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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.





Entries in africa (70)


Namibia's Remote Landscapes by Private Air

Are you interested in shooting the remote landscapes of Namibia with the best photographic equipment on the market? I have teamed up with Phase One and I am running a trip to Namibia alongside good friends Bill Atkinson and Kevin Raber. If you don’t already own Phase One medium format equipment, that’s totally ok, as Phase One will be providing cameras and lenses for all participants for a *very* nominal fee of $500. Here are some bullet points for the trip:


  • All Phase One equipment will be provided if you don’t already own Phase One gear
  • This trip is all about private airplanesprivacy and breathtaking landscapes
  • This private flying safari covers fascinating attractions in Namibia while enjoying much of the stunning landscape from the air.
  • We will fly to three amazing destinations in southern, central and northern Namibia: Sossusvlei, Serra Cafema and the deserted mining town of Kolmanskop.
  • The Namib Desert may well be the world’s oldest desert. The apricot-colored dunes at Sossusvlei are some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth. Herds of mountain zebra, gemsbok and springbok roam the area.
  • In all the parks you will have the opportunity to spend quality photographic time.
  • Finish on a high note in the magnificent northern landscapes along the Serra Cafema mountain range near Angola.


For more information, please visit my informational page about this trip

Namibia’s Remote Landscapes by Private Air


The Skeleton Coast from the air


Flying above the dunes near Sossusvlei


The deserted mining town of Kolmanskop



Safari Preparation and What I Pack

I rarely get a chance to pack so early for a safari, but now that I am thinking about it I thought I would use a blog post as my packing list for my next safari in June. I will then use the blog post as a guide when I actually start packing in a week or two. I depart in late May for my back-to-back safaris in the Sabi Sands of South Africa. I will have sole use of Singita Sabi Sands Castleton Camp, which is a very private 6-room camp that will be my base for 16 straight nights. This list may change over time, so check back for any changes. I may get crazy and add my clothing to the list as well.

Camera Bags

 Camera Eqiupment

Camera Stabilization for Safari Vehicle and Video At Camp

Video / Audio Accessories



  • Apple Macbook Pro 13” with 250gb SSD
  • Apple Macbook Pro charger
  • Apple iPad and charger


Cleaning and Repair 

Miscellaneous Items, excluding clothing and toiletries

  • Headlamp
  • AMOD GPS logger
  • Gaffer Tape - I cutt off 1-foot sections, roll each section up and put them in all pockets in my Kiboko bag. These help cover up VR/IS switches and other places where we don’t want a function to be turned on or off.
  • Micro Leatherman
  • USB cables / Firewire cables




Photo of the Day - Sparring Elephants


Sparring Elephants

Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

Canon 1DsMk3, 500mm f/4, 1/800 sec @ f/5.6, ISO 500


Leopard Jumping Through The Talek River

On last year’s September safari, which combined the mountain gorillas of Rwanda with the wildebeest migration in Kenya’s Masai Mara, we had great success with tracking and photographing leopards, lions and cheetahs. On this particular day we tracked down one of the more famous leopards of the Mara, who is simply known as ‘Olive’, and anticipated her moving across the Talek River.

We set up with our vehicles in one of the only places where we could have a clear shot of her, and luckily the light was in the best location possible. When I am photographing with water, rain, smog, fog or anything that fills the atmosphere I want to shot it off. The best way to do this is to place the light source, the sun, at an angle that puts the light coming towards the camera. This illuminates it in such a way that helps show it off, as opposed to hides it. I do prefer shooting into the sun anyway, as this helps define the edges of whatever I am shooting. Remember the adage “light illuminates and shadows define”. You don’t have definition without shadows, and without shadows you lose any sense of 3D to a scene.

We had just a few moments to set up, choose our best lens and camera settings and get the shot sequence. I set the camera to manual mode and selected a shutter speed that would freeze the splashing water and leopard, and whatever aperture did that would be fine with me. I took a quick exposure, looked at the histogram and made a quick change. I was more interested in getting the shape of the leopard than worries aboout blown highlights or ‘shadow detail’. Shadow detail is a term that drives me nuts, because it doesn’t reall mean anything and I hear about it all of the time in images that lack any contrast or soul. It all started when Photoshop introduced the Shadows & Highlights tool. But I digress. All shots taken with a Nikon D3x, 200-400mm f/4, 1/800 sec @ f/5.6, ISO 500.






Photo of the Day - Lion at Mombo


Lion, near Mombo Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana. July 2011

Nikon D3, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 1/800 sec @ f/3.5, ISO 1600


Photo of the Day - Elephants in the Okavango


Elephant Family in the Okavango Delta. July 2011

Nikon D3, 28-300mm f/3.4-5.6, 1/2000 @ f/5.6, ISO 1250


Photo of the Day - Elephant in the Savute Channel


Elephant in the Savute Channel

Linyanti Concession, near Savuti Camp, Botswana. July 2011

Nikon D3x, 28-300mm, 1/2000 @ f/5.6, ISO 800. Processed in Adobe Lightroom and Nik Viveza 2


This was a very tricky image to process, I must say. I was shooting with my Nikon D3x that afternoon, and the camera isn’t well known for its high ISO capabilities. I needed to keep the ISO down, possibly 1600 or lower, but the main challenge was trying to balance blowing out the details in the sky with the deep shadows of my subject. I could only minimally process this image in Lightroom, and the bulk of the work was done in Nik Software’s Viveza 2. In Lightroom I only adjusted the white balance, exposure, black point and a small gradient on the sky. I brought the image into Photoshop as a smart object, which allowed me to go back to the original raw file to tweak some of those settings. In Viveza 2 I worked on tonal relationships, and the main thing I needed to work on was the exposure on the elephant. There was simply no way of getting detail in the sky with enough exposure on the elephant, at least from a global processing point of view. Viveza saves the day.

Tip: If you are interested in learning more about Nik Software’s tools, you can use my code ABIGGS during checkout for a 15% discount.


Photo of the Day - Cape Buffalo


Cape Buffalo and Oxpecker

Nikon D7000, 200-400mm f/4 VR, 1/320 @ f/5.6, ISO 800

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