3. Travel & Photo Tips... A Tour Leader’s Nightmare!
The Africa 2005 Photo Safari was an enormous success with wonderful photo opportunities of the Great Migration, pride of lions on the hunt, cheetah with a kill, beautiful birds, large groups of giraffes, and wonderful scenics. Six trips in ten years and Africa never ceases to enchant, enthrall and mesmerize me and my tour participants and this last trip was no exception.
Plans for the 2006 Photo Safari are already in the works. Ngoragora crater, Mount Kilimanjaro National Park, and Serengeti National Parks in Tanzania will be on the itinerary as well as the Masai Mara in Kenya. More detail information to follow, but pencil in middle of September-October 2006 time-frame on your calendar if you are interested. Visit my Africa gallery for a brief photo journey to this part of the world at www.natureandwildlife.com or www.joannewilliamsphoto.com
Titusville: The Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival
November 16th thru November 20th: Once again I’ll be actively participating during this great event. I’ll have a double booth, be leading three in-the-field photo workshops, and presenting a new slide show entitled “You’re Strictly For The Birds!”, which will be an extension of last year’s slide show “Mixed Bag O’ Birds” with images from the Galapagos Islands, Panama, Florida, & Africa. For more Festival information and on-line signup, go to: http://www.nbbd.com/fly/
Tips & Tricks
On numerous occasions while conducting ‘in-the-field’ workshops, I would overhear a passerby say to their companion (or directly to my face); “If I had that big, fancy equipment like yours, I’d be a good photographer too!” I used to bristle at the comment, but now I use it as an opportune opening to teach another lesson to my workshop participants, which I will share in this newsletter. My immediate response to that comment is; “You can go out and buy all the expensive equipment you want, but you must know how to use itproperly in order to make a good picture.You must have knowledge & technique on how to use it in the field under good and bad conditions, and you must be flexible, especially when far away from home and when accidents happen. I watched in slow motion and a sickening horror as my friend & African tour participant’s 600mm lens, camera, tripod & flash took a nose dive into Lake Baringo, Kenya. As it submerged, he grabbed it and with brute strength pulled it all back into the boat, but I was pretty sure the damage was done---at least for the remainder of the trip which was two more weeks!! There is a line from the movie Forest Gump “---- happens!” which is true, but as a professional tour leader and a teacher in the field of photography I have watched & noted how adverse events are handled by various individuals. Learning to adapt under all kinds of unfavorable conditions goes with the territory of a good wildlife & nature photographer--whether it be inclement weather, broken or lost equipment etc. as long as you have one lens and one camera body (or even a point & shoot) still in tact. I spent the next two weeks watching this already-good photographer develop into a first-class, great photographer, and I haven’t even seen one image he made yet.
I know because I watched him be flexible, adapt to the situation and take his already-developed knowledge and apply it to the equipment which was available to him, and I might add, without one complaint. Most wildlife & nature photographers want their subjects to be full-frame, up close shots. I’ve tried to teach that often (not always) “less is best”, especially in a scenic. Hopefully, he will see the talent of his work made without the 600mm lens and not throw out those images of critters that aren’t showing their nose hairs!
"Keep Your Aperture Your Priorty"
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