How’d You Get That Shot? Photography with Andrea Hardy

Written by Thomson Safaris

Star trails with acacia tree – Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Photo: Andrea Hardy, Lifetography

Capturing nature’s most awe-inspiring moments takes much more than good luck and a quick trigger finger. Careful planning, serious skill, and a little bit of luck are needed to create the kinds of unforgettable images that make an African safari so enticing, even from thousands of miles away. The photographs these guests snapped are so impressive, we wanted to learn more about what went into them. In this ongoing series, our most avid photographers share some of the secrets behind the stunning images that make us all wonder “How’d you get that shot?”

Professional photographer, Andrea Hardy joins us today.

About the Photo

What do you like about this shot?

This tree was just outside our [Nyumba] tent where we were staying and I love how the stars almost look like raindrops falling.

What type of planning was involved in order to capture this image?

I set this up outside my tent with a timer remote and travel tripod and made sure the camera wouldn’t be disturbed.

Which camera did you use, and why?

I used a Canon 5D Mark III with a 24-70 2.8 L lens. I chose this camera because of the high resolution and L series lens for sharpness.

Which settings did you use? Are there any technical tips you have for photographers who are more advanced?

I set up the camera at 25mm focal length, 2.8 Aperture, ISO 400, 30th of a second exposure. Then I set my timer remote to trigger the camera every 10 seconds for 10 minutes.

Which tools, during either the shooting or editing process, did you use to enhance the photo?

I used software called StarStaX to merge all 60 images together and create this shot.

What advice do you have for safari goers who want to capture the perfect shot?

Be Patient! Getting the perfect shot is hard. I took over 6000 images on my trip and I have 20 or so images that I think are really good. (I’m a bit of a perfectionist though.) Have your camera ready at all times because the animals are unpredictable and you could miss a great action shot!

What’s your favorite tip to give fellow photographers?

These safari trips go very fast. Don’t forget to take some time to enjoy the moment without the camera in front of your face.


About Andrea Hardy

How many years of professional photography experience do you have?

I’ve been a professional photographer for about 10 years but I’ve loved photography since grade school.

What’s your favorite thing to photograph?

I love photographing people. Kids always have the best expressions!

What do you think of Tanzania or a safari or trek as an overall photographic opportunity? What made it special to photograph?

There was a huge variety of animals we were able to photograph in such a short time. Everyday was a new experience but my favourite day was when we visited the Maasai village and photographed the people in it.

Where can we find your work?

You can find my work at

Follow Andrea/Lifetography on social media:
Instagram (Scroll down the feed to see images from Andrea’s 2014 safari)

Want to learn more about photographic safaris with Thomson Safaris?
Contact us today.