Photos-Best place to sit

Old May 8th, 2008, 06:48 PM
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Photos-Best place to sit

I've searched and not found an answer to this question. Where is the best place to be in a Land Rover to take pictures? Up high standing in back or down low seated next to the driver/guide?
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Old May 8th, 2008, 07:38 PM
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Since you mention levels, I figure you are referring to an open vehicle.

Up high can put you at too much of an angle where you are looking down at the animal and shooting down on it.

Next to the guide means you don't have good access to anything on his side of the vehicle. At the other levels if someone is seated next to you, the seats are less confining than in the front. If it is just you and the guide, then this spot in front is not so bad because the guide will always put the animal on your side. If there is a tracker out front, then he may get in the way of your shots, plus that's usually where the tracker sits during sightings.

On night drives, next to the driver is a good place because you have the heater to warm your feet and less wind resistance.

Best is probably right behind the guide. You can also communicate with him easily without talking loudly and you can hear what he has to say.

If you are sharing a vehicle, then you'll likely swap spots so everybody sits everywhere. Other than the seat next to the guide I haven't found any seat to be to be restrictive. It is rare that you would be needing to use the seat next to the guide.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 08:06 PM
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High up is pretty useless for photography ....... mostly, because you are too high up, relative to where your subject is!

Right next to the guide is good, if you are able to get him to constantly keep shifting the vehicle to give you the best angles for photo ops. Regardless, wherever in the vehicle you are - don't hesitate to get him to put you in the best angle with respect to: Lighting, angles etc etc.,

Cheers
Hari
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Old May 8th, 2008, 08:15 PM
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PS: Yes, Lynn has a good point RE right behind the guide - in that front row, if you have it to yourself you can shift around/sit on the floor if you have to etc etc.,
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Old May 8th, 2008, 08:27 PM
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As Lynn said, if by the guide then you are likely to be looking at the back of the tracker. Which I don't like and especially not for video. So my vote goes for the seat behind the guide, or, that row.

Although on one game drive at MalaMala Carolyn decided she'd try sitting on the very back row (which is where the tracker sits at MM). She had a unique show when a matriarch elephant decide to mock charge our Land Rover. Being chased and looking directly into the trumpeting ele's trunk and eyes about 2 meters away.

regards - tom
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Old May 8th, 2008, 09:45 PM
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It can depend on what you're looking at, and how many other people are sharing the vehicle. But generally, I prefer the seat next to the driver/guide, or an outside seat in the back row-- as long as there is enough room to get as low as possible. Hari is correct-- high is rarely best.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 10:36 PM
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Next to the guide is my favourite for photography. If the angle does not suit just ask the guide to shift the vehicle.

When there are other guests in the vehicle I just wait until they have taken a few images and ask if we can move.

When I have the vehicle to myself I sometimes like lying on the floorpan to get a low angle perspective. If I'm allowed I like to get under the vehicle too.

Note: This is when in vehicles from southern Africa. I haven't had experience with the hatch roof vehicles in East Africa since the mid 1980's.

Geoff.


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Old May 9th, 2008, 01:12 AM
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Getting low is a very good place to be in some instances, and of course you should not generally stand up in open vehicles. Some places will allow you to get out of the vehicle to get better angles, not generally with predators of course. I have sat on the ground and bum walked up to Wild Dog and lived to tell the tale.
Open vehicles can be very difficult to take photographs from dependant on design, in particular those with shade roofs and the bars that support them. (No problems with the Uris at Kwando)
The pop up roofs used in Eastern Africa are also sometimes useful, in particular giving you some good support (with bean bag), I also found the wind up windows (again with bean gag) to be great. I should point out in fairness that our vehicles had most of their seats stripped out to allow for moving around a lot, something you would not normally get.
 
Old May 9th, 2008, 11:23 AM
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WOW! Thanks to all! My son and I will be the only guests in a streached Land Rover. I'll try the seat next to the driver/guide first and see how that works out. My son will be standing up in back with the video camera. Since this will be our first time in Africa I'm sure wherever we are located the views will be fantastic!
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Old May 9th, 2008, 02:09 PM
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If it is just the two of you, right behind the driver is ideal and you'll never have to give up that spot. Just don't tell your son it's the prime seat.

Now I think I remember your first posts. You have a blog going on your anticipation of Africa.

Just wait till you get there.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 02:20 PM
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Yes I do. Although I haven't been very good at keeping it current. We leave tomorrow from Cincinnati at 2:50PM. Have our boarding passes in hand as we speak! Still debating whether to check two bags or just carry them on. Luckily they each weigh 26 pounds so there should be no problem with the flight from Arusha to the Serengeti.
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