09 December 2012

Bringing Back the Magic and Finding the Awesome

wildlife photography courses Kenya Tanzania south Africa Botswana awesome

One might be tempted to say that photography has become hyped up as a technical spectacle of megapixels and Photoshop features, with little magic left. Technology enthusiasts might disagree and say that the technology is magical and fascinating, yet that is a car too. What is the magic of photography?

Imagine you are walking the path you walk everyday, the route to your work, to the bus, to the subway or to the mailbox and you thought you have seen all what is to see on that path. But one day you take your camera and you photograph while walking that so familiar path and suddenly you start seeing again. There might be little flowers in your neighbor’s garden, a broken wooden chair in a driveway creating interesting patterns on the tarmac or a cat spying on you every morning from behind the curtains.

Photography makes us seeing and appreciating the beauty in little things we usually pass unnoticed. Photographs are moments of awe that brighten up our days. Maybe the magic of photography is simply the “seeing” with little technology needed, although technology can add lots of fun.

Keep looking for the awesome and find magic.

Happy snapping!

Ute Sonnenberg for

Think Twice about the Megapixel You Want

wildlife photography courses Kenya Tanzania south Africa Botswana think twice

It was announced that Canon would come with a close to 50 Megapixel camera in October, but nothing happened. Yet the rumors are persistent that this “monster” will come and Sony will follow with their own high megapixel camera.

As questioned earlier, do we need or want that? The files are extremely big and the camera is getting slow and so does the upload to your computer.

Adobe guru Scott Kelby found out for himself when he wanted to upload 1,000 raw image files to an external hard drive. He had not considered the file size and the disk space was not enough to upload the 47 GB the 1,000 images were, shot with the
Nikon D800. Just for the idea of comparing, 1,000 raw file images shot with the Nikon D3s are 15.5 GB and 1,000 jpeg images shot with the Nikon D700 are 6.5 GB.

Do we really want that?

Ute Sonnenberg for

information source:

Beck Hanson: Inspiration for Fun Photography Experiment

wildlife photography courses Kenya Tanzania south Africa Botswana hanson

Singer-songwriter Beck Hansen has just launched his 11th album “Song Reader” and it’s an album you can only listen to when you play it yourself or others do it for you. This album comprises of 20 full-color booklets of sheet music!

What an idea! Can there be anything more inspirational and stimulating engagement and creativity like that?

Imagine “sheet photography”. How would that be? You take a photograph and instead of showing your photograph, you tell how it looks and feels. You describe what is on the photograph, the subject, the colors, the surroundings and then the people who want to see it photograph it. That allows the viewer/photographer to add his/her personal dimension to your picture, just like when playing
Beck’s songs.

Want to give it a try? The photo is a vase on a coffee table in a private home lounge with a bouquet of wild flowers with the smell of late summer. If you would like to try it, just add a link to the image you took as a comment to this post and all images will be posted lets say before the end of this year.

Let’s go and
keep snapping!

Ute Sonnenberg for

Is Google Saving the Rhino?

photographic safaris south Africa Kenya Botswana Tanzania Namibia rhino google

About 600 rhinos have been killed this year in South Africa alone for the myth of their aphrodisiac powers. There seems to be nothing that can stop it. Expensive anti-poaching programs and high sentences on the captured poachers seem to have little effect. The number of killed rhinos this year is significantly higher than last year and it is not only the dead of the animals that is shocking it’s also the brutal way they get killed, often left behind to bleed to death.

But there might be help from an unexpected source, Google! Google is funding the development of drones that hunt illegal hunters (poachers). The
WWF wanted to hunt poachers with this unorthodox “weapon” and it seems to work. The drones are not armed, but they are the eyes in the sky for the ground troops. They were tested in Nepal and are to be implemented in the rest of the world, including Africa.

“Now, wildlife-protecting drones are coming to the rest of the world
. Last week, Google announced they would help the WWF purchase African and Asian poacher-seeking UAVs . As part of Google's 2012 Global Impact Awards program, the WWF received $5 million to buy similar unarmed drones to watch and track African wildlife poachers.”

There might be light at the end of the tunnel and rhino poaching can be stopped. It would be such a good and peaceful application combining an initial war device and new economy money.

Seems there is hope and Google is really fighting the evil.

Read the full article by Fast Company

Ute Sonnenberg for

Louise Dahl-Wolfe: Natural Light

wildlife photography courses Kenya Tanzania south Africa Botswana dahl wolfe

It might not be a model’s favorite thing to do, getting up at sunrise for the photo shoot at Miami South Beach, just because the photographer wants the best light. But isn’t natural light anyway the best light?

Louise Dahl-Wolfe was the pioneer in outdoor fashion photography, doing fashion photo shoots with natural light and inducing a whole movement, called Environmental Fashion Photography.

Some might prefer studio light, because it can be controlled completely, but natural light gives photography the authenticity we seem to be longing for in all we do and love. It is the ideal partner for great design and helps when the design is not so great by adding the splendid beauty of nature.

Louise Dahl-Wolfe understood the natural light very well and created the most beautiful fashion photography.
Her work was and is inspiration to team up with the ambient light and encouragement for photographers to go outdoors!

Plunge into the natural light and see where it takes you.

Happy snapping!

Ute Sonnenberg for

Travel Memories 2008: On Safari in Africa - Day 15

photographic safaris south Africa Kenya Botswana Tanzania Namibia 15

The battery of the vehicle was flat again. It was the fridge, draining it. Again with the help of the Masai we got going to our next destination, Tsavo West. Paul told me that we have to drive in convoy and need to be at the checkpoint at 9 a.m.. We hurried there, but only got there at 10 a.m. and it was fine. Everybody else had just got there. The convoy drove fast through the volcano landscape around Mount Kilimanjaro. It was beautiful. Black rocky ground, streams of lava. That’s what makes Tsavo West so special and hot like in an oven. We arrived at the campsite at 11.30 a.m.. What a nice short drive. And it was really very hot and dry.
After a rest we took off for the afternoon game drive. It was thick bush everywhere. The scenery was breathtaking and the tsetse flies were horrible. But it was all worth it. It was very beautiful and the view on Mount Kilimanjaro was the best. On our way back to the camp Paul spotted a lioness, just on the edge of the thick bush and close to our camp. We would come back first thing in the morning to follow up with her and the rest of the pride.  

Ute Sonnenberg for