Tag: tanzania

My First Canvas Print – Kilimanjaro

I have often toyed with the idea of having canvas prints made of some of my photographs. To me, canvases always appear to be decorative rather than artistic. However, that changed after seeing some of the work done by Gregg Parsons of Guelph. He is making exquisite canvas prints of his work and prints for others as well.

I knew i had the ideal location in our home for a canvas print and knew exactly which photograph would go there – a photograph I made of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. On our trip in 2007, we flew into Nairobi then flew on to Kilimanjaro International Airport in Tanzania. Well, that flight took us right by Mt. Kilimanjaro – the Kibo and Mawenzi summits in brilliant sunshine above billowy white cloud below. As we banked around the airport, a wonderful scene unfolded – the scene captured in the photograph below.

Amazingly enough, I had Gregg print this 5mp photograph, made through the airplane window, to 18″ x 46″ – and it turned out wonderfully well. The tone is perfect as are the subtle highlight details in the clouds. Many thanks Gregg. You can see Gregg’s work and find out about his canvas printing at greggparsons.ca.


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…

Tanzania Book – just in time for Christmas!

Tanzania - a fine art book of photographs by Terry A. McDonald

I’m just putting the finishing touches on my new book: Tanzania. It is a fine art book of photographs portraying the grandeur of Tanzania, its wildlife and some of the people who live there. My Introduction reads:

Using words alone, I find it impossible to accurately describe a wondrously complex country like Tanzania. While the photographs in this book portray the “Northern Circuit” they are representative of much of the country.

In every way it is a beautiful place, but it is also depressing, straight-forward yet enigmatic, inspiring yet frustrating, challenging yet easy-going. The romantic in me celebrates the wide-open landscapes and wildlife that are little changed in centuries – what Canada once was. The realist in me sees a people hampered by challenges much greater than their economy can solve. Yet Tanzanians are filled with the joy of community and friendship and a joie de vive unparalleled here in Canada. I lament the rapid changes fraught with conflict and tension, yet I yearn for Tanzanians to live their lives free of the afflictions that cause such hardships.

As a writer, this is as far as I go; I hope my photographs can more clearly reveal the grandeur of this great and wondrous country.

– Terry McDonald
November 2009

Tanzania is a beautiful, limited run, 8.5 x 11.25″, 46-page hard cover book with dust jacket and costs just $115 – including delivery  – an ideal Christmas gift for anyone who appreciates great photography and the wonders of Africa.

Featured in the book are images Mount Kilimanjaro, Arusha National Park, Tarangire National Park, the Rift Valley including Ol Doinyo Lengai and Lake Natron, Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area and Serengeti National Park. As well, I’ve included photos from the bomas of our Maasai friends Kalanga and Baraka showing their extended family. This was a very special time and place for us as their homes are in the real porini (wilderness) north of Monduli near Kitumbeini and the Matisiwi Escarpment – a spectacular area.

Anyone who has travelled to Northern Tanzania would not only recognize the places shown, but will begin to see these wonderful lands in a new light.

The importance of Raw

Thunderstorm over Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
Thunderstorm, Ngorongoro Crater

It’s been a bright and sunny autumn this year in southern Ontario. Today is the first day of rain in weeks, it seems. At the same time, its been a busy autumn with guests, my book launch and the website overhaul (still on-going but will shortly be finished).

I think I need to work on streamlining image processing. I have a good system – one that I will write about one day – but it seems that for every hour I spend photographing, I spend at least an hour working on processing: editing, numbering, past-capture processing, organizing. It takes forever. I’m sure there are efficiencies I can start to use.

Right now I’m processing everything using Adobe Camera Raw. I am still in awe of what can be done using 5.5. For many images I don’t even open Photoshop at all, but just do everything through Bridge and ACR. I take half the time now compared to one or two years ago, but, at the same time, features like Adjustment Brush and Spot Removal mean that I am taking longer with each image due to the finessing that is now possible.

I have also been revisiting images taken years ago as I prepare my Tanzania book and have reaffirmed the importance of shooting Raw. Loading up and processing 7-year-old raw files from my Minolta Dimage 7i has been a wonderful experience. Yes, they are grainy-looking, but the power of ACR now compared to then has led to the same images being revitalized and reinvented in a new way.

Image quality is absolutely key for me and although I can’t afford full frame – I’m going to work as hard as I can with what I have to maximize image quality – something I have always believed right back to my film days. It is for this reason I have always shot raw – even when the write times were  20 to 30 seconds per shot. It is certainly paying off now!


If you’re looking for something photographic to do, visit the dpReview Challenge page and enter a few photos.

My Art of Earth series continues with “My Own Backyard” opening for entries Thurs 26th Nov.

Good luck, have fun – and learn from viewing photos by other photographers!