If you are planning to take an African safari to photograph wildlife in Kenya, Tanzania, or Botswana, start by applying for or updating your passport and then getting in a few days of practice at your local zoo. A trip to a zoo will give you the opportunity to learn how to operate your camera properly so that you can capture the best possible photos of all the creatures you will find in the wild. Even if you have no plans for international travel, a photo trip to the zoo can be interesting and enjoyable. Caged animals, like these tortoises at the Sacramento Zoo, usually move slowly so aperture priority mode is my favorite setting for zoos. When you are out in the wild, the animals you’ll be looking for will probably be moving, like the millions of wildebeest migrating across the Mara River. That’s when you’ll want to use the shutter priority mode on your camera. Pick the shutter speed you’ll need to freeze the action and your camera will automatically set the aperture to give you the proper exposure.
Notes and images from Bob Hitchman.