31 March 2013

On Photo Safari: What to Wear

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This is NOT only a post for ladies! Also men can end up with too much luggage and the wrong things packed.

Being on
photo safari means being out in the bush, exposed to the elements, yet just to a certain extend. That demands careful packing and not only with regards to the camera equipment to make sure the wildlife photography course is going smoothly, but also to be prepared for all weather situations. And being not prepared for the weather, can influence the photography again, so better think of it.

First of all inquire about the climate of the region you are going to. Do not only look up the weather forecast on the Internet, but ask people you have been there or live there. 20 degrees warmth feel different when there is wind, but who can image how it feels from reading the wind information online. Better ask.

Pack casual, practical outdoor clothes that allow you to dress in layers. By doing that all will be covered, the heat at noon and the chilly evenings. Bring a light rain jacket that can function as a windbreaker and rain cover. Always wear closed shoes when being in the bush. And bring easy slippers for in the camp. Bring a sun hat and sunscreen. The sun in Africa can be tricky and you can end up with sunstroke when being not prepared.

In the bush camps is no need to dress up for dinner (except the very luxury lodges). You can bring jeans and t-shirt to have some change from the safari outfit and to have backup clothes in case all gets wet, but keep in mind when packing that it works best when you can combine everything with everything else. Most of the lodges and camps also offer laundry service. So, there is no need to bring many clothes and to have excess luggage on the safari flights.

Ready to go? Enjoy the fun of photographing wildlife!

Ute Sonnenberg for

Hands of Tips when Planning a Team Building with Photography

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A team building with photography can take place anywhere, in the office building where you work, in the city where you live or at nature destinations close and far to and from home. Yet there are some things to consider and in order to get the best benefits for your team you should keep in mind the following tips to make the right decisions.

1. Choose a location that allows the team to feel away from work.

2. Make sure the team understands that no photographic skills are needed; only a digital camera or cell phone with camera. No stress!

3. Make sure your team leader understands that it is fun, yet with great team connecting features. Photography is the playful tool to align the team members for the company’s goals.

4. Try not to put too much talking or presentations in the team building. Let the team members enjoy the experience and trust the team building presenter that the goal of the team building will be achieved.

5. Surrender to the process. Photography will do its job and provide what the team needs.

Some of these pointers might be hard to do, especially the surrender point can be tough, the letting go and trusting the process, yet by doing it the benefits will be huge. The choice of location can also be challenging depending on where you are. Not everywhere is easy access to wildlife photo safaris or beautiful nature just on the doorstep. If you can choose nature and if it is a garden or park in your city do it. Nature is always supporting, inspiring and comforting. Make sure no one panics and thinks now has to follow a photography course before joining the event. There is no need to do that. Everybody can press a shutter.

Encouraged? Now explain it to your boss

Ute Sonnenberg for

Inspiration: The Art Paris 2013

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How much inspiration does one need? Endlessly much and provided by just opening the eyes. But there are these events that provide a high dose of inspiration and one of them was the Art Paris fair last Easter weekend.

Take only the image above, the flying house. It is a beautiful creation made of a photograph, giving the feeling “The Little Prince” from Saint-Exupéry will look out of the window just now. And there was much more work, just as inspiring and opening new creative perspectives to photography with galleries from all over the world exhibiting.

Ever thought of going to an exhibition and photographing the exhibition’s artwork? It can be an inspiring photographic safari wandering around and capturing the paintings and
photographs of the artists, reflecting by doing that what they do to you and how they can inspire you in your own work. That way you can travel through Africa, America and Europe, art history and old masters while taking the essence with you to make the next steps for yourself.

You can make it even a team building event, visiting with your colleagues an art exhibition, everybody photographing what he/she likes and understand that way how they see things their own way. Or go with your photography course to do the same thing and learn from each other. There are endless opportunities to play with it.

Inspiration is an infinite source accessible to all; one just needs to keep the eyes open.

Happy seeing and snapping!

Ute Sonnenberg for

Street Photography: A Hype?

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It seems that street photography is currently very popular and appealing. Maybe because of the easy access cell phone cameras, those allow us being on photo safari as soon as we leave home and let us discover the street photographer in us. Or is it the freshness of the moment captured, preserved for the future with often a touch of humor? Our daily life is the inspiration for our photography and one doesn’t need a photography course to do it, enjoy it and produce great photography.

Well, there are two photographers who collaborated to create an awesome street photography book called
Berlin+Wien. The photographers are Kay von Aspern and Christian Reister. Their photographs were recently celebrated at the Burjuar in Berlin and will be shown in a new exhibition in Eigensinnig in Vienna that opens May 1st.

Inspired? Keep enjoying snapping wherever you go and capture wonderful moments of awe and joy.

Ute Sonnenberg for

LaToya Ruby Frazier: Photographic Social Documentaries

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LaToya Ruby Frazier is from Braddock, Pa, nowadays called a “distressed municipality”, back in time home to one of America’s first steel mills. Her photographic work tells the story of her hometown through the story of her family. Her solo exhibition “A Haunted Capital” runs from March 22 – August 11 2013 at the Brooklyn Museum.

This young artist’s social documentaries show the dark side of industrialization and what happens when industrialization moves on to other places, leaving behind destroyed environments, cities and people. Her photographic safaris capture demolished hospitals and despair, yet the beauty of the photographs seems to promise a future, a future not yet arrived and unknown to the people involved.

Social documentaries can be great subjects for
photography course assignments, long time projects and ways to capture history.

Be inspired and capture your history.

Ute Sonnenberg for

Happy Easter

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Have a wonderful Easter; lots of fun with your egg hunt photo safari, fabulous light to capture the special moments the way you want and maybe some photo gear surprise “eggs” from photography supporting family members

Happy Easter snapping!

Ute Sonnenberg for

ePhoto Book: Out of Africa, an unexpected journey

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I’m usually always in Africa, doing photography and photographic safaris with photography courses. But sometimes it can happen that something unexpected happens and one gets asked to be at a very different place. That happened when I was asked to present photography courses in New Zealand. It was an unexpected journey that took me out of Africa and it was full of beautiful landscape and magic.

Have a look yourself

Ute Sonnenberg for