Saturday, November 30, 2013

Elephants from the Air

Elephants - D800e, 70-200 @ 200mm, f/5.6, 1/3200s, ISO 900
One of the highlights of the Botswana trip was being able to photograph the delta from the air on a helicopter.  The doors were removed and with one foot on a skid, I had the ability to across the entirety of one side.  This image was made in the morning around 6:45 AM when the light was soft and warm.  Elephants (especially the matriarch) can get irritated by the presence of a helicopter so we always keep out distance and at the first sign of annoyance, we leave (the ecological responsibility demonstrated by our pilot is awesome).  This group was relaxed and didn't mind our presence so we stayed with them for a few minutes, making a bunch of images.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Satisfying Safari

Leopard and Stormy Skies - 5D3, 24-70 @ 45mm, f/9, ISO 100
I am on my way home after spending the last 9 days on safari in the Okavango Delta led by +Andy Biggs and +Grant Atkinson.  Our time was split between two camps, Sandibe and Nxageba and in short it was wonderful.  We were treated to great weather, lots of interesting animal behavior and spectacular skies and sunsets.  I've already highly recommended Andy as a safari leader but this was my first time with Grant and I can whole heartedly recommend him as well.  Grant is as knowledgeable about wildlife, their behavior and history as he is a great photographer.  Andy and Grant's style in what they look for and how they do it was different but complimentary and having them rotate through the vehicles gave people the opportunity to come away with images of a variety of subjects and benefit from their collective wisdom.

I remember the morning I made this image well.  It was after a night of heavy rains, and in the morning there were a lot of clouds in the skies but they were layered with interesting color and pattern.  In the late morning, on our way back to camp after 5 hours of game drive (we left for game drives at 5:30 AM), I saw these white fluffy clouds against the deep blue of a distant storm.  I turned to Grant and mentioned to him that all that was missing was a fantastic subject to put in front of it, ideally a Leopard resting on a tree with a clear view to the sky behind.  Not 10 minutes after I said that we spotted a Leopard sitting in a tree.  It took a couple of minutes to find the ideal spot to capture both the leopard and a bit of that wonderful sky.

Friday, November 15, 2013


Shopkeeper - 5D3, 24-70 @ 70mm, f/2.8, 1/100s, ISO 100
Work is now over and its time to play.  In a couple of days, I should be on the Okavango Delta with +Vincent Mo on the first of our game drives.  No more street photography, its time for the wildlife.

Monday, November 11, 2013


One of the many interested things I discovered about Israel yesterday was Halvah.  I'm very familiar with the Indian Halwa and nothing having met a sweet dish I didn't like I was curious to see what this was like.  The Israeli Halvah is made from nut butter (tahini, i.e. sesame seed is what I had) and sugar and comes infused with a variety of flavors.  I had a chance to try coffee and "spice", which was a combination of cinnamon and a touch of heat; both were good.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Giraffe Run

Giraffe Run - 1D4, 70-200 @ 200, f/32, 1/20s, ISO 100
This is hopefully the last image African wildlife image I post from my 2011 trip for some time.  I am first heading to Tel Aviv for work and then in a week I'll be in Johannesburg on the way to Botswana for 8 days of safari.

I used f/32 for this image mainly to force the shutter speed low enough to get the motion blur (it was the middle of the day when this image was made).  A lot of these motion blur images are just a matter of trying over and over until you get you are happy with.