#photo workshops

On Safari with the Canon 5D Mark III. Day 4: Memories from a Maasai Village

Rick Sammon Fisheye.jpg

I'm running a series of posts here on my blog: On a Photo Safari with the Canon 5D Mark III.

Today is Day 4: Memories from a Maasai Village. Tomorrow is the final day in this series.

One of the highlights of our September 2014 Kenya photo safari – with our good friends Jonathan and Angela Scott (known as "The Big Cat People") – was a visit to Willima Pere's Village.

Below: That's Jonathan and Angie (on the left) photographing with me (on the right). Jonathan and Angie are Canon Ambassadors, like Canon Explorers of the Light here in the America.

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In this post we'll share a few of our favorite photographs, along with some photo tips.

Lens for opening image: Canon 8-15mm fisheye lens. Tip: Use your camera like a spaceship. In other words, photograph from all angles, directions and levels.

Lens for above image: Canon 17-40mm lens. Tips: When you think you are close, get closer. The closer you are to a subject, the more intimate the photograph becomes. When you are shooting close, check your aperture and make sure you get the desired depth-of-field.

Shortly after our arrival, we were met my a group of singers who welcomed us to the village. The singing was memorizing. Talk about feeling welcome!

Lens for above image: Canon 17-40mm lens. Tip: Watch the background. I got down low to help isolated the jumpers from the background.

Visitors to Maasai villages often get to see and photograph the traditional adume, or jumping dance. If you go on a photo safari, don't miss the opportunity to visit a village and photograph a jumping dance. Lots of fun and excitement.

Lens for above image: Canon 17-40mm lens. Tip: Join in the fun, and make it fun for everyone. Hey, I think photography and traveling keeps one young. Never thought I'd be doing this at 64!

Lens for this portrait of a Maasai woman: Canon 24-105mm IS.

• First and foremost, respect the subject. If you respect the subject, the subject will respect you.
• Shoot at the subject's level, so the person looking at your portrait can relate to the subject.
• Make pictures. In this case I used the doorway to the woman's hut as my black studio background.
• Focus on the eyes. If the eyes are not well lit and in focus, you've missed the shot - unless you are looking for a specific mood for feeling.
• Visualize the end-result. Know how your camera settings and the light will affect your photograph.
• Strive for a personality portrait. Try to capture the personality of the subject, which was very joyful in this case.
• Keep in mind that for a successful portrait, the subject does not always need to be looking at you/the camera.


If you like on-location portraiture, don't miss my previous post (with the above pair of images) in this series.


Once again, I'd like to thank Jonathan and Angie for inviting us to go on a photo safari with them. Truly an awesome experience. Check out some of the movies Jonathan and I made on my YouTube channel.

Scroll down, or return to my blog, for previous posts in this series.

I will be returning to Kenya for some projects in the future. Stay tuned.

Going on a photo safari? Want to learn about composition and exposure? I have several on-line classes just for you.

In closing, above is another photograph by Susan. She follows the tips (photo and processing) that I share on my workshops. :-)

Explore the light,
Canon Explorer of Light

P.S. A special "thank you" goes to Governors' Camp for making our stay on the Mara, well, perfect.