Adding Details

Posted December 7th, 2016 by   |  Travel, Wildlife  |  Permalink
Cape buffalo

Cape buffalo in Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania.

Sometimes, the most important parts of a photo story are the images showing details that might otherwise be forgotten. This photo of a buffalo skull and rib cage help fill in the larger story of a safari without showing the obvious fight between predator and prey. It graphically demonstrates the harsh reality of life on the African Plains in a very graphic way.

This buffalo was killed by a pride of lions, then hyenas and vultures came in to finish off the job. Days later, all that remained were the rib cage and the skull. They serve as a stark reminder of the dangers to wildlife in the wilds of Tanzania.

The next time you are on a photo trip, work hard to find additional elements of the scene that fill in details of the grand story.





Pictures from 2014 Tanzania Photo Safari

Posted November 25th, 2014 by   |  Photography, Travel  |  Permalink

This year’s Tanzania Photo Safari was one of the best we’ve ever run. We photographed just about everything possible during our adventure and had a blast along the way.

My kit this year included the brand new Nikon D750 and I’m proud to report that it performed like a champ. This camera is a winner as far as I’m concerned and I kept commenting to my participants how much I enjoyed having it along on the adventure. Highly recommended.

Here are a few pics from the trip. Enjoy!

Lion in tree

Young female lioness in a tree. Tarangire NP, Tanzania. Nikon D750, Nikon 200-400mm f/4.

Hippo waking up from a nap. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Nikon D750, 200-400mm f/4.

Hippo waking up from a nap. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Nikon D750, 200-400mm f/4.

Lion cub

Lion cub in the morning light. Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. Nikon D750, 200-400mm f/4.

night herons

Flock of black crowned night herons. Ngorongoro Crater. Nikon D750, Nikon 200-400mm f/4.

White rhinoceros

White rhinoceros in Ngorongoro Crater. Nikon D800, 200-400mm f/4.

Leopard cubs.

Baby leopard cubs at sunrise. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Nikon D800, Nikon 200-400mm f/4.

Lion at Sametu

Male lion at the Sametu Kopjes, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Nikon D750, 200-400mm f/4.

Drinking lions.

Pride of drinking lions at the Sametu Marsh, near the Sametu Kopjes in Serengeti National Park. Nikon D750, 200-400mm f/4.

Blue Monkey in tree

Blue monkey in tree. Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania. Nikon D800, Nikon 200-400mm f/4.

Maromboi tent

One of our luxury tents at Maromboi camp, Tanzania. Nikon D750, Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Images From Tanzania – 2013

Posted December 2nd, 2013 by   |  Travel, Wildlife, Workshops  |  Permalink

Our November 2013 photo safari to Tanzania was an incredible success. The wildlife was stunning and the landscapes were equally compelling. I can’t wait to go back again next year. Here are a bunch of images from this year’s adventure. More stories to come!

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Private Group Photo Trip to Tanzania

Posted July 27th, 2013 by   |  Photography, Travel  |  Permalink

I’ve just returned from leading a private group photo trip to Tanzania for five people. We had quite an adventure photographing the beautiful landscapes and abundant wildlife throughout Tanzania’s northern national parks. Here are a few photos from the journey. Enjoy.

By the way, our next group trip to Tanzania is scheduled for November, 2013 and is sold out. After that, we have a trip scheduled for November, 2014 through the Nikonians Academy.

Male lion at sunrise in Ngorongoro Crater. Nikon D800, 200-400mm f/4, 1.4x TC.

Male lion at sunrise in Ngorongoro Crater. Nikon D800, 200-400mm f/4, 1.4x TC.

Bee eaters

Bee eaters. Tarangire NP, Tanzania. Nikon D800, 200-400mm f/4, 1.4x TC.

elephants

Young elephants playing in Silale Swamp, Tarangire NP. Nikon D800, 200-400mm f/4, 1.4x TC.

Love birds

Love birds on branch, Tarangire NP. Nikon D800, 200-400mm f/4, 1.4x TC.

Black rhino

Black rhino in Ngorongoro Crater. Nikon D800, 200-400mm f/4, 1.4x TC.

Umbrella acacia

Umbrella acacia tree on the Serengeti plains. Nikon D600, 70-200mm f/2.8

lion

Old male lion in Ngorongoro Crater. Nikon D800, 200-400mm f/4, 1.4x TC.

Elephants in shade

Elephants enjoying the shade from the Serengeti mid-day sun. Nikon D600 24-70mm f/2.8.

Monitor lizard

Monitor lizard in acacia tree, Tarangire NP. Nikon D800, 200-400mm f/4, 1.4x TC.

Giraffe

Giraffe on the Serengeti plains. Nikon D600, 24-70mm f/2.8.

 

 

 

 





Off to Tanzania

Posted November 1st, 2011 by   |  Photography, Travel  |  Permalink

Off to Tanzania for a few weeks for photos of amazing wildlife and beautiful landscapes. I’ll be testing out some new camera gear (Nikon 1 and Nikon P7100) while creating new images and enjoying the company of 11 intrepid adventurers.

See you on the flip side in mid-November!

Elephants in Tarangire NP

Elephants in Tarangire NP

Raptor, Tarangire NP

Raptor, Tarangire NP

The search for water, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

The search for water, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania





May 2012 Tanzanian Photo Safari

Posted September 2nd, 2011 by   |  Photography, Wildlife, Workshops  |  Permalink

We are headed out to Tanzania in May 2012 for another incredible adventure. Our November 2011 safari is completely sold out so we’ve added a new safari at a different time of year. May brings the wildebeest rut and all the photo opportunities that come with it.

Lodging is phenomenal (top notch) and the food is excellent. Our trips are premium trips as we only allow 3 people per stretch Landcruiser. You get an entire row all to yourself so you can keep your camera bag open on one side while also having an open seat on the right. We have unobstructed views all around the vehicle and incredible access in all the parks.

One of the advantages of going in May is the lower overall cost since it is a lower travel season. Photographically, May can be just as impressive or even more impressive than other times of the year. The truth is that any time in Tanzania is wonderful.

If you want more information or would like to sign up, then follow this link: http://www.nikoniansacademy.com/all/viewWorkshop.html?course_id=788

Leopard in Serengeti.

Leopard in Serengeti.

Zebra moving across Ngorongoro Crater.

Zebra moving across Ngorongoro Crater.

Clearing storm behind Acacia tree. Serengeti.

Clearing storm behind Acacia tree. Serengeti.

Lilac breasted roller.

Lilac breasted roller.

Accommodation in Northern Serengeti

Accommodation in Northern Serengeti

Lion on the Serengeti.

Lion on the Serengeti.

Zebra on the Serengeti.

Zebra on the Serengeti.





Night Sky Photography in Tanzania

Posted February 14th, 2011 by   |  Photography, Travel  |  Permalink

One of my favorite things to do on Safari in Tanzania is to photograph the amazing night sky. There is almost zero atmospheric pollution and on clear nights it feels as if you are a part of the cosmos. Here are a few shots of the starry nights in Tanzania.

Kikoti tent camp in Tarangire NP, Tanzania. Nikon D700, 14-24mm f2.8.

Kikoti tent camp in Tarangire NP, Tanzania. Nikon D700, 14-24mm f2.8.

The above shot is a composite of two images. I exposed the first image for the tent and the shadows. It is lit up so well because there were very small lanterns all around the camp area. To the naked eye, the lighting was incredibly dim. However, when I photographed the scene with a really long exposure, the building burned in and lit up like it was in daylight.

I exposed the second photo in the sequence for the stars using a high ISO and a relatively short exposure. I didn’t want the stars to blur from a long exposure, so I needed to use an ISO of about 3200, aperture of f2.8 and shutter speed about 5 seconds.

Back at my office in the USA, I brought the images into Photoshop to do a little bit of cleanup and white balance fine tuning. My final step was to use Nik HDR Efex Pro to merge them and perform a mild HDR process.

Morning twilight above Serengeti camp. Nikon D700, 14-24mm f2.8.

Morning twilight above Serengeti camp. Nikon D700, 14-24mm f2.8.

This photo above is from a single shot taken with a Nikon D700. I exposed for the sky which meant that the foreground was almost completely black. Since the shot was taken in 14 bit RAW, I knew I could brighten the foreground with the right digital tool set. I used Nikon Capture NX2 and and four Control Points to gently brighten the foreground.

Star-filled sky above Ngorongoro Crater. Nikon D700, 14-24mm f2.8.

Star-filled sky above Ngorongoro Crater. Nikon D700, 14-24mm f2.8.

This green colored sky is the result of an image I took with my Nikon D700 at Ngorongoro Crater. I’m still not quite sure why the sky has this interesting color cast, but I love the result. The shot was taken at ISO 6400 and the exposure time was about 5 seconds long.

Luxury tent camp in the morning blue hour. Nikon D700, 14-24mm f2.8.

Luxury tent camp in the morning blue hour. Nikon D700, 14-24mm f2.8.

Sometimes the clouds get in the way of your night photography (above). In these cases, take the photo anyways! You might just be surprised with the final pic.





Giant Elephants of Ngorongoro Crater

Posted February 11th, 2011 by   |  Photography, Travel  |  Permalink

Old elephant on rim of Ngorongoro Crater. Nikon D700, 70-200 f2.8.

Old elephant on rim of Ngorongoro Crater. Nikon D700, 70-200 f2.8.

Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania is one of the world’s most fascinating ecosystems. In a relatively small area, you can find just about every animal species endemic to East Africa. There are a few missing animal types such as giraffe, but almost everything else is represented, from birds to cheetah to hippos. Some of my favorite subjects to photograph in Ngorongoro Crater are the massive male African Elephants.

Ngorongoro Crater. Nikon D300, 12-24mm. Panorama stitched together in Photoshop. Contrast added with Nik HDR Efex Pro.

Ngorongoro Crater. Nikon D300, 12-24mm. Panorama stitched together in Photoshop. Contrast added with Nik HDR Efex Pro.

Because Ngorongoro is well protected from outside influences, old male elephants go there to retire and relax for the remaining years of their life. Often, these old beasts have some of the longest tusks in all of Africa since poaching here is nonexistent. Since their tusks have grown for the entirety of their 50 years of life, the elephants of Ngorongoro’s tusks can be close to 10 feet long!

The tusks on these old males are absolutely massive. A result of living a full life without poachers. Nikon D700, 24-70mm f2.8.

The tusks on these old males are absolutely massive. A result of living a full life without poachers. Nikon D700, 24-70mm f2.8.

These guys have run of the crater and pretty much go where they want, when they want. They are solitary animals, so you’ll often find them by themselves, eating grass or acacia trees, enjoying the good life.

Elephants pretty much go wherever they want, whenever they want. If you are out enjoying breakfast and get in their way, then you better get behind your Landcruiser when they come by!

Elephants pretty much go wherever they want, whenever they want. If you are out enjoying breakfast and get in their way, then you better get behind your Landcruiser when they come by!

Nikon D300, 200-400mm f4, 1.4x TC.

Nikon D300, 200-400mm f4, 1.4x TC.

The above photo was taken at Ngoitokitok Springs. One of the reasons old elephants come to Ngorongoro to retire is because of the ever-present water source and foilage that is easy to chew. Elephants replace their teeth and molars six times throughout their life and once their final set of teeth come in, that’s it. Often, an elephant doesn’t die of old age or disease, rather they sometimes die because their teeth have worn out. Ngorongoro crater offers abundant amounts of soft plants for old elephants to consume.

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Dust bath. Nikon D700, 200-400mm f4.

All elephants like to cover themselves with dust or mud to keep bugs away. This guy is blowing dust out of his trunk and coating his body.

Elephant silhouette at sunset. Nikon D700, 70-200mm f2.8.

Elephant silhouette at sunset. Nikon D700, 70-200mm f2.8.

Chewing away on some acacia branches. Nikon D300s, 200-400mm f4, 1.4x TC.

Chewing away on some acacia branches. Nikon D300s, 200-400mm f4, 1.4x TC.

Huge tusks and big ears. Nikon D700, 24-70mm f2.8.

Huge tusks and big ears. Nikon D700, 24-70mm f2.8.





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