Tag: photography workshops

Photo Safaris Tanzania Site Launch

Cheetah, Serengeti - Photo Safaris Tanzania
Cheetah, Serengeti

www.photosafaristanzania.com is live!

We are ready to go with our photo safari schedule for the coming year. Set aside dates in October 2010 or February 2011 for the best photo safaris available. Seven days tracking the amazing and diverse wildlife of the Serengeti Plains, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Parks. We’ll also visit Olduvai Gorge and visit with the Maasai who live around Ngorongoro.

The safari starts with a flight from Arusha, across the Great Rift Valley and Crater Highlands to the Serengeti. We’ll spend the next 7 days making our way back to Arusha by following the chain of parks and wilderness areas. It will truly be a memorable experience with photo opportunities around every bend.

We’ve teamed up with Allan Phillemon. Allan is a Tanzanian who is best known for guiding the IMAX and National Geographic film crews up and safely back down Mt. Kilimanjaro to make the IMAX film Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa. He will outfit us in his safari Land Cruisers with his best guides and we will be staying at both luxury tented camps close to the wildlife and lodges with the best views in East Africa.

Now that I’ve whetted your appetite, visit the website for the details – www.photosafaristanzania.com – or email me now with your questions or booking.

Oh yeah – you’ll want to know about the price. Allan has priced this really well for us on a sliding scale based on the number of people. All transportation, accommodation and meals and a few extras (like wine on every dinner table) are included – basically everything except personal spending and your flight to Arusha (Kilimanjaro International Airport – JRO – KLM flies daily from Amsterdam). By the way, we are using a minimum of two trucks to give everyone the elbow room they need for great photography. The fewest people we’ll go with is 4.

With 4 people split between two trucks, the price is US$ 6695 per person. If there are 5 or 6 people, the price drops to US$ 5695. With 7 or 8 people (which is the maximum) the price drops again to US$4995. Why the big gap in price? Having more people reduces the cost per person so we prefer to pass the savings on to you. I invite you to have a look at other safaris offered around the web. We are not a discount safari, nor are we scrimping on accommodation, meals, trucks or location. That being said, you’ll find these prices as good if not better than most other Tanzanian safaris.

For me, there is no better place in this world than being on safari in East Africa. It is absolutely exhilarating! I hope you’ll be able to join me. Have a look at the site and drop me an email if you have any questions.

Travelling to Africa is like going back in time…
Wildlife like you’ve never seen before.
Wide open spaces that seem to go on forever.
Photo ops around every bend in the road.
It’s the Africa you’ve dreamed of…

Photo Workshops and Courses

Point-and-Shoot–Digital SLR–Digital Darkroom
–Explore Outdoors–Fine Art Courses and Workshops

Through the advent of digital, I’ve noticed some significant trends in photography.

  • photography has become much more available to people. By using cell phones and inexpensive  compact cameras that do not require the expense of film developing and printing people are freer to shoot anything (for better or worse!);
  • photography has become much more technical. Yes, you can still “point & shoot”, but there are many more buttons on the average camera today than at any time in the past;
  • people are able to produce more higher quality images on a regular basis, due to the accuracy of auto exposure, autofocusing, face detection, image stabilization and the improvement of program modes and auto ISO;
  • unfortunately, there are still huge technological barriers to people actually enjoying the photographs they take.  It’s easy if you only want to see your photos on the LCD screen of your camera or mobile, and while uploading and printing may seem easy, it is more complex and time -consuming then dropping off a roll for printing. As well,  storing photos so that you can find them again is an even greater headache.

Cameras, however,  are still far from perfect, and the decision-making technologies in them still allow significant room for user error. For me, this is a good thing because if cameras were perfect, I would be out of work.

Point and Shoot: The average point & shoot user still ends up with a number of photos that are, at best, only average. Many are still poorly exposed – not due to user-error but rather camera-error. In the end, cameras are just machines (computers, really) that simply respond to commands. Luckily, with just a few hours of coaching, virtually anyone will see dramatic improvement in the photos they take. And, by extending that coaching to the on-screen editing of photos even more dramatic improvement are possible.

The bottom line is that with a few evenings of hands-on practice, you will see marked improvement in your pictures. If you’re new to photography, take a Starter course t really understand what’s happening when you take a picture and what you can do to ensure greater success. For those who feel more confident, take the Advanced courses starting in March.

Digital SLR: Over the years, with improvements in  camera technology, I’ve often wondered if demand for photo courses and workshops would decrease. It hasn’t and I credit this to those who have this burning desire to create. Each of you are experimenting far more than ever and discovering new ways of using photographic technology to produce images. This is great. You are pushing your equipment further and demanding more. However, despite this amazing technology, there are still gaps between what you see and what you get and that’s where a photo course or workshop comes in.

The DSLR courses are also split into Starter and Advanced. With a much more advanced piece of technology in your hands, there is more to consider so we’ll start with the basics and move into the complex.

Digital Darkroom: Photography doesn’t end with taking pictures. Even more can be done to enhance great images through the use of a good photo editing program like Photoshop Elements. For this reason, I offer a 4-session course to get you immersed in digital editing. Alternatively, you can get your feet wet with the Understanding series – one-session mini-courses on File Management, Picasa, iPhoto and Picnik.

Explore Series: Getting outdoors with a field session is the best way to learn nature photography. We’ll start in two weeks with a Winter Wonderland workshop and continue in the spring. The outdoor field session is bookended with classroom sessions to introduce and wrap-up our shooting weekend.

Lastly, the Fine Art Series will challenge you to start looking at the world in a different way. Photography is, ultimately, an art form that allows you to visually express yourself. Confidently expressing that vision is helped with specific exercises and assignments that force you to actually “see” and not just “look”.

Join me for a great winter and spring of photography and begin turning snapshots into photographs you are truly proud of.

Exciting Photo Tours and Safari Developments

This week has been a great one for planning photo tours and safaris.

On Tuesday I sat down with Stephanie and Karen  from Expedia CruiseShipCenters in Waterloo to begin planning a photo cruise for 2011 – probably January-February and probably to the south Caribbean where you will find gorgeous scenery and flowers and the wonderful colours of the islands.

This evening my friend Allan Phillemon and I sat down to start working on a photo safari to his home country and my home-away-from-home: Tanzania. What a spectacular place: Kilimanjaro – the jewel of Africa, the magnificent  Serengeti Plain and Ngorongoro Crater, not to mention the wildlife that is accessible at all times. If you haven’t seen my photo of Tanzania – have a look here. Allan is also known as Kiliman (http://www.kiliman.com/) because of the excellent guided climbs of Mt Kilimanjaro. In fact, it was Allan who made all the arrangements for the IMAX crew for their ascent of Kili in making the film Kilimanjaro. Allan and I are looking at November 2010 and February 2011.

Travelling to these places is wonderful enough in itself, but a photo tour or safari designed specifically for photographers allows us to “take it up a notch”. Planning is done from the start to accommodate the needs of photographers — photogenic destinations; more time to get to know places; getting out when the lighting is ideal; plus photo tips and a workshop-like atmosphere where photographers are prepped ahead of time and questions answered in the field as they arise. A real win-win situation for all.

So start dreaming, start planning and start saving – there will be great opportunities for travel and photography in the coming year.

luxBorealis 2010 Winter and Spring Workshops Announced

If you are interested in photography, taking a photo course or participating in a workshop is one of the best ways to see significant improvement in a short period of time. Not only do you get immediate feedback but you will be working with a group of like-minded people who are all striving to improve.

My workshops are directed towards your interests, which is why course and workshops groups are kept to a maximum of 12 participants. As well, from beginner to advanced, there are courses for each level of learning allowing you to opt in where you most feed comfortable. If you are interested in the technical, try the Point & Shoot or DSLR series. Perhaps you are more into the art of photography – try the Fine Art Series where we explore the Art of Photography and Learning to See All Over Again.

To learn about the file management and editing, take the Digital Darkroom – BYOLaptop series. This is offered at two levels – beginners can take the Understanding series as individual sessions where we look at File Management, Picasa, iPhoto and the great online editing app called Picnik. For more advanced photographers, sign up for Photoshop Elements Introductory or Advanced offerings. If there is sufficient interest, I will run a course specifically for Photoshop and/or Lightroom – so email if you are interested!

In the Explore Series, we get our feet wet with combined field and classroom sessions. Friday evening in the Intro Session followed by a Field Session Saturday morning. Saturday afternoon we wrap things up by looking at and discussing images from the morning. The first workshop is Winter Wonderland on January 29th and 30th when the snow will challenge us with exposure and delight us with the great photos possible.

Each 4-seesion course or Explore Series workshop is CDN$140 per person. If you register a week or more in advance, the cost is reduced to CDN$125. All workshops and courses take place in Guelph, Ontario. Please note: this price is exclusive of travel and accommodation costs. If you require overnight accommodation, a list of local hotels, motels and B&Bs will be provided.