19 August 2012

A Leopard's Struggle with His Kill

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It is already very fortunate to be close to a leopard and able to photograph this incredible animal, but this leopard sighting was of a magical kind.

We were on a game drive on Londolozi Private Game Reserve in the Sabi Sand (Kruger National Park) in South Africa when our tracker spotted a kill in a tree just of the road in the bush. We pulled over and found an the foot of the tree a male leopard, not to happy with us at first, but quickly focusing again on his prey up in the tree. His kill was a nyala and the tree was not really ideal for a hoisted kill, but it would do one could think. The leopard was not happy with the position of the kill and went up the tree to rearrange his kill. What happened then you better see in the video. Words cannot match that.


A Leopard in Perseverance

Ute Sonnenberg for

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Ute Sonnenberg for www.rohoyachui.com

What is the Biggest Danger When Being in the Bush?

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Forgetting where you are.

You might have read stories in newspapers or on the Internet about people getting eaten by a lion during their safari. Every now and then these things happen and immediately a fearful idea of the bush evolves. But its not the bush, that causes these terrible incidents, it’s the people.

When people go on
safari they either drive by themselves for example in the Kruger National Park or they visit Private Game Reserves. In both cases they are informed about the rules for their stay in the bush which include staying in the vehicle when being on game drives and especially when being at a sighting, staying in the camp, not wandering out of the camp into the bush and not walking unescorted at night. People hear all these instructions and sign for it and yet they forget. It proves to be hard to remember where they are when they stroll through the bush camp, forgetting that its not the park at home or seeing a lion and forgetting its not the zoo and not TV. It might sound very silly when reading this, but it happens and the reason is the emotional experience of being in the bush that makes people forgetting where they are and how to behave. The bush is real and the lion is a real wild animal and not a part of an attraction park. This gets confused and then it goes wrong.

There were cases that a tourist went jogging in Kruger National Park and got eaten by lion. Pray runs and a running person triggers the predators hunting instinct. A woman was sitting at dinner in a lodge and remembered that she forgot her sweater at the pool earlier that day. She got up and walked over to the pool, that was about a hundred meters away in a separate part of the camp in the bush. Lion were there when she got there and she was killed. She had forgotten where she was and that she could not walk by herself at night, only with a guard. Only recently a tourist stepped out of the vehicle and walked towards the lion at a sighting in the Kruger National Park to get a better photo. He was killed. He also didn’t realized that this is real and no TV or zoo. One needs to know the bush to walk around there and the bush is not Central Park.

Remember, its real and where you are.

Ute Sonnenberg for

Would you like to do a Webinar?

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Photography is an inspiring medium and we all seem to love it and do it almost every day. There seems always to be some kind of discussion going on around photography, questions asked and opinions shared. How would it be to do that during a webinar?

If there is interest in doing a photography webinar, just leave a message to this blog post.

And if yes, what would you like the webinar to be about? What kind of photography subject would you like to hear and talk about?

You are welcome to share your thoughts and to inspire. Thank you!

Ute Sonnenberg for

How to Do Marketing for Photographers

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Marketing is often something photographers are struggling with, because they usually focus more on the artistic and photographic skills to develop and grow in. But we all got to live and pay for our groceries, so some money needs to come in as well.

There are great marketing blogs to help understanding how marketing works, like the
Hubspot blog, but this is a general blog for marketers and not specific for photographers. A very good source of knowledge and advice for photographers are the Photoshelter Free Guides on a wide range of marketing and business subjects especially for the photographer’s needs. They translated the general marketing tools into photography specific tools, suiting the small size photography business as well.

Check it out; they are great.

Ute Sonnenberg for

Facebook's Emotional Limitations and its Effect on the Downfall of the Shares

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Facebook only made recently the step from private company to public company and in the company’s vision, the founder’s influence is still recognizable. This personal note to the concept of facebook is part of the success, yet like with anything else it got also its downside. The bright side of facebook is the creation of space to connect and share, its downside is the desire to control and that clashes with the demands of shareholders of a public company.

Facebook adverts are a great marketing tool, allowing precise planning, targeting and budgeting of adverts, but Facebook itself decides where and when your adverts appear, who sees them and at what time of the day. So if you decide on a certain rate you wish to pay for a click, it is possible that this rate is only good enough to show your advert between 2 and 3 at night and you start wondering about the slow going clicks and the kind of people responding to your advert. It is like a magical hand is moving your advert around in its own interest, not in yours.

If you decide to have a business page on facebook to engage with your clients, you might do adverts to let people know that you are there and they can become fans to be informed what you are up to. Now you think, that what you post gets to the people who became a fan of your page, but this is not the case. Only a small percentage of your fans gets to see your posts and your posts have to create immediate likes in order to be allowed to be seen also by more fan’s. If you are lucky your posts make it to be posted to almost a quarter of your fan’s feeds, for the rest facebook recommends promoting your post with an advert. But it doesn’t tell how many fans will be allowed to see then the post or if another promotion tool will come up.

Whatever you do on facebook, whatever adverts you pay for, it never means it gets the exposure and engagement you thought you were paying for. It’s like holding a sausage in front of a dog, letting the dog jump, beg and get a little bite from the sausage and when the dog thinks he will be rewarded for all his efforts, the sausage is pulled away. When you try sending a message to your page’s fans, you will notice that you don’t have access to all your fans, only to less than 5% and sending a message with an URL can not exceed the number of 5 messages per day, without URL about 20 messages per day.

How does that stimulate businesses to be active in advertising and fan pages? Many are companies active, because little bites are allowed to be taken from the sausage, but for how long are they willing to be treated like that? And for how long are they willing to pay big amounts of money for small bites and for being controlled?

The downfall of the Facebook shares shows that the controlled freedom on facebook has come to a point that essential strategic changes need to be done. Otherwise it will not only be the downfall of shares, but of facebook.

Ute Sonnenberg for