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With more than 20 years of experience in the world of photography, Staff Pro Antonio Liebana is one of the most prolific wildlife photographers in Spain. Check out what he has to say about his work, the gear he uses as well as his favorite locations.
How do you prepare for a safari in Africa?
A safari to Africa works like any photography project. You have to plan and document the best times and places, in order to be able to photograph what you want. Despite trying to carry everything as tight as possible, something unforeseen can arise at any trip. Be forewarned that everything can change in seconds and be prepared for the unexpected is the best attitude.
Africa is a magical continent and one of the last bastions of wildlife where you can find large mammals living as they have been doing for thousands of years. You can still see the great migrations of mammals and the wild day to day. In that environment, surviving next day is one of the biggest goals.
After so many trips, what was your main objective on this trip?
Finding new challenges, after more than 20 trips, is not easy. You are always trying to improve the images of previous trips. This is how new situations arise and you live moments in the wild that you may never live again. On this trip, the main objective was to photograph leopards lurking in search for food. It is an animal that is usually quite inactive and I wanted to try to get images of the leopard completely crouched looking for food with a stealthy attitude. It was one of the images that I lacked for a monographic article on the leopard.
Photographing from a car is not easy. How do you usually work?
After managing to locate and track the animals, then having luck that the light is good and that the subject is doing something interesting, there is no room for error in the photographer's methodology of work.
To photograph from a vehicle, you need not just to have everything as organized and close as possible, but also to have a quick access. In moments of action where every second counts, the time decreases quickly. At the same time, all accessories need to be protected from the dust and constant rattle of the 4x4. On the last safari, I incorporated two elements that have made the sessions easier- the Navin and the Harney Pouch for extra batteries, memory cards and multiplier (tele-converter).
I used the f-stop Harney Pouch, placed it right in front of my seat, this way I speed up everything significantly. I placed the extra camera body in the Navin. This way I freed up a lot of space in my reduced workspace.