Photo tours

Ted Maddux Takes Flight with His Camera

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One of the things I like about leading digital photography workshops is that I get to meet some very talented photographers, as well as all around great people. Ted Maddux is both a great photographer and a ton-of-fun guy.

Recently, Ted participated in an air-to-air photo workshop organized by my friend Hal "Bull" Schmitt, who heads up Light Photographic Workshops.  

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Ted's images were so good that I thought I'd share a few with you. Not bad for a photo enthusiast. :-)

Here's what Ted had to say about the workshop: "

Air to air photography is as good as it gets. The promo read, "Join Hal "Bull" Schmitt and industry leading aviation photographer Scott Slocum for a hands-on, heart-pounding aviation photography experience. I took this workshop with my son-in law (we were both on an Alaska workshop with Rick and Hal). We had an epic trip and will do it again. Expensive, yes. Value, 11 on a scale of 10. A trip you will never forget with some great people. Every person in our workshop had stunning photographs and a great experience. Hal and Scott thanks again."

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Bull is currently planning more air-to-air workshops. Stay tuned to Light Photographic Workshops for info. 

And Bull and I are doing a Death Valley Workshop next year. We hope you can join the fun. Ted "Mr. Fun" Maddux was the first to sign up.

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Explore the light,
Rick

This post sponsored by x-rite. X-Rite is the global leader in color science and technology. The Company develops, manufactures, markets and supports innovative color solutions through measurement systems, software, color standards and services.

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Day 3: Six Days of Africa Photo Safari Tips

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Today is the third day of a series here on my blog: Six Days of Africa Photo Safari Tips.

I'm running this series in preparation for my 2014 Kenya/Tanzania Photo Safari, which is listed on my 2014 Workshops page.

Today's tip: Strive for animal behavior shots.

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Sure, portraits of wild animals are nice, and I'll share a few of my favorites tomorrow here on my blog. But behavior shots tell more of a story, such as the photograph above of a small herd of elephants protecting their young.

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For good behavior shots, you first need to be lucky, as I was when I took the above photograph of a lion and lioness fighting.

But as lucky as you may be, being prepared to capture the behavior is a must - you must have a good understanding of light and composition, which I cover in my on-line classes.

And, of course, you must have the right lens. I recommend always having two cameras ready: one with a wide-angle zoom, say a 24-105mm, and one with a telephoto zoom, perhaps a 100-400mm lens. That's for starters. After that, you may want longer and shorter lenses in your camera bag. All my gear, including those lenses, is listed on My Gear page.

Planning can also help you get good behavior photographs. I planned one of my Africa photo safari workshops so the group would be there for the annual migration of the zebra and wildebeest. Talk about getting good behavior shots! The opening image of the migration is one of my favorite photo safari photos.

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In my first post in this series I shared a portrait I took of our guide. Again, portraits are nice, but behavior shots tell more of a story, such as the above photograph that I took of a Masai warrior demonstrating his jumping skills.

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Here's something else about behavior shots: they can make you smile, as I do when I look at this photograph of a mommy elephant and her baby.

I hope to see you on a photo safari or on any of my workshops. I'm there to help you make great pictures and process your images.

If you like stuff like this, you can subscribe to my blog here.

Explore the light,
Rick

This post sponsored by Borrow lenses - which rents all the lenses you'll need on a photo safari. Back-up cameras, too.

Day 1: Six Days of Africa Photo Safari Tips

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Today is the start of a series here on my blog: Six Days of Africa Photo Safari Tips.

I'm running this series in preparation for my 2014 Kenya/Tanzania Photo Safari, which is listed on my 2014 Workshops page.

Today's tip: Go on a foot safari.

Photographing from a vehicle is awesome, but a foot safari can't be beat. Here are some photos from my previous foot safaris, along with some tips. Enjoy.

Not all camps offer foot safaris – where you actually walk on, rather than ride over, the African plains. But if the camp does offer this experience, go for it. It can't be beat for the thrill of being one with nature.

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Above: That's me on my previous Kenya trip with our Masai Mara foot safari guide, Jackson, and our security guard, Francis.

Is a foot safari dangerous? Not really. After all, your guides are not going to take chances. That means not getting super close the animals, but you'll be doing that anyway on your driving safaris. 

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Camera gear is important, but before we get to that, dressing properly is also very important:
A) you want to wear clothes that blend in with the surroundings;
B) you want to wear good hiking boots.

Dressing in "lion hungry" pink and wearing sneakers, through which a thorn can easily penetrate, is not the way to go. See the shot above that I took on a foot safari in South Africa directly above. Ouch!

Speaking of dressing for success, check out Outdoor Photo Gear for great prices on Bug Shirts, Gloves, Neos over shoes, gloves and more.

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Okay. Here are my camera gear recommendations for a foot safari.
- Two camera bodies. I use Canon 5D Mark III cameras.
- Wide-angle to medium telephoto lens on one body. I recommend a 24-105mm.
- Telephoto zoom on the other body. I recommend a 70-200mm f/4 (relatively light).
- Black Rapid duo strap, for easy access to both cameras.
- Domke photo vest - to carry spare batteries, cards and water.

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The key of course to a good foot safari is a good guide – with an eagle eye. A good guide will spot animals, even if they are well hidden. I never would have seen this lion resting in the shade had my guide not pointed him out. Good thing our guide kept us at a safe distance!

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While you are out and about, take the opportunity to make portraits of your guides. They will be much closer than the lions . . . which you actually don't want to see up close while on foot! I took the lion shot above while safely seated in a safari vehicle.

If you like the composition of the photographs in this post, as well as the lighting check out my Kelby Training Classes.

Explore the light,
Rick

This post sponsored by x-rite. X-Rite is the global leader in color science and technology. The Company develops, manufactures, markets and supports innovative color solutions through measurement systems, software, color standards and services.

Check out these cool x-rite products:
ColorMunki
Passport Color Checker

What is Man Without the Animals?

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"What is man without the animals? If all the animals were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of the spirit. For whatever happens to the animals, soon happens to man." – Chief Seattle.

When you are shooting around water, protect your camera with a waterproof or weatherproof case. Don’t change lenses when the wind is blowing. You may get salt spray on your camera’s image sensor.

Sea Lion Pup, Galapagos Islands

Tech info:
Canon 1Ds Mark II
Aperture Priority Mode
Canon 100-400mm IS lens @ 400mm
ISO 200 • 1/250th sec. @ f/8.0

This is a page from my app, Life Lessons We Can Learn From Mother Nature. See My Apps page for details.

If you like the stuff you see here on my blog, you can subscribe here.

Explore the light,
Rick

This post sponsored by X-Rite - Color Perfection from Start to Finish.