The greatest flexibility is offered by 35mm SLR cameras with interchangeable lenses. For general photography, a mid-range zoom lens (eg: 28–70mm) is recommended – it is more flexible than the 'standard' (50mm) lens. For wildlife photography, you will need at least a 200mm lens to allow you to see the animal close up. Alternatively (or in addition), compact cameras take up little space and are excellent to have handy for quick shots of people or scenes – though they are of no use for animals. Digital cameras are becoming much more widespread and getting cheaper and better all the time. Film
Film is expensive in Namibia, but print films are readily available in main towns, as are the more common slide films. Anything out of the ordinary can be impossible to find.
Bring a range of film speeds depending on what type of photography you are most interested in. For most landscape shots, where you will have plenty of light, a 'slow' film (100ISO or less) will give the best results. Most of the photographs in this book have been taken on Fuji Velvia, 50ISO. For wildlife photography, you will need a 'faster' film (200–400ISO) to enable you to use your telephoto lens without fear of camera-shake.
Films, especially when exposed, can deteriorate very quickly in the heat. Keep all films (and therefore your loaded camera) away from direct sunlight. Buying one polystyrene cool box just for films is a great investment.
Pictures taken at dusk or dawn will have the richest, deepest colours, whilst those taken during the middle of the day are usually pale and washed-out. Beware of the very deep shadows and high contrast in strong light during the middle of the day. Film cannot capture the huge range that your eye can. By restricting your photography to mornings and evenings, you will encounter fewer problems.
A polarising filter can be remarkably successful in extending the periods during which you can shoot and get good results.Other camera equipment
A tripod, or a monopod, is invaluable. If you are shooting from a vehicle, then make sure you have a rest – bring a beanbag or fill a small bag with dry sand, to sit between your camera and the windowsill.
If you want to take pictures of people (or any showing full shadow details) in very bright conditions, then it's worth investing some time learning how to deal with these situations. Fill-in flash photography can capture black faces well, but usually needs practice.
Camera equipment should be carefully protected from dust, using plastic bags if necessary. Bring some lens tissues and a blower brush to clean the dust from your lenses. Also brush any dust from the back pressure-plate of your camera each time you change a film, as anything caught here causes long straight scratches along the length of your film.Camera insurance
Most travel insurance policies are poor at covering valuables, including cameras. If you are taking a valuable camera abroad, then include it in your house insurance policy, or cover it separately with a specialist.