Photgraphing Birds in Tanzania - Kathryn Delany
Sunrise touched Crowned Crane

I have over the past few years taken up photography as a form of creative expression. I love to go out with my husband, Nick and capture color and nature in the form of photos.

Given that the name of my business is ColorSplashes, it seems appropriate to talk about my photography of birds and how I look to incorporate all their color designs that look like they have been painted. This post is from a trip to Tanzania.

We organized a trip with Thomson Safaris, which was a trip that met all our expectations and went beyond those expectations.

All I can say is - thank goodness we are bird watchers. Because in addition to capturing all the usual suspects like lions, elephants, hippos we got to capture an amazing number of birds.

The birds in Tanzania (and Africa in general), are incredibly varied and beautiful. From the cleaners of the plains, like vultures, Maribou storks and shrikes, to the 'Gorgeous Starlings', Lilac Breasted Rollers and variegated sunbirds, I was presented with a color palette that makes an artist feel like they are in heaven.

Make no mistake we did get our BIG 5 animal photos taken (on one occasion we saw all t in one day). The issue is that the animals kind of rest up in the middle of the day when the light is harsh and it is very warm. They are active early and toward evening and into the night.

When  you go out to take photographs the best time is known to be early morning - before 10am or an hour or two before sunset.  Then the light is low in sky and it is softer, providing photographers with beautiful colors and light.

When the sun is high in the middle of the day, as a photographer you return to camp, have lunch, nap and check your morning session photographs before heading out again in the late afternoon for a second photo session to catch the evening light. 

There were so many birds on the plains of the Serengeti. Not only did our portfolio consist of approximately 25% birds captures, we had a stunning variety.  We learnt so much and saw so much more of the life on the plains because we like to spot birds.

Birds from Tanzania

I enjoy looking for compositions of birds that others would not expect or even see themselves. The Helmeted Guinea Fowl for example and the Crowned Crane, bowing its head to drink water.

I am good at capturing the shot of the birds when they are sitting still for me or hanging out. When they fly off that is a totally different story. The little birds are incredibly fast. Of course they take off when your camera setting are for a still shot.  I caught many perfect wing tips or tail feathers but only one or two of birds flying. By fluke really. 

Take a look at this artist selected gallery and let me know which are your most favorite ones in the comments below.

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