bumpy, but you should be able to maintain a decent grip on the camera. I'd also recommend riding it multiple times and trying to be on the outside of each side.

    Most definitely bring the zoom lens if it's not heavy. I use the Canon 55-250 and it works great. It's nice and light, has IS, and is more than enough reach for most of the animal.

    All 3 of the below were shot on my T1i with the 55-250. (All my Safari shots)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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  7. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

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    :thumbsup2
     
  8. mom2rtk

    mom2rtk My, what red cheeks you have, Santa!

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    Use shutter priority and get that shutter speed up as high as you can. It's your best defense against all the bumps.
     
  9. ThurlFan

    ThurlFan Grim Ghost

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    Seconded!
     
  10. Visitante

    Visitante Earning My Ears

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    Just came back from 9 day to Disney. And we went to de safari 3 times.

    I think that the best place to take pictures is siting on the left side of the car. I used my nikon d7100 with the 70-300 and took a lot of photos.

    Best time to go to the safari is between 09:30 and 10:30, it´s when the animals were most active.

    Best luck with yout photos.
     
  11. hakepb

    hakepb DIS Veteran

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    Next best time to view animals is during or immediately after it rains. Animals loooove rain ;)
     
  12. Justplainmk

    Justplainmk Earning My Ears

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    That's perfect because I also have a 55 250 zoom lens so I am excited to try it out!! I was going to try and ride it twice if I can, so the first time I can just enjoy it and the second time I can concentrate on getting good photos.
     
  13. 1Grumpy9

    1Grumpy9 DIS Veteran

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    Another tip is try not to get the back seat of the vehicle. That is the worst seat because it is REALLY bumpy back there. Our first ride was in the back seat and my backside was barely on the seat. The second time we went on it we were in the second row and it was a MUCH better ride. I could get some better pictures from that ride.
     
  14. mikegood2

    mikegood2 DIS Veteran

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    From about everything I've read about the Kilimanjaro Safari sitting on the left is the side to get on. I only rode it once, on the right, and was not happy with my photos. I knew the ride was bumpy before riding, but it was even more than I expected. I also used my monopod hoping that would help, but don't think it did and may have made things worse. We will only be at AK one day this summer but hope to ride it 2 or 3 times.

    I know that they have made the ride bumpy to "add" to the attraction, but from a photography standpoint it takes away from the experience. Does anyone know it the roads are bumpy or if the vehicles do it? If its the later, I wish they would offer the option to chose a bumpy or smooth vehicle.
     
  15. kofslinky

    kofslinky Mouseketeer

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    I have to say I've sat on the right hand side of the vehicle and gotten some great shots. You do have to pay more attention to the people sitting to your left, but with a zoom lens it isn't that bad. These were all taken with my 18-200 mm Nikon lens. Here are a few examples of what I got:

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    10/13/12- "Who are all these people, and why are they in my house?" by bianchiea5, on Flickr

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    10/16/12- Everything the light touches belongs to me. Now where's Zaxu? Simba better not be back at the elephant graveyard. by bianchiea5, on Flickr

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    10/12/12- Did you get my good side? by bianchiea5, on Flickr

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    Untitled by bianchiea5, on Flickr

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    Untitled by bianchiea5, on Flickr

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    Untitled by bianchiea5, on Flickr

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    Untitled by bianchiea5, on Flickr

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    Untitled by bianchiea5, on Flickr

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    You lookin' at me? by bianchiea5, on Flickr

    I think the biggest thing is just to have the camera ready for any possible shot. Those animal appear out of nowhere!
     
  16. C&B Young

    C&B Young Twitter @CanaDisney

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    Definitely sit left side for the better animal photo ops, and request the last row. The CM has always let us have it by ourselves (party of 2). Also don't be afraid to ride it during the rain. We've done the safari twice in the rain now, and there's always tons of elephants, rhinos, and giraffes out (the only animals that seem to take cover are the lions). Both of these were shot
    the other day with my Canon 50D & 55-250 lens:

    [​IMG]
    Kilimanjaro Safari - Elephants by Crystal Young, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Kilimanjaro Safari - Giraffe by Crystal Young, on Flickr
     
  17. Experiment_626

    Experiment_626 Stealth Geek

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    I'll add my voice to the chorus that a good lightweight zoom is almost a must on this ride, and image stabilization also helps. Learning to shoot like a sports photographer  with both eyes open so you see through the viewfinder and the larger view outside wherever the lens is pointed  can be helpful for seeing shots you might otherwise miss. I have shot with an 18-200mm zoom several times, and on our most recent trip I had a 55-300mm (I'm a Nikon shooter); I much prefer the shots I got from the 300mm. It's also a useful choice for the birds in Flights of Wonder and in the aviary walking trail.

    The left side of the truck is probably the better choice overall (which is not to say you should put the camera away if you're on the right). You'll have more opportunities for elephants that way, and it may the only way to get a good view of the flamingos, lions, rhinos, and cheetahs. The latter are one of the toughest challenges on the ride; they are almost always about as far away from the truck as they can get, and often lying around in the shade. The earlier in the day you can ride, the better off you're likely to be  especially in summer. It also might be good to try riding about as late in the day as possible, but I'd make that an "also" rather than an "instead."

    Scott
     
  18. MedicGoofy

    MedicGoofy DIS Veteran

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    These are all amazing photos! I have recently purchased the Canon T4i and am starting to really get into photography. I have some courses coming up but am also just playing around with the camera.

    I have a basic understanding of shutter speed. What kind of tips (note: settings) can you suggest for shutter speed. I am learning. Anything you give me is helpful:goodvibes
     

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