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About Andy

 

I am an avid adventurer, conservationist, teacher, and outdoor photographer whose photography celebrates the African landscape and its rich wildlife, people, and culture. My photographic safaris allow my travelers to not only enhance their understanding of photography, lighting, and wildlife, but to develop a life-long admiration for Africa ‘s beauty and culture.

Banana Republic recently used my photographs as the cornerstone of their Urban Safari campaign, and my images were seen in all 750 stores around the globe, as well as in their billboards, catalogs and annual report. I was also the winner of the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year in the ‘Wild Places’ category in 2008 and a highly commended in the ‘Creative Visions of Nature’ category in 2007.

I launched Gura Gear in 2008, in an attempt to deliver lightweight camera bags to the market. I was looking for a lightweight camera bag to hold all of my photographic gear, and there was nothing desirable on the market that suited my needs. After spending 2 years with many prototypes, the Gura Gear Kiboko bag was born. More products are now available on the Gura Gear web site.

 

 

 

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« Sabi Sands Safari Report - Day 6 | Main | Sabi Sands Safari Report - Day 4 »
Wednesday
Jun062012

Sabi Sands Safari Report - Day 5

We were up at 5:30, a quick coffee and tea at 6 and we were out before sunrise. I loved the cool morning, as it is hot back at home and I am already tired of 70+F temps at night. We had some amazing sightings of elephant and giraffe this morning, and we took the time to try and get the best shots possible. Drive-by photography rarely pays off in the safari world, and the best photographs take time to unfold. I love photographing anything that is in front of me, and giraffes and elephants are actually my favorite subjects. They can be the most challenging for me, and think that is part of the fun.

Giraffes are difficult from a composition standpoint. What to include? Head? Head and neck? Whole body? Vertical or horizontal? So many options and my choices rarely seem to have me happy in the end. I put my camera down for much of the day, as I wanted to spend time working with people on the rear autofocus button on their cameras, as well as discussions about composition, metering and storytelling.

We did get a report of an often-not-seen animal in the Sabi Sands, and that was of a cheetah out on the southern open planes. We hoofed it to the area and tracked the cheetah to a place where he was resting underneath a tree. The light was harsh, but our time with him was enjoyable because of the rarity of the sighting. One of the vehicles did get a great opportunity to photograph him later on as he jumped up onto a very narrow top of a termite mound. Very very cool.

We broke for a late brunch back at camp, and the staff had set up a really nice table for us out underneath a shade tree. Cold cereals, fruit, breads, cheese and eggs to order from the kitchen. It’s nice not to have to worry about my guests when we have such wonderful staff around.

We had tea at 2:30 and promptly left for our afternoon drive, and headed towards the Sand River in the northern part of Singita. We had a great sighting of a dominant male leopard of the area, and we followed him on one of the roads for quite some time. We drove behind him at a distance, as well as drove offroad to the side of him to capture him walking. The goal was to get some tall grass in the foreground as to make the road less obvious in the shots. He was walking more quickly than we could drive, as the terrain offroad was littered with large stones. Eventually he went off into the thick bush, and the rest of the afternoon was spent trying to intercept him on the other side of the thick bush. We lost him and never found him again, but we did get a great sighting nonetheless.

I feel like today was one of the better days I have had in a while, as a cheetah in the morning and a glorious male leopard in the afternoon is tough to beat.

 

Male Leopard

Nikon D800, 300mm f/2.8 VRII, 1/400 @ f/8, ISO 250, Hand Held

 

Male Leopard, as seen from a moving vehicle

Nikon D4, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 1/10 @ f/22, ISO 100

 

Chris, Barry and Scot

Nikon D4, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 1/250 @ f/7.1, ISO 400

 

Camera bags on this safari are sponsored by Gura Gear, which I started in 2008. Check us out. We make the best camera bags on the planet.

Some of the gear on this safari has been provided by Borrowlenses.com. I rely on borrowlenses.com for both my own needs as well as my safari travelers’ needs. When we need big lenses, cameras or anything else photographic, we turn to borrowlenses.com to help out. They are the best resource in the industry for traveling photographers.

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Reader Comments (2)

Hi Andy,

love your blog, I've the feeling to be in Africa ... Just a quick question, which can of tip tip do you give for using the rear autofocus button ?

Thanks
Tristan

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTristan

Tristan, the key to using the rear autofocus button is to turn off the autofocus on the shutter button. This enables you to focus and recompose in the continuous autofocus mode.

June 7, 2012 | Registered CommenterAndy Biggs

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