Forget the tripod! This is the best camera mount and platform for wildlife and nature photography?


Hi! I am Sabine from Pangolin Photo Safaris, and today I am out in the beautiful Chobe National Park on one of our custom designed photo boats. I would like to give you a little bit of an introduction of how our boats are designed. Before I get to that…please don’t forget to
subscribe and hit the bell icon, so that you get notified of our new videos. When you come to the Chobe to visit us, I
would like to show you what you can expect from our photo boats. Our photo boats are nice and long – 9 meters – and about 2.2 meters wide. So, there is plenty of space…even for you to put your camera bags down. Then we have 8 equally spaced chairs in the middle of the boat, so that every guest has the same
opportunity for taking pictures! The boat is very stable. It has got
stabilising fins underneath and it has a very strong nose – with lots of lead and
weight – so that it stays stable in the water. Even if there are some waves and a little bit of a current. Our chairs rotate 360 degrees, which is great, so you can move in each in every direction… wherever your animal is going to be. …and then we have those really nice
mounts, where you can mount your camera on with an Arca-Swiss Universal Quick Release Plate. If you don’t have one, we will supply you with one. If you don’t have a camera, we also
supply you with one and a nice big zoom lens! Once you have mounted your camera,
you can adjust to every person’s height and size. So, we can bring the arm up
higher if we want to…if the person is a little bit taller. OR we can push it down for
smaller people…. We can also rotate in each and every direction – with our camera – to be able to follow the subject. We also have a roof that covers the
entire length of the boat… and I am often asked if that would obstruct us taking birds in flight, for example? Well, to be honest, I don’t think so…as we still have a big degree of view where we can point up against the sky getting the bird nicely in flight…. and to be honest, I am not interested shooting a bird straight up into the air, because I am only going to get the underside of the bird. I have put my big lens on – to demonstrate how flexible I can be – on those mounts… once all those big wheels are loosened up. I can now move around in
each and every direction. …and also, if you visit us, and and you bring your own camera, please make sure that you have a lens collar on your camera, because that will enable you to also swing the camera into a vertical position, if you like. I am joined here today by Toby, to demonstrate… …even if there’s two people sitting
next to each other, with big lenses… how easy you can turn right next to each
other… …without hitting each other! You also have the option to tighten the wheels, so that you can just leave your camera be,
without worrying about it, and maybe have your hands free to have a drink. Then you can just leave it be, and even move around, or stand up. Another great feature we have on our photo boats, are the canvas flaps you see down there, which enables us to take the cameras out of the mounts, and go right down onto eye level with our
subject, to get a more intimate perspective. So, if you rest your a big lens – with the shoe right on here – you can now shoot water wading birds, crocodiles, hippos…everything nice and low on eye level! Now every time we go out, we go out together as a team. I am the photo host, and then we have Phenyo, our professional field guide, who is here to position the boat for us for photography… We have lots of space, as you can see behind the chairs, so I am free to walk around right behind you guys… …and help you with your settings. Another great feature of our photo boats are the cup holders… 2 built-in…right into your chair, so you can always have two refreshing drinks at a time. Since it is early morning right now, I am choosing to have water, but later, at sunset time, I guess it’s also nice to have a nice refreshing beer. Thanks for watching, and I hope to see you soon on our photo boats, in the Chobe National Park. If you have any questions, or comments, please leave them below, and
we will get back to you!

12 Replies to “Forget the tripod! This is the best camera mount and platform for wildlife and nature photography?”

  1. Have you ever photographed wildlife or nature from a boat before?

    If so, please tell us about your experience below. What else could improve our current photo boat set-up to make your experience more memorable? We would love to hear from you.

  2. Really nice, your boats are very well planned out! Now, I just need to book one of your photography safari trips. 🙂

  3. cup holders? Water in one and Gin and tonic in the other 🙂
    Nice overview of the custom boat. Well designed and photographer friendly

  4. I photographed wildlife from a boat a few times (e.g. in the Daintree river/rainforest in AUS, whales off Monterey, and crocs in the Everglades) but your system seems revolutionary. I was limited to shorter focal lengths (e.g. 100-400+1.4x) cause it had to be hand-held-able but with this system one could mount a longer/heavier lens. I see a few such lenses in this video. However, I wonder if they are necessary e.g. a 600 f/4 or if the animals are close enough to be able to get away with a 400mm and only occasionally use a 1.4x converter. The issue for international travellers is of course the weight/dimensions of a 600 f/4. Do you also do such rentals and is such long glass really necessary?

  5. Hi Sabine we have been there last weekend with some friends and had a wonder full time .We even took part in the Pangolin run/walk .Taking photos on these boats is really something special and a must do in your life ." Money well spent" . Very Big Thanks to the Pangolin team .

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