Safari Shutters

This is a group for anyone who loves taking photos of wildlife and listening to the sounds of the bush. We share information and ideas here with all of the other 'Safari Shutters' in our group. For constructive advice, we encourage you to post your unedited images as well as your edited versions.  This will make it easier for our experienced members in our group to assist you with ways to improve your wildlife photography  – All welcome…even if you don’t have all the big lenses!

Location: Everyone Welcome
Members: 133
Latest Activity: Jan 24

4 Day Wildlife Photographic Safari - September 2016

Our next 4 Day Wildlife Photographic Safari will take place at Monate Private Game Lodge in Limpopo. It has been scheduled for the 2nd of September 2016 to September the 5th.

For more details please click on the Wildlife Photographic Safari link here below:


Discussion Forum

A Story through my lens

Started by Bruna Mentrup-Nortje. Last reply by Rudolph Viljoen Sep 3, 2015. 5 Replies

Us as wildlife photographers absolutely love nature and are curios as to what beautiful things were put on this earth for our enjoyment.When we see such amazing sights, it is a remarkable experience to be able to pay the picture from the human eye justice by photographing it with the right equipment to enjoy forever…Continue

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Comment by Bruna Mentrup-Nortje on March 8, 2016 at 17:03

Hi Deborah - Nothing wrong with your 6D - it is a full frame 20.2 MP camera and what friends tell me, deals with noise quite well. A little slow, but it also comes with a 11AP point, 1 cross-type sensor.

Correct focusing and shutter speed is one of the key aspects in wildlife photography.  You need to know when to switch to One shot AF for still subjects, AI Servo for mowing subjects or AI Focus AF for unpredictable moving subjects. Not sure what your camera was set on.  Although you only have 11 AF points you can activate all of them or just some of them, depending on your background and your subject. We then call that dynamic points activated.

  • Here is what I would have maybe done in your situation - I would have activated AI Servo with 11 (maybe I have not yet tested your camera), points activated as your subject was open and could jump down the tree at any moment. Only when your subject starts moving your 6D would have been a problem for you as it is actually to slow @ 4.5 FPS.  So don't pack your 6D away.  Always good to have a second camera for moments like this.  

  • I would have switched to AV - checked my speed at f/5.6 - if slower than my reciprocity value of my lens, (in your case it would have been nothing slower than 1/1200s), dialled in the desired ISO to increase shutter speed to a minimum of 1/1200s keeping in mind not to abuse the ISO value for noise - and dialled in + one stop compensation to push in just a little more light into the face of the Leopard which was in the shade. 

Spot was a good choice and remember, bean bags are not really the best option to avoid camera shake.  

The rest is editing - you need to crop tighter to place focus on the leopard and not on the tree and darken the tree itself as it is overpowering and nearly the same colour as your subject. 

Here is a suggested crop that could maybe work?  I have also darkened the tree with the Burn Tool in photoshop slightly but the real reason why the tree and the editing is a problem for Deon is because you have over sharpened the entire image to get the Leopard sharp and that made the tree the focus point and not your beautiful Leopard.  

Wow..I hope this helps a little - i tried my best not to write a book!!!.  


Comment by Deborah Jordan on March 7, 2016 at 17:44

Hi Bruna

The questions below are very relevant as I would have preferred not to use my Canon 6D here, but my 7DII was on my 400mm and was trying to capture close and full shots. The 6D is certainly not as proficient on AF points. See response below, but lesson learned for me after this visit is not to use 6D for Wildlife and stick to Macro with the 6D body

  • Were you shooting in M-AV-TV-P or Auto?  I shoot in Manual and adjust ISO as well
  • What camera support did you use?  Bean Bag
  • You said you locked focus in the eye, is that correct and with how many dynamic focus points activated?  I locked on the eye with only a few points activated as per the 6D AF
  • What metering mode did you use: Evaluative-Centre-weighted-Partial-Spot?  Spot metering

Thanks Bruna

Comment by Bruna Mentrup-Nortje on March 7, 2016 at 17:04

Hi Deborah, you are always welcome and I will try my best to assist!


Canon EOS 6D with a 100-400mm lens @ f/5.6 - Shutter 1/60s - ISO 2500 - Leopard in a shady tree... well camouflaged with colours that is blending in just so perfectly with the tree she is lying in and to make matters even worse for you...I am sure the sun was already very bright as well.  Every photographers best moment with a Leopard, yet also the worst photograph to take.  Very difficult circumstances most of the time, so don't feel alone! 


Before I can give constructive feedback please would you mind answering the following questions for me:

  • Were you shooting in M-AV-TV-P or Auto?
  • What camera support did you use?
  • You said you locked focus in the eye, is that correct and with how many dynamic focus points activated?
  • What metering mode did you use: Evaluative-Centre-weighted-Partial-Spot?


Unfortunately I do need this information to give you positive feedback ok.  

Hope to hear from you soon.  


Comment by Deborah Jordan on March 7, 2016 at 13:02

Dear Bruna. Trust you are well. Would love your feedback on this image. Deon commented he found the leopard a bit soft in sharpness, Hardus commented he found the leopard lost in the image. The Leopard was sitting in deep shade, so had to open to f5/6 and also wanted to convey the animal in the bigger tree. Can you critique on how I can improve further ontop of the sharpness and possible new crop? and how I could have used settings more effectively - I can only think of increasing the ISO?

Comment by Bruna Mentrup-Nortje on March 7, 2016 at 12:18

Nico you managed to keep the flash nice and soft but unfortunately there is not enough light in the face which would have given your images even more impact.  Are you using a off camera bracket to accommodate your flash or are you mounting your flash onto the camera itself? 

Comment by Nico on March 4, 2016 at 5:53

Hi Bruna. I did not use a flash. The light was filled in.

Comment by Bruna Mentrup-Nortje on February 29, 2016 at 21:47

What an amazing group we had at our workshop last weekend at Ngomo Safari Lodge!!  - I cannot wait for you to share some of your images of the Cheetah's everyone! please post. 

Comment by Bruna Mentrup-Nortje on February 21, 2016 at 23:21
Thank you for posting Nico, I have been shooting at a beautiful lodge in KZN and came back with thousands of images to sort and edit for their website. Sorry for the delay in replying to your post. Did you use flash or fill in light here?
Comment by Nico on February 6, 2016 at 19:33

Lower Sabie, Kruger Park:  AV, F/5, 1/320, ISO 400

Comment by Bruna Mentrup-Nortje on January 21, 2016 at 8:17
Urgent message from Chris:

Kgalagadi Accommodation (Urgent) - 23 January to 30 January 2016
Posted by Chris Jones on January 20, 2016 at 15:30Send Message View Blog

I have 7 nights accommodation in the southern part of Kgalagardi Transfrontier Park booked and paid for and I am not able to use it.

The dates are: arriving 23rd January 2016 departing 30th January 2016.

I paid R8938.00 for the seven nights.
All accommodation is in chalets or permanent tents for two people (i.e. no camping)

Night 1 Twee Rivieren Rest Camp
Night 2 + 3 Mata Mata Rest Camp
Night 4 + 5 Kiliekrankie Wilderness kamp
Night 5 Nossob Rest Camp
Night 6 Twee Rivieren Rest Camp

My cell: 083 457 2158
Kind Regards




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