Thursday, June 28, 2018

Namibia Photo Tour: The animals from our first couple days of safari!

The first week of our photo tour was more about landscapes and the amazing sand dunes here in Namibia, But the second week is all about the animals as we spend each day on safari here in Etosha. In this blog post, I am going to share some of my favorite images with you all.


On our first day out, we came across this Bat-eared fox. We were taking photos of the fox in the grass when it moved to it's right, directly into a small patch of morning light.


People always ask me how close we get to the animals. I think this photo shows that perfectly. We have two vehicles on this particular safari so that everyone has enough room for their gear and to move to either side to photograph.  This elephant went right across the road, behind us and in front of the second vehicle.


We drove up on a small group of Common Southern African giraffe. They were so close to the side of the road, that we were able to zoom in and get some nice tight shots of them eating the Acacia trees.


On our first day of safari, we only saw a couple of elephants, but that was not the case on our second day. We went to one of the water holes and saw 25 elephants drinking and cooling off. Well...not really cooling off too much since the weather here is cool this time of year. The morning temperatures have been in the 50s with the afternoons peaking in the 80s.


I watched as this mom pushed her baby along the water's edge.


The female elephants are very protective of the babies, but also very loving.


I saw this Oryx hanging out with a large pack of Zebra and isolated it with my camera. I can imagine this photo as a poster with a quote saying something like "Ever feel like you don't fit in?"


I love the interaction between the adults and the youngsters.


This morning we spotted this Black-backed jackal who was resting near the side of the road. Just like the fox in the first photo, he had great light on his face.


We also watched as another pair of jackal were playing.



I saw this jackal an hour later and loved how we was perfectly framed in the tall grass.


The Spingbok are very common here in Namibia. We have even been eating this meat for dinner (although those are farmed raised and not from the wild). It was fun to see them jousting.


Just before lunch time we found some Ostriches.


The males have a red beak while the females have no color.


We were heading back to the lodge for lunch and an afternoon break, but had to stop for these giraffe who were crossing the road. It reminds me of the Abbey Road album cover. I just need to Photoshop in a fourth giraffe or Paul McCartney.


After they crossed the road, I did get a nice shot of them intermingling with the zebra.

After an afternoon break, we went out for a short evening safari. We were really out looking for lions, since we have a couple of guests who have never done a safari and wanted to see them (of course). We drove around for a couple of hours and did not see too many different animals, and no lions. Then we heard that there were some lions about 20 minutes away. We made the drive there only to find a couple of females which were pretty far away and laying down sleeping.

Our drivers and guide all said that we needed to head back to the lodge, and could not stay to see if they would get up. The sun was setting and we needed to exit the area. We started our drive out, and I was looking at the awesome golden light and thinking "we need to photograph something in this light!"

We were almost out of the park with our awesome guide, Uanee, put out his hand and had the driver stop immediately. I asked him what he saw and he said that there was a male lion coming right towards us! These guys are amazing. There is no way that any of us would have seen this lion so far off in the distance. But he saw the reactions of the springbok in the area and knew that a predator was nearby.


I lifted my Canon 1D X MK II camera with the Canon 100-400mm lens, zoomed all the way to 400mm, and saw this big guy coming right at us.


Everyone in our group was shooting and going nuts. It was the perfect animal facing right into the perfect light. We were so lucky!


Here is a tighter crop of the same lion (and now the background image on my iPhone).


This magnificent lion walked within 15 feet of our vehicle before crossing the road and heading off into the distance. Even on the opposite side of the road, the light was still amazing on this king.

The remaining 20 minute drive back to our lodge was filled with excitement and anticipation. We could not wait to get back to download our images and see what we had just captured. I know that I now have some new favorites to add to my collection, and they do too!

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If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
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Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours.
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Monday, June 25, 2018

BREAKING NEWS! Baboons ransack my room!!!

We were in this really nice lodge in the heart of Namibia, and enjoying the stay. I decided to take some photos to share this typical African lodge with all of you. All started out just fine.



These are typical lodges that we stay on when we are on safari. They are really nice fabric-walled structures that are very comfortable.


This was the view from my deck, overlooking the plains.


And here is a view of my room (the way that it is supposed to look).


Even the view from inside was really nice.


The bathroom area...


...and the shower (with better water pressure than any of our homes).

I have been to Africa numerous times before and never had any trouble in the past. But this time I was in for a surprise.



The lodge has these signs in every room, but I didn't think much of them at the time.

We were out photographing the sand dunes in Sossusvlei for the later part of the afternoon and until about 7:30pm. Those were the photos that I posted in the last blog. We arrived back at the lodge to have dinner and settle in for the night. Upon our arrival, the hotel staff asked us who was in bungalow 23 and 24. That would be Conrad (one of our guests) and myself. They informed us that our rooms had been broken into by a group of baboons.


These baboons can be a real pain in the butt here in Africa, as they scavenge for food and other goodies.


I was laughing as the lodge employee walked me to my room to survey the damage. They told me that the baboons like to mark their territory by going to the bathroom in the rooms. I knew that they would switch me to another room, but was just hoping that they did not mark my clothing, suitcase and other stuff. (I had my camera gear and laptop with me out in the field.) It turns out that they ripped their way into my room and had a heck of a party.


They demolished the bed and left me a little present on the bedding (as you can see to the below).




The baboons definitely left their mark all around the room (and it really smelled bad).


They even pooped in the shower and threw some of that on the walls. How rude!

The good news is that all of my belongings were away from the mess and unscathed. The lodge employees were nice enough to move all my belongings to another room, as we sat up on the main lodge deck and had a couple beers. We just laughed at the whole situation. How often can you say that your room was ransacked by a pack of baboons?

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Subscribe to the Jeff Cable Photography Blog by clicking HERE!
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If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
__________________________________________________________________________
Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours.
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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Namibia Photo Tour - The amazing sand dunes!

Over the last couple of days we have visited one of the biggest attractions here in the desert of Namibia. These are some of the world's largest sand dunes, and they are a site to see! We drove from the coast to the largest national park in the country to see these giants.


As we made the long drive, I was watching out the window of our vehicle to find photo opportunities for the group. I saw the moon in the sky and waited for us to drive into a place where the moon was close to the mountains. We stopped and got some nice shots of this before moving on.

And then we came to the giant dunes!


For the last two days we have been driving around the area to get shots of the dunes in great light. As you can see from the trees at the base of these dunes, these things are massive!


Everywhere we look there are amazing patterns of shadows and highlights. I used a combination of the Canon 1D X MKII with the Canon 100-400mm lens and a Canon 5D MK IV with the Canon 24-105mm lens.


This particular sand dune is called Dune 45 (at the 45th kilometer of the road) and one of the most popular ones to photograph and climb, I used the 100-400mm lens to zoom into the top of the dune to isolate the people climbing.


Using the same lens, I zoomed back out to get this wide shot.


It was early in the evening when we got to Dune 45, but after photographing this dune for a little bit, I decided to climb it to get some photos from the dune itself. This is no easy task as the sand is so soft and the wind is blowing hard. You may be able to see the sand that is blowing into the shaded side of the dune.


We aimed to photograph the dunes in the early morning and evenings to catch the dunes in the best light. This is one of my favorite photos of this region because it shows the huge variations of color and terrain.



Our driver was really patient as us photographers had them stop every time we saw a great shot, and it was really often. Look at how the shadows form endless shapes in the sand. It was just mesmerizing for us all.


It is so beautiful to see the patterns of the wind blown sand.


Last night, we were shooting by Dune 45 when I spotted the moon high in the sky. I moved to the base of the dune to try and get the moon as close to the sand as possible.


We shot by the dune until the sun had set. And then we set out to find a good tree to photograph in the sunset.


This was the last shot of the night, as the sunlight left us and we were treated to a clear starry night. Wow - what a day!!!

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If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
__________________________________________________________________________
Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours.
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Friday, June 22, 2018

Namibia Photo Tour - Seals, Penguins, Flamingos and more

Yesterday was a fun day of shooting the ghost town in Kolmanskop in the at sunrise. Later in the morning, we chartered a catamaran to take us out to Halifax island to see the local penguins. I had no idea that they had penguins in Namibia, but was excited to see them in the wild for the first time.


As we made our way out to the island, we past a large rock with a bunch of seals in it. I have seen and photographed plenty of seals, but it was fun to get a shot of them with a lighthouse in the background.


About 30 minutes after we left the port in L├╝deritz, we arrived at the island. We had to shoot from the boat as nobody is allowed on the island, but they got fairly close for us. I was shooting with my Canon 1D X MK II, Canon 100-400mm lens and also using the Canon 1.4x teleconverter.


There are 6000 penguins on the island, but we only saw a small portion of them.




We even had some penguins swim out to greet us.


 We also saw other birds on the boat trip.


We returned from the boat trip and had a nice lunch at the hotel, After that, some of us decided to go out shooting once again. We drive around the bay for a while and came across some flamingos.


We were trying to get close to the flock, when they started moving away from us. But just before they moved, they all lifted their wings in succession. That was fun!



I even caught some action shots of the flamingos walking on the water...


...and flying along the shoreline.


After photographing the birds, we drove around a little longer, exploring the area. I was on an outcropping of rocks which gave me a good vantage point of the crashing waves. I waited for them to crest and took some action shots of the water.

Today we made the long drive to Sossus Vlei, the home of the giaat sand dunes. We arrived about an hour before sunset and went straight to shooting the dunes. Those images are coming soon, and they show how really amazing this place is.

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Subscribe to the Jeff Cable Photography Blog by clicking HERE!
__________________________________________________________________________
If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
__________________________________________________________________________
Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours.
__________________________________________________________________________