14 July 2013

On Photo Safari: Self-Drive or Transfers


When planning a photographic safari, wildlife photography course or team building photographic safari, guests often misjudge road travel in Africa, resulting in the wrong choice of transfer.

Driving in Africa is different and even in South Africa with very good roads, driving means dealing with animals on the road, people walking on the road (also on free ways), no street lights, potholes and more challenging situations. One always needs to be alert and anticipating, which can be hard to do when just getting off an intercontinental flight. Driving then long distances can be dangerous, not to mention the often misunderstanding how long a drive would be. A distance of 200 km can be a long drive, longer than for example in Western Europe (without traffic jam).

To avoid complications and to have a nice trip, ask people who know the area and the road conditions before you make decisions. Rather choose a small aircraft flight or an organized transfer to make sure you have a great trip.

Keep it easy and safe your energy for the photography.

Happy travelling!

Ute Sonnenberg for

Group Size Matters


There are plenty of photographic safaris, wildlife photography courses and team building photographic safaris available and it can be difficult to make the right choice. Always go for quality and one of the main criteria is the group size.

Make sure there are not more than 6 people on the game drive vehicle. Otherwise you might end up on a middle seat like on the plane, a seat nobody wants to sit on and definitely not on safari.

If you attend a wildlife photography course and you want to make sure you learn what you need and want to learn, not more than 6 people should be in the group, rather less. If you are part of a bigger group, split the group into smaller groups with each small group having their own instructor.

With team buildings it depends what their purpose is, what the team wants to experience and also here, the experience can be customized for the best results.

Keep it in mind when you plan courses or similar activities. It makes a huge difference.

Happy learning!

Ute Sonnenberg for

The Creative Block


Not only writers have a creative block, also photographers can experience that, even on the most amazing photographic safari, wildlife photography course or team building photographic safari. It can just happen.

How do you know on a safari that you have a creative block? When you get grumpy, impatient, unsatisfied, complaining and restless on the safari vehicle. It is, because you think there is nothing interesting to see and photograph. You feel disappointed, because the bush is not showing you something interesting. But it only means that you have a block. For some reason you don’t see, for some reason you are not able to identify interesting things all around you.

When you realize you have a block, its already almost over, because you identified the problem. Now solve it. Take a break, do something completely different, like lying on the lodge pool and read a book or just have a nap. Let go and the block will go too.

Sounds familiar? Happy snapping!

Ute Sonnenberg for

How to Photograph Rhinos


It is truly amazing to see rhinos in the wild on photographic safaris, wildlife photography courses and team building photographic safaris in South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Namibia. All these countries offer great sighting and especially Namibia has also the desert adapted black rhinos.

These beautiful animals are not easy to photograph. Because they are big, bulky and equipped with a greyish skin they can end up as rock like things on photographs easily. Especially in low contrast light it is hard to get a good photo.

With regards to composition, keep in mind to photograph them from an angle, just like you would do with a horse. With regards to the light, experiment with the aperture, a f-stop higher than usual might be helpful. It can also look great to photograph them backlight, although only to a certain extent.

Photographing them is challenging, yet amazing when you get the photo right.

Happy experimenting!

Ute Sonnenberg for

How to Photograph Maasai People


The Maasai people in Kenya and Tanzania are very beautiful and proud people. They live in the Serengeti and the Masai Mara and one can easily see them herding they cattle when being on a
photographic safari, wildlife photography course or team building photographic safari. They make fantastic photographic “subjects” with their colorful traditional clothes, decorated with beautiful beadwork. But one should know that they want to be asked before you photograph them, otherwise it can get a bit nasty. And because they are quick learners, they adjusted to tourism and will ask for some money for being photographed. Usually the amount can be negotiated and they will be really patient with the photographer and helpful to get great shots. It is only a pity that the photographs will be posed and not spontaneous snap shots. However, they are impressive people and fabulous for photographers.

Happy travel snapping!

Ute Sonnenberg for

The Great Migration has started


The Great Migration is one of the most spectacular nature events and prime time for
photographic safaris, wildlife photography courses and team building photographic safaris. It is the time when the big herds of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle move in from the Serengeti on their search for food. On their way they have to cross the Mara River, with strong currents and crocodiles waiting. It is an amazing experience to witness these river crossings where drama unfolds, families stand together, panic arises and also happy herds enjoy feeding on the green grass of the Masai Mara, once they have made it.

This years Great Migration has just started. The first big herds of wildebeest have crossed the river. The spectacle is on.

If you ever consider doing a safari, this should be on top of your list.

Happy snapping!

Ute Sonnenberg for

ePhoto Book: Space


Africa is space. It is a great experience to be on game drives during
photographic safaris in Kenya, wildlife photography courses in Namibia and team building photographic safaris in Tanzania and look out over the endless plains with a variety of colors and patterns painted by the light of a storm or the sunlight shining on the savanna.

Get an impression with “Space” right

Ute Sonnenberg for