05 May 2013

On Photo Safari: Human Behavior


Being in the bush is fabulous and doing a photographic safari or team building photographic safari is great, but there is one thing that can be very disturbing, human behavior.

We were doing a
wildlife photography course in the Masai Mara and we had spotted a pride of lion moving towards a herd of impala. One lioness was leading the group, the impala constantly in her focus. It could have been a wonderful sighting, but we were not the only vehicles that had spotted them and not all behaved well. Unfortunately meanwhile about 8 vehicles had arrived, all following the lion in their attempt to hunt, with in the vehicles people hunting for photographs. Most of the vehicles kept a good distance to the lion to give them space and not to disturb, but one vehicle spoilt the whole thing. The driver of the vehicle followed the leading lioness and always drove in front of her, so that she had to look in the camera of his guest. But she was only looking in his camera when the vehicle was standing in front of her and that meant that she had to stop walking, the vehicle was standing in her path. The lioness had to stop and think what to do next to get to continue her hunt and she changed twice her direction to approach the impala and twice the vehicle drove again in front of her. When it happened for the third time she gave up, walked to a shady bush and settled there with the rest of the pride for the day. There was not chance for her to continue the hunt and the one person had spoilt it for the lion and the other photographers.

Unfortunately there is no way of getting out of the vehicle and tell the other to stop doing it, there are lion around, and that can be very frustrating, but fortunately this does not happen often.

Be conscious where you are and how the animals behave in order to let them do their thing. Otherwise you will not get the photographic opportunities and great sightings you are coming for.

Keep enjoying photographic safaris and mind the animals.

Ute Sonnenberg for

Photo Safari Destination Namib Desert


Namibia is a vast country in the southwest of the African continent. It is famous for its wildlife and its enormous deserts with spectacular sand dunes. The Namib Desert is located in the southwest of the country. It offers fantastic landscapes and the incredible Sossusvlei, a place of red sand dunes, changing shapes continuously and offering great photographic opportunities.

Photographic safaris and team building photographic safaris that visit the area differ from the usual safaris to other destinations in Africa. Also the focus during wildlife photography courses is more on landscapes than on animals, although even the desert offers great wildlife sightings, yet of a very different nature. The wildlife sightings are more in combination with the landscape to show the perspectives of animals in this environment.

If possible do a hot air balloon ride when you are there. It is absolutely great and a heaven for photographers. The Namib is the perfect subject for aerial photography.

But there is more. The Namib is also great for stargazing and the camps in the desert offer sleeping under the stars, an incredible experience, also for not photographers.

Inspired? It’s a fantastic place to visit and its easy accessible, also by self-drive.

Happy travelling!

Ute Sonnenberg for

How to Prepare for a Team Building Photographic Safari


You made the choice of a team building photographic safari and the entire team is looking forward to it in excitement of being out on a fantastic safari destination with great wildlife sightings. To make sure your experience becomes what you wish it to be, talk to the presenter of the team building about your expectations. What is the purpose of the team building? Do you want to have a fun event with wildlife photography course or are there specific things you want to achieve with the team building or is the purpose a relaxed safari to recharge and recalibrate or is it a bit of all? Reflecting about that in advance will make your team building an even greater success than just going and seeing what happens. Your assigned presenter will help you with that to make sure you get the most benefit out of the event.

Besides that, also talk about practical things like expected weather, what to wear and what to bring and your team building will be only fantastic.

Ready to go? Have fun!

Ute Sonnenberg for

How to Create Dreamy Soft Background


We probably all love these beautiful photographs with a flower or animal nicely in focus and the background blurred, with the background just being a nice color backdrop for the subject.

How can you get images like that and how do you do it when being on
photographic safari? You can work with the f-stop, using a small f-stop number to have only lets say the flower in focus and the rest blurred out. But it is also possible to get the same effect by being very close to the subject when photographing it. A wide-angle lens will do very well with that.

wildlife photography courses and team building photographic safaris we practice the being close version with subjects like flower when we are in the camp or have a picnic in the bush, but it is not working when you want to photograph animals, lets say birds. They will not let you get that close or it might be too dangerous doing that. In that case choosing a big distance results in the same effect. The telephoto lens in combination with a single focus point blurs out the background and your subject is in focus.

You don’t have to wait for a photographic safari to practice. Just look around where you live and find a flower and/or bird.

Happy snapping!

Ute Sonnenberg for

Planning a Photo Safari: Research Your Destination


It is great to go somewhere and just shoot away spontaneously, yet there are situations you better do some preparations. That applies to travel photography and also to wildlife photography during photographic safaris. You usually have a certain amount of time to spend at several destinations and you want to photograph the best and be ready to capture great opportunities like a wildebeest crossing during the Great Migration in the Masai Mara.

Lets focus on the example
photographic safaris. First of all research what is the best destination for what you want to photograph and what is the best time of the year for it. Then find out what is the best place to stay to have the game drives you are looking for with the best guides to find your animals. When this is set, prepare your gear. Research how close the animals most likely will be to make the right choice of lenses and how will the weather be at that time in this area to know what clothes to bring.

Having done all that, you should be fine, but keep in mind its nature and animals can change their mind. The same research applies to
team building photographic safaris and wildlife photography course, but for the courses your photography guide will do the research for you.

And just do the same when planning a trip to New York or Paris, well without the animals, but research also these destinations that you don’t miss interesting photography opportunities.

Happy traveling!

Ute Sonnenberg for

Wildlife Photography: Appreciate Over Casted Days


When we do wildlife photography we always wish to have the perfect light, the early morning golden light or at least sun and no clouds. But of course we don’t get it always and have to deal with all sorts of light when we are out on photographic safaris in the Masai Mara or at other amazing destination.

Especially during
wildlife photography courses or team building photographic safaris people hope for sun and good weather. But actually the opposite is good for a great wildlife photography course. Changing and challenging light are great moments to learn and to produce despite the situation fabulous pictures. Over casted days offer even a better light than bright sunny days, outside the golden hours. The diffuse light of over casted days creates richer color saturation and black and white images turn out really fantastic.

Try it. When there is a day that you think this is really terrible, take your camera and photograph black and white (or turn the images later into black and white). You might really love the results.

Happy snapping!

Ute Sonnenberg for

ePhoto Book: Le Parfum

7-intuition-training-kenya-thought-leadership-innovation-photo-safari copy-le-parfum

The sweet smell of flowers means summer, warmth or a special moment with a special present. This photo book wants to capture this spirit, the perfume of summer, the spectacle of colors.

Enjoy Le Parfum. Click
here to view and download.

Ute Sonnenberg for