Africa Photo Safari

Virtual Photo Safari Epilogue - Thank You &Beyond


This post brings to a close my week-long posts on my recent photo safari to Kenya's wonderful Masai Mara. The adventure was organized by &Beyond - a leader in Africa travel and tours.

It was truly an amazing experience - made even more amazing by the entire staff at our base camp, Bateleur, and the adjacent camp, Kichwa Tembo.

Scroll down to see my other six posts about the trip.

I am currently planning a 2012 photo workshop/tour to Tanzania. Shoot me an email if you are interested.

A few special "thank you" notes are in order - in addition to thanking YOU for following along here on my blog. 


Above: Thank you Moses Kibet. Moses was our guide/drive/naturalist for six to seven hours each day. Thanks for sharing all your knowledge.


Above: Moses was also was our on-safari chef. Great yogurt/honey, coffee, buns, fruit, eggs and sausage! And, what a location . . right next to the Mara river that's filled with hungry crocks. :-)


Above left: Thank you Jackson Tunai. Jackson was our expert walking safari guide, who, along with Francis Nkulet, made our on-foot adventures a real, well, adventure. Click here to see Jackson and Francis in action. Don't worry, we out-ran the lions! Thanks guys for keeping us safe. In the photo on the right, Jackson, and his friend Johnston, pose for a photograph.


Above: Thanks to Milka Kerubo, operations manager at Bateleur Camp, and Joseph Masibo, Camp Manager, for keeping on the lights for us after a long day on safari. And, thanks for the room/tent service.  


Above: Thanks to the band/staff who gave us a special pre-dinner performance on the Mara. Even the chef joined the fun.


Below: One more thank you goes to Boniface Oduor (left) who made each and every meal a real treat. Boniface now knows all my best magic tricks, which is why they now call him the "Magic Man." Yes, that's Moses on the right.


Again, thanks to everyone at &Beyond, especially Tarryn Gibson, Market Manger at &Beyond in South Africa, for making our stay so very special.

If you'd like to join me on my 2012 photo safari to Tanzania, shoot me an email.

Explore the light,
Rick


P.S. One more tip, illustrated with a photograph from a previous trip to the Mara: Remember that "Composition is the Strongest Way of Seeing." Compose carefully. 

More on composition on my next Kelby Training class, coming December 4th, called: "Composition is the Strongest Way of Seeing." Stay tuned.

Virtual Photo Safari Part VI: See and Shoot Eye to Eye


Each day this week I will take you on a virtual photo safari to Kenya's Masai Mara. Each post will feature a safari tip and a photo tip - or two.


I took the images for the posts on a recent trek to the Masai Mara that was organized by &Beyond, a leader in Africa travel tours. Bateleur was our base camp for the eight-day adventure . . . and what an adventure.


The pictures in the post were taken with my Canon 7D and Canon 100-400mm IS lens.


Scroll down to see my other posts.


Shoot me an email soon if you want to get on the list for my 2012 Tanzania Great Migration workshop/tour.)


Safari Tip: Plan on downtime and download/back-up time between the very early morning and very late afternoon game drives – when most of the action happens. During the late morning and mid-day hours, most of the animals take it easy - some after having had a big, fresh breakfast.



Photo Tip: See eye-to-eye and shoot eye-to-eye. Get down as low as possible in the safari vehicle so you can shoot at eye-level to the subject. The person in the safari vehicle pictured below is in the top-most seat, which is good for viewing, but not the best for photography. The first row, which is lower to the ground, is a much better shooting position. Next to the driver is even better.


Also, try to book an open-sided vehicle, that is, one without glass windows. You'll get clearer shots.




Try black and white. It's fun and creative. Above: I used Nik Software's Silver Efex Pro to create this image of black and white animals - or are they white and black? :-)




Above: Here's a look at the Nik Software Silver Efex main window. For a discount on all Nik plug-ins, as well as some of the other plug-ins I use, click here.




Be prepared for the lions to come very close to your vehicle - which is thrilling. Don't worry, the lions don't recognize you as food as long as you are in the vehicle.


Explore the light,
Rick



Virtual Photo Safari Part V: Power Up


I took the images for the posts on a recent trek to the Masia Mara organized by &Beyond, a leader in African travel tours. Bateleur was our base camp for the eight-day adventure - and what an adventure. I took the image above with my Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 24-105mm IS lens.

Scroll down to see my other posts.

Safari Tip: Listen to your guide - very carefully. He or she will tell you when it's okay to shoot, and when it's time to move. Also, don't be bashful about asking your guide/driver to move the safari vehicle a bit left or right or backward or forward so you can get a shot. Guides are there to help you get great shots.


Photo Tips: Bring all necessary power adapters and converters for your cameras and computers (and hair dryer if you use one). Bring a surge protection power strip so you can charge several devices at once. Pack back-up battery chargers and a computer power charger. Ask when generators go off and on and unplug your computer during those times.

If you'd like to get on the list for my 2012 Tanzania photo safari, shoot me an email.


If you would like me to speak about my travels and photography at an event, see this link for info.

Explore the light,
Rick

Virtual Photo Safari Part IV: Chase the Light



Each day this week I will take you on a daily virtual photo safari to wonderful, beautiful and awe-inspiring Kenya's Masai Mara. Each post will feature a travel tip and a photo tip - or two. 

I took the images for the posts on a recent trek to the Masia Mara organized by &Beyond, a leader in African travel tours. Bateleur was our base camp for the eight-day photo safari. 

Scroll down to see previous Photo Safari posts.

Safari Tip: Chase the light. You must get up early and stay out late to chase - and catch - the light. During the day, when most of the animals are relatively inactive, you can download your images and take a snooze. After dinner, go for a night game drive. You may not get great pictures, but you will have a lot of fun!

Photo Tips: Tell the whole story by taking landscape photographs, too. Use a polarizing filter to enhance the sky, making the sky darker and the clouds whiter . . . if the sun is off to your side. Get max depth of field by using a wide-ange lens, small aperture and set your focus 1/3 into the scene. Crop your pictures for impact.

Don't be afraid to boost your ISO. Worry more about content in a frame than the noise - which can be reduced in Lightroom and Photoshop.


Both of the pictures for this image were taken with my Canon 7D and Canon 100-400mm IS lens. To see all my gear, click here.

If you'd like to join one of my travel tours/workshops, see the Workshops page of my site.


If you'd like to get on the list for my 2012 Tanzania photo safari, shoot me an email.

For more photography tips, check out my app: Rick Sammon's 24/7 Photo Buffet.

Explore the light,
Rick

P.S. Have fun with Photoshop - which I used to make this image. Remember: make pictures, don't just take pictures.

Virtual Photo Safari Part III: Be Aware of the Background



Each day this week I will take you on a daily virtual photo safari to Kenya's Masai Mara. Each post will feature a safari tip and a photo tip - or two. 

I took the images for the posts on a recent trek to the Masia Mara organized by &Beyond, a leader in African travel tours. Bateleur was our base camp for the eight-day photo safari. 

Scroll down to read previous posts.

Safari Tip: Meet with your guide in advance and plan your entire safari and daily trips. Tell him or her your goals. My goal was to get two good photographs per day, which I felt was a realistic goal.

Photo Tip: Know that in most cases, you will be shooting from a vehicle, which may jiggle when others in the vehicle may giggle. Be prepared to steady your camera with a bean bag or camera support - or hold your camera very steady. And because you and the animals will be moving, I think you'll get your best composition with a zoom lens.


The background can make or break a photograph. Above: the background, and framing the subject against the interesting background, makes the shot. And get this: I took these shots during an intense downpour. And I mean intense! Both the giraffes and our open-sided Land Rover were getting soaked!


Another photo tip: don't shy away from the rainy season. You might get dramatic sky backgrounds.

Both shots were taken with my Canon 7D and 100-400mm IS lens.

If you'd like to join one of my travel tours/workshops, see the Workshops page of my site. Shoot me an email if you are interested in a 4-person workshop to Tanzania in 2012.

To see more of my travel pictures, check out my Travel and Nature Photography ebook.



If I were still into doing traditional books, I'd do a book on the wildlife in the Mara. Once I settle down from the trip, I'll add these pictures to my apps. Or, I might do an app: 24/7 Photo Safari. If you are interested in a safari-type app, shoot me an email.


If you are going on safari, or want to look as though you are going on safari (ha ha), check out the clothes offered by ExOfficio. Here is my favorite shirt.

Explore the light,
Rick

P.S. A great read about Kenya: West with The Night.