Out of the Bush

Upcoming Workshops

Be sure to check out our Workshops page for some goodies coming up! This time we changed the time of year for the New Zealand workshop to mix things up a little bit! πŸ™‚

Daily Photo – Out of the Bush

We stayed and watched these lions for hours on end. They completely ignored us, except for this 1% of the time when I captured this photo. Going back through these photos makes me want to do a serious Africa trip again! I can't decide if I want to go alone or maybe make a workshop out of it. Maybe I'll do both, like last time… half the time with the workshop and the other half by myself. It's a pretty good system, actually, and many of the attendees did the same thing. As long as you're in Africa, why not spend an extra few days or week there to test out your newfound skills!

Out of the Bush

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-10-05 05:03:23
  • CameraILCE-6000
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture4
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length200.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Little Pretty Bird

Book Suggestion

Speaking of the importance (or non-) of knowing the names of things, I recommend a great book from Richard Feynman called “Surely you’re joking, Mr. Feynman!” It’s a great read and very fun while insights abound every page.

Daily Photo – Little Pretty Bird

You could add up everything I know about birds and put it into a one-page encyclopedia. When I was in Botswana, I was with a group that knew a lot about these birds and could name every one of them. I think bird-people are much more patient than I am. I got a few decent bird shots, but mostly I was unlucky and impatient. I do know a lot about bird-law, however.

Little Pretty Bird

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-10-01 09:00:37
  • CameraILCE-6000
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length200.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Zebras and Water Buffalos

Becoming an Artist Season 1

Be sure to Grab Season 1 over in our store to see even more Africa action. There’s a lot more zebra fun where this comes from! πŸ™‚

Daily Photo – Zebras and Water Buffalos

It's nice to see these little pods of animals in such close proximity to one another. It was almost like there was some kind of animal-dropper from high above that says, “Oh, let's put 10 zebras here and 34 giraffes here and 24 elephants over there.” Over a week, you'd think you would see every possible combination, but that's just not the case. Just looking at these photos makes me want to go back again, and soon! This time I want to bring my kids since they are a little less bite-sized.

Zebras and Water Buffalos

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-10-02 23:22:40
  • CameraILCE-6000
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length200.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Getting Up Close and Personal with the Elephants

The Botswana Random Animal Generator

The way the Okavango Delta is oriented, when it’s not completely flooded, is large areas of grasslands interspersed with groupings of trees. As we’d drive around all these groups of trees and emerge into another grassland, we’d see a different set of animals every time. We’d pop out of the trees and see maybe 5 giraffes, 30 wildebeests, and 6 elephants out there. The next time, 10 minutes later, we’d turn a corner and see 10 baboons, 8 giraffes, and 40 cape buffalo. We got to calling Botswana a “Random Animal Generator”!

Daily Photo – Getting Up Close and Personal with the Elephants

We were looking so hard to find elephants in Namibia. It must have taken us two hours to finally find some of them. But in Botswana, they were everywhere! The official count is around 100,000 elephants there… that goes to show what I know β€” I thought they were endangered! They're absolutely everywhere… you turn around a group of trees and, well, there's another herd stomping about! We got very close to many, including this bad boy.

Getting Up Close and Personal with the Elephants

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-10-06 17:54:42
  • CameraILCE-6000
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO500
  • Focal Length113.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Lion Brothers in the Wild

Upcoming events

I’m really looking forward to our big event that starts this week! It’s all sold out, but we do have some future ones coming, including a combo yoga/photography adventure here in New Zealand as well as an unannounced Venice one… but watch The Events Page here to see what is coming up soon!

Daily Photo – Lion Brothers in the Wild

We sat here and watch a pride of lions for several hours. They were so interesting… these are slightly older brothers, and you can see one of them is starting to get his mane. Nearby, their mom was sleeping on her side while cute little cubs were feeding. It was great to watch! At one point the mom got frustrated by some of the over-suckling, and she growled at them in the way only a mom can!

Lion Brothers in the Wild

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-10-02 04:07:36
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/750
  • Aperture6.7
  • ISO2000
  • Focal Length500.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Big Elephant Crossing

The Imitation Game

I just recently saw this movie and really enjoyed it. I read a lot about that whole bit of WWII in Neal Stephenson’s amazing book called “Cryptonomicon” β€” and some of that was brought to life in this movie. Besides, I’m a total sucker for Benedict Cumberbatch β€” I’ll watch him in anythin

Daily Photo – Big Elephant Crossing

While in Botswana, we had this AMAZING guide named Dennis. We knew he was named Dennis because he would only refer to himself in the third person. We asked him about this elephant crossing the road and he said, “Dennis wants you to know that the elephant turns his body sideways like this to make himself seem as big and awesome as possible, much like Dennis.” Man, we never got tired of this guy. We would end up asking him any kind of question just to see how he would work his own name into the answer… haha I still laugh thinking about it.

Big Elephant Crossing

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-10-06 17:51:03
  • CameraILCE-6000
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length72.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Crossing the Hippo Infested Ponds

Hippo Encounter

On one of our boat rides into camp, we got a little too close to a hippo. Well, he took umbrage to this and decided to chase us at full speed! He reared up out of the water at least 4 times as he did everything he could to catch up. It scared the hell out of all of us so much we were laughing! And the guide said he had never seen anything like it before, which made us all just-a-bit nervous!

Daily Photo – Crossing the Hippo Infested Ponds

This is what almost every bridge in Botswana looks like! They all look like they are on the edge of collapse. And I just can't get used to that gap in the middle. I feel like, well, let's just throw a few more logs down in that middle part just in case. These Land Rovers they use there are so immense and heavy… I can only imagine what would happen if just one tire slipped off… forget it! You're down swimmin' with the hippos, and they are hungry hungry.

Crossing the Hippo Infested Ponds

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-10-06 04:04:31
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/4000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-2.7

The Dreaded Cape Buffalo

I realized I really don’t Know My Animals

When we were driving around Botswana, we saw all sorts of amazing animals. It was just then I realized I don’t know the names of hardly anything. I mean, I got the easy ones like giraffes and elephants, but they have all these other crazy animals with wonky names. I was constantly getting the guide to repeat what the heck they were… I felt super-dumb! haha. Anyway, to this day, I’m not totally sure I can tell the difference between a springbok and a red lechwe!

Daily Photo – The Dreaded Cape Buffalo

According to a variety of guides I had in Africa, this is the most feared animal there. What a surprise this was… and good to know… Growing up in Texas, I thought they might just be a *little* bit mean like bulls. I wasn't gonna go wrastle the thing to the ground or anything, but especially not after I heard some horror stories.

One of the stories involved a hunter going after one. They got a good shot, and the cape buffalo retreated and limped back into the long grass. The hunter pursued. But the crafty buffalo circled back around and rammed him from the side, killing him.

The Dreaded Cape Buffalo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-10-02 22:49:36
  • CameraILCE-6000
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1600
  • Aperture4
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length200.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Rare Wild Serval Hunting at Night

Wild Animals and Patience

I must admit that I am not the most patient photographer. That’s not entirely true. I’m very patient for sunsets, sunrises, and most landscape situations. I think I am just animal-impatient. I have a lot of respect for those animal photographers (especially bird photographers!) that will sit there and just wait for something to come out of its hole or come back to its nest. I can wait for a little while, but I usually prefer just to have it all happen automagically for me! I guess I just feel a little too out-of-control for getting a good shot… with Landscape situations, I feel like I control the destiny of the shot a bit more…

Daily Photo – The Rare Wild Serval Hunting at Night

This was a treat to find this guy! We can thank Curtis Simmons for being the spotter here and finding him stalking his prey through the grass in the dark. This is pretty much the tallest cat in the world with the biggest leg length to body ratio. They are extinct in cape regions of South Africa because of loss of habitat, so I felt very lucky to see one!

The Rare Wild Serval Hunting at Night

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-10-03 10:07:09
  • CameraILCE-6000
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture4
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length200.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Flying Over the Okavango Delta

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone is having great holidays! πŸ™‚

A little mind-bending for the day from Alan Watts

And here’s something a little different for you… it’s one of those that’s worth watching full-screen with good sound! πŸ™‚

Daily Photo – Flying Over the Okavango Delta

One day in Botswana, we took a rather incredible helicopter ride! It came to pick us up at our camp that was literally in the middle of nowhere. And here's the kicker β€” our pilot was from Wanaka, New Zealand! That's only about 45 minutes away from my home… what a strange world!

We took the doors off and it was most pleasant outside. It was so nice and warm that I took off my shoes and let them dangle out into the breeze. Actually, it wasn't a breeze as much as it was a gale-force wind!

Flying Over the Okavango Delta

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-10-04 04:52:26
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1500
  • Aperture6.7
  • ISO640
  • Focal Length28.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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