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Advice for Gorilla Photography

Gorilla Rwanda

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27 replies to this topic

#21 Photo-Kiboko

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 01:44 PM

@Alexander33

 

I was in Ruanda in July 2008.

The Gorillas (Group 13) was just behind the border of the national park.

The gorillas were in an open clearing in bright sunshine.

The clearing was small. The distance was about 4 to 5 meter.

Some small gorillas played and have been "rolled" about a half meter in front of my feet.

We photographed in a line. Suddenly, a Gorilla came from behind and has pushed through the line of people.

Some people hat body contact.

 

I have used to cameras:

D200 with 18-70 3.5/5.6 (or was is already the 16-85?) (about 30%) and

D300 with 70-200/2.8. (about 70%)

During the visit, I have included a TC17 for Portraits.

The 200-400/4 stayed in the hotel, to reduce mass

 

I bought the 70-200/2.8 for this trip.

However, I have used the lens on all following trips.

It is still one of my favourite lenses.

 

In the bright sunlight f/2.8 was not needed.

But the gorillas can be in dense vegetation and it can be a dark, cloudy or even a rainy day.

 

Dynamics - the distance between white and black - is very important in the rain forest.

High ISO reduces the usable dynamic range. f/2.8 might help here, too.

I recommend to shoot in raw (or raw + jpg) for the gorillas to have more freedom in post processing.

 

I recommend under exposure.

Gorillas are black. But the hairs have reflections in the sun.

Without under exposure you will get "grey" gorillas.


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Best regards

Bernd

 

Benin, Eritrea, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya (2x), Madagascar, Malawi, Morocco, Namibia, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania (3x), Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe


#22 IamFisheye

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 03:55 PM

 

Appreciate the book recommendation, IamFisheye -- will check that out.

 

 

 

Well, maybe not.  This looks like an incredible book, but the only place I can find it for sale is on Amazon.uk for......£999.  Really?  Time for Andy Rouse to release a second edition!  Or maybe I can find one trolling eBay.  

 

Wow, I didn't know it was commanding such ridiculously high prices.  I've got a limited edition with numbered signed Giclee print at home maybe I should sell it and buy a D500  :unsure:


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#23 dewetter

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 02:32 PM

My advice would be to take as little as possible. Choose one lens and make it work.
I had the same dilemma before my gorilla trip to Virunga last year. In the end I took a gamble and walked into the forest only with my 55mm... Which worked just fine.
I got a lot closer to the gorillas than I thought and the rangers actually had a hard time to keep the one gorilla from touching me the whole time!
Also remember to put down your camera for a while and take it all in. The time just flies once you get there.
Happy planning
image.jpeg
image.png

Edited by dewetter, 29 March 2016 - 02:48 PM.

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#24 TheToasterBoy

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 07:44 AM

Hi everyone - I am new to this forum and would greatly appreciate some advice on lens choices for photographing chimps and gorillas for my upcoming trip to Uganda and Rwanda in June. I am about to buy a Lumix (I currently use an entry level Canon DSLR and 70-300 on safari) and am in a bit of a quandary about lenses. Reading these posts I am aware that a fast lens is ideal but I am aware these come at a cost (I am very much an amateur!) My first thought was to take one lens - the 14-140 Lumix, but I'm not sure this will be adequate. In my ideal world I would have a fast wide and a fast long telephoto. Any suggestions from more experienced safari photographers would be really appreciated. Thanks!



#25 pault

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 05:52 AM

@TheToasterBoy It all depnds what you want to get out of it, I think. Mileage varies. The faster your lens and the higher you can push the ISO, the better. You'll need longer focal lengths with chimps than gorillas - they are smaller, move faster and are more likely to climb tree. The females and young may not want to be too close to you at all. You'll also often need faster shutter speeds with chimps. I think f/5.6 is possible for some shots, but it will restrct you unless you can go to a very high ISO. A lot of slightly shaky chimp shots cab be expected.

 

If an f/4 lens or better is an option, it'll make a differnce.

 

A 14 -140 is a 28-280 to me. It's all right for the rainforest actually, but quite short for more open environments.

 

Verdict (guessing): Possible, although i wouldn't.


Waiting again... for the next time again


#26 Botswanadreams

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 06:02 AM

For photographing chimps @TheToasterBoy you should go for the habituation day in Kibale. It will give you much more opportunities over the whole day than the normal 1 hour. 


“All I wanted to do was get back to Africa. We had not left it, yet, but when I would wake in the night I would lie, listening, homesick for it already."

Ernest Hemingway

 

www.botswanadreams.de

 


#27 pault

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 01:26 AM

@IamFisheye  Any suggestions for Micro Four Thirds for chimps and gorillas? 


Waiting again... for the next time again


#28 Tulips

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 11:07 AM

I used a Panasonic G7 last year in South Africa and on the Chobe. I was happy with my photos. I mainly used a 100-300 lens. I also have a 40-150 and 12-40. The 12-40 is an f2.8.

If the gorillas are as close as I've read in trip reports, I plan to use the 12-40 on my treks later this year.





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