This photo was taken on Duba Plains in the Okavango Delta in Botswana. We were watching two herds of elephants grazing on the fertile plains of the island. The matriarch of the one herd seemed an old female, probably struggling to fulfill her role as guide of the group. She was grumpy and the atmosphere in the herd was tensed. They stayed close together around the matriarch, like listening closely to her instructions. It wasn’t even nice to watch them. The tensed atmosphere was contagious. It was such a relieve when the other herd came closer. A mother with calf was walking happily in front of them. Her calf was confident and exploring the plains. There seemed to be more space for each herd member to do its own thing and even the faces looked friendly and open, while the faces of the other herd’s elephants looked frightened. What a difference. It was very interesting to photograph both herds and to feel the difference when looking at the images. But when having to choose, I always pick this photo, because of the contagious happiness. Happy mom, happy child, happy photographer.
Lamu is an island just off the northeastern coast of Kenya. Its one of those places that takes you back in time. The roads on the island are so tiny that only donkeys can be used for transport and the old Arabic houses shed shade during the hot days. The people are proud and beautiful. One needs to be sensitive when photographing them. Especially the women mostly do not appreciate to be photographed. I would recommend using a local guide to explore the island, at least for half a day, just to learn about it and to find your way within the maze of streets. There are plenty of shops and traditional markets to visit with many little things one just wants to have. Well, although our local guide taught us that one goes to the market to make money, not to spend money We felt guilty for about a minute or two. It is definitely photographer’s heaven and if you want to photograph the place in its old shape go soon. Lamu has become very popular and many houses are getting renovated, but within their old Arabic character. And if you want to combine it with beach, ocean and water sports, the area around Lamu is perfect with great resorts just a moment away.
Did you ever notice that birds have some kind of a confidence that is saying as much as: Well, I see it, I look at it, have my own thoughts about it and do anyway what I want … and off they are.
Maybe its simply because they can fly. There are no boundaries for them; they can look at everything from a distance and disappear into space when they want. Is it that freedom what gives them their confident appearance?
I like photographing birds. They are wonderful, naughty, curious, challenging and beautiful. It’s a great experience when patience is rewarded, they start trusting and spending time with you … and the photo is not an empty branch.
It is full moon and a special full moon. The moon is closer to the earth than usual, a wonderful photography opportunity. One option is to set up tripod and camera and photograph the “traditional” way. Or using the iPhone and imitate the traditional way of analog photography with the retro photo apps. I choose the phone option and the results were very interesting. I couldn’t actually see what I was composing, but enjoyed the “serendipity results” and their arty twists. I realize that it is the serendipity moment of the apps I really like. They give ordinary objects the arty touch and surprising results. Essentially app photography runs on intuition, the fuel of art.