Before there was photography there were paintings. Every painter had (and has) its own “signature” in painting, a certain way to see things and a certain way in bringing them on the canvas. It was and is the painter’s way in working with light and composition what makes each of them special. With photography one might be tempted to think that there is no own signature, because we all press simply the shutter. But there is. There can be ten photographers standing on the very same spot in front of a tree and photographing the very same tree and there will be ten different photos. They all bring in their own way of seeing and capturing things, their own personal way of doing things, their own personality. Just like a painter, also every photographer has his or her own signature in creating a photo while simply pressing the shutter. This is one of the main strength of photography. It enables everybody to create unique artwork. This unique signature is what makes the difference, what makes photos genuine and what makes people loving them. One can only grow in photography by developing and growing the own signature, like a painter, capturing what the inner eye sees.
Going on a photo safari is different from doing photography in a city or other holiday destination. There are certain things to keep in mind when preparing for the trip.
#1 Is there power supply in my Safari Camp? You go on photo safari with your digital camera and additional equipment and pretty much all of it needs electrical power. Ask before departure, if there is power supply and if yes, which adapter you need to bring.
#2 How will the weather be? Going on safari means being outdoors. This cannot be only challenging for the equipment, but also for the photographer. Inform about the weather conditions and ask for advice before departure.
#3 What lenses do I need? Do ask this question to somebody who is used to the bush and not just somebody in a store. They mean well, but they usually underestimate the conditions one has to cope with I the bush in relation to the desired photos one wants to bring home.
#4 Laptop or iPad? You can upload photos to both of them, but the photo processing capacities are very different. Think of what you want to do and make a decision before departure.
#5 Tripod or not? It depends on what you want to do. There is little space in the game vehicles to set up a tripod, but its nice to have a tripod for low light landscape photography. Think carefully and make a decision before departure.
#6 Weight! Are you flying from lodge to lodge or going by 4x4? This is crucial in making a decision about the weight of the equipment you are taking with you. Safari flights have strict weight limits, inform about them before departure.
#7 My health Talk to your GP about the vaccinations you might need and get advice regarding malaria. Mind the different water quality. Bring a repellant, sun glasses and sun hat.
Why would anybody need reasons to love photography? I think nobody does. It’s just nice to mention some of them again.
#1 Photography captures precious moments Can you imagine coming home with your baby, or getting married or seeing your child making the first steps and you do not have a camera to capture that? No, you can’t imagine.
#2 Photography lets us say what we can’t say Have you ever been in a situation that you were so emotionally that you just couldn’t find the words or so overwhelmed that your voice wouldn’t do it? No problem, we got the image.
#3 Photography gives us joy What did we do in the dark ages without digital cameras with us on holidays, cameras in our smart phones, photo books to spend the weekend with making them? I can’t remember. The joy of accessible creativity for all is what photography gives us.
#4 Photography makes communication easier When you see something in a shop and you want to tell your husband or wife about it, what do you do? You take a picture, go home and show it to your spouse. No long exhausting explanations necessary, there is the photo.
#5 Photography tells us the news When you look at the news paper, what do you look at first? The images. Sometimes they encourage you to read the article, sometimes they tell you already the complete story.
Please feel free to add more good reasons to love photography.
Multinational corporations work nowadays with virtual teams. That means that employees from all over the world are working on the same project and have never met in person. They form a virtual team. This is a progressive way of working and brings the best people together without moving them physically around the world. But it got its challenges. There are different time zones, different mentalities, different cultures, different languages and they actually only got in common that they work on the same project. That leads to misunderstandings and collisions that have big influence on the result of the project. In order to focus on the core of what they are doing, the project, photography can be utilized. Images are a universal language and when a photo shows a wheel it’s for everybody clear it’s a wheel, whatever name each person might have for the “wheel”. Well, there might be content difficult to show as an image, but there is a big opportunity in utilizing photography in the communication of virtual teams. And if no photo can be taken create one, create visual content. How great that works show the social networks. We are all part of virtual teams. The photo sharing is the main fun on social media, because we all understand them, wherever we live and whatever our cultural background is. A flower is a flower and when we “like” the flower we join the community of all people who “like” the flower, we became a team, virtually over the image of a flower. And we feel as a team, because we all love the same flower, so we are connected in the love for the flower, just like the people working on the same project. Our world has become a world of virtual teams, with no physical distances anymore to overcome. An image goes around and connects who ever likes it wherever in the world. We meet people we got something in common with, although we might never physically meet and we are not alone in our love for the flower anymore, we became part of a team.
We probably all know how it is to sit with an overwhelming amount of images from a trip, event or any other occasion that makes us shooting away. And now we need to make a selection of all these images to show to our client, friends or family. The first thing most of the people do is erasing the images they think are not good. But it starts exactly there to make the right choices. What is a good image? Ok, if you wanted to photograph a bird in flight and you got only sky that makes it a candidate to be erased. But with all other choices be careful. There might be images that you think now are not what you want, but they might be exactly what you need to complete a page in a photo book. They might be complimentary to the main image of the page and support its beauty, although you wouldn’t choose them to stand out alone. If you delete them now, you will miss them later. Be conscious that it is our mindset what makes us choose images! If you just shot a wedding and the family of the bride asks you to show them pictures, you will think of this side of the wedding party when your are selecting the images. You will make sure that all of their family members are in the pictures. That will not mean that you will erase the images of the groom’s family. They will see a selection made for them. When you try to make a selection that suits all, you might experience stress, confusion or insecurity. That only comes, because your mind tries to jump right and left between the different expectations of the several parties of the event. As long as you focus on one “expectation group” or theme you will be fast and easy in making your selection. And when finished with one, focus on the next and go through the same body of work. You will be very efficient and secure in what you are doing, just like an editor for a magazine. The editor has an article with a certain subject and looks through a number of images to find the right one for that article. It’s the editors mind set what makes him or her stop at a certain images and knowing that’s it. Do the same. Set your mind in what you are looking for and it will do the job for you. It will make you stop at exactly the image you need. Try it.