Thursday, August 31, 2017

Private Guided Wildlife Photography

When coming on safari and seeing all the magnificent wildlife one is easily overwhelmed, and quite rightly so. After 20 years of guiding I still get a rush when showing guests a leopard slink though the thickets or hearing the shouts of excitement when new comers see their first Giraffe or Zebra in the wild. I will ever tire of that.  Safaris are exotic and often once in a lifetime experiences and for this reason guides must make it as memorable as possible. For photographic clients this entails getting images that it well beyond the obvious. In my experience I have seen that when confronted with all these magnificent animals, it is easy to get overwhelmed. And even though it is super exciting photographing all of this, the results are often very average when reviewing and comparing images afterwards. That is where guiding comes into play. As a guide who have been photographing for 20 years (I still cannot believe that :) ) most of the normal angles have been tried and tested. As a photographer I also want new and exciting images that stand out. Each image below is taken on safari with guests and I am happy to confirm that each and every client got similar images. 


Yet realistically it is important to understand that quantity and quality cannot be combined. It often takes days or even weeks to get the right shot. But if patience persists, the results are spectacular. 
Over the course of 2017 we have hosted several private photographic safaris. Below a few images taken on private photographic safaris. 


Pafuri. 

This almost photographically unvisited region can produce remarkable images. Anyone who wanders off the main tourist track onto this dramatic landscape between the Limpopo and Levhuvu rivers, where ancient Baobabs hint at striking images will be rewarded with unique and exciting experiences. The riparian forests holds numerous wildlife treasures, revealed only sporadically while mist covered mornings along the Levhuvu river creates a most enchanting backdrop for even the most common and overlooked species.
   
Difficult to see, let alone photograph, this obliging Greater Bushbaby or Thick-tailed Galago put in a star performance. 
Misty mornings drape even the most overlooked species in an aura of enchantment. 

The layered landscape of a buffalo herd aptly described by Karen Blixen as "being created in front of me".
Phinda.

One of Africa's biggest private conservation success stories Phinda is the jewel in the crown of KwaZulu Natal's wildlife circuit. Undulating hills, wooded valleys, marshland and a unique Sandforest harbors wonderful species diversity including some fascinating endemic species. Some of Africa's best trained guides reveal the area and nothing is too much effort to get the right shot. 


Kings Camp.

South Africa's Timbavati Private Nature Reserve is one of the worlds premium wildlife destinations and Kings Camp one of the safari circuits premium destinations. Here guests can access large wilderness areas, the camp management professional and welcoming and the guides are just superb. And the wildlife consistently great. 


Almero, our guide made a great effort to get us into this spot with dramatic backlight from another nearby vehicle. 

The perfect position to get this striking cat in great light. 
Mala Mala.

Again, one of Africa;s premium wildlife destinations and a reserve that prides themselves in putting the wildlife experience first. This is the largest property within the Sabie Sands reserve and directly borders the Kruger Park. Wildlife is in a league of its own, there are only two camps on the reserve and no other camp share the area.

A slightly zoomed out approach and interesting lighting gives context to this large male leopard on the hunt amidst blue Foxglove flowers. 

Cloudy days can be wonderful for black and white photography



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