Photographing Victoria Falls


Jun 2nd, 2004, 02:23 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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Photographing Victoria Falls

I've heard that it's very risky to take a camera anywhere near the falls because it is so wet. Does anyone have any tips on this or recent experience about how bad the spray is etc? Should we forget any idea of photographs at this time of year?

Thanks, Ruth
RuthieC is offline  
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Jun 2nd, 2004, 04:54 PM
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RuthieC - We visited in November, and the Falls were at low-flow, but that's not to say it wasn't wet. And besides we got caught in a rain shower during our entire mile-plus walk and the various viewing positions along the way.

So how did I get pictures, and some very good ones at that:

- my camera was wrapped in a zip-loc bag, and kept under my t-shirt
- when I found a spot where I felt I could get a good photo, I slipped the camera from the bag, keeping the plastic over the camera like a hood
- then back in the plastic bag

but I didn't zip-lock it entirely, to avoid building up dampness in the bag. When we finally left the Falls area I made sure I dried the entire camera, lenses, whatever could have gotten wet.

Surprisingly I took a full roll of pictures here and had no problem with my camera afterwards.

If the Falls are indeed at full-flow when you are visiting, No.1 - you'll hear them from afar; No. 2 - you'll see the mist from afar; No. 3 - you should be under a rain slicker (either your own, or heavy duty ones available at the Falls, there might be a small fee for this); No. 4 - it might not be a good idea to take photos, especially with your good camera/s.

You might want to consider bringing one or two disposable waterproof cameras for this purpose. And once at the Falls and depending on the conditions use whichever camera fits the situation. Lots of luck!

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Jun 2nd, 2004, 05:02 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Hi there I visited the FALLS in SEPT 1999. Really didn't know what to expect. Except I thought there would be a lot water!! Before I left the states I had some kind of idea. Glad I did what I did.
What I ended up doing was:
Took a zip-loc bag. Cut a hole in the bottom of it. Slipped it over my camera so the lens is just at the end of the hole. When I wasn't using it, Kept it covered more. Try it at home first. Brought a few like that. As one gets crappy, toss it out. Use the next.
By the way, have some nice shots too!
If you want to see some. Let me know.
Thanks, David
tuskerdave is offline  
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Jun 2nd, 2004, 05:04 PM
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I can only speak from a Zim side point of view but when first entering and going immediately to the left, there are about 3 lookouts. These lookouts are basically before the falls drop off. You can probably use your SLR camera there with minimal spray getting on the lens and camera. The views were pretty good despite the tremendous spray being kicked up and there were numerous rainbows. Once you go to the other lookouts, the drenching begins. Despite all the warnings I read beforehand I wore socks, trail shoes and microfiber long pants: All were poor choices but my fear of mosquitos was the real deciding factor. Anyhow, at the Falls I would have been much happier in shorts and rubber sandals. I did have a nice gore tex rain coat which covered my back pack and a cheap plastic poncho enabled me to very carefully use the SLR camera and an additional digital camera for a few brief shots. But that involved considerable fumbling under steamy plastic and I would not recommend it. I had a much better time playing around with a cheap, waterproof disposable Fuji camera just to take some pictures of us getting soaked. And you don't even feel guilty wiping the huge water droplets off the "lens" with your finger!
Oh, there were a bunch of vendors near the entrance selling the ponchos for US $3. Don't even think about wasting any money on the umbrellas they were selling since the spray seems to come at you from all angles.
Good luck!
jeorgiagirl is offline  
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Jun 2nd, 2004, 05:08 PM
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Oops, forgot to mention that we were at the Falls about 3 weeks ago.
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Jun 2nd, 2004, 07:40 PM
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We also just returned from the Falls. We went to both sides. We also had a similar concern, so we did not take our good camera to the falls. After we were there for 10 minutes, we had our guide take us back to our hotel to get our new camera.

We used normal precautions as mentioned earlier - keep under your jacket, when not in use. The best way to keep it dry is to have an unbrella held over the camera in the wetter locations. Our guide brought an umbrella for us. (Dominic with Wilderness Safari - very good).
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