Time has basically exploded back into reality for me and procrastination, day dreaming of getting back to Africa, looking at 30,000+ images and having a hard time sorting through them all. You ask why would I have a hard time doing so….I really don’t like the organization of that many files. Deciding which images are best, which will sell, and which ones need to hit the trash like a Michael Jordan dunk.
My Africa trip was a first for me with a group of like minded individuals, being organized by Sue Cerdarholm and mentored by Tom Mangelson.
I have followed Tom Mangelsen for years and the first time I hooked up with him was in San Francisco along with Frans Lanting, and Art Wolfe. Having all 3 of these guys under one roof was for me an inspiration and got my wheels turning and the juices flowing to say the least. I was able to introduce myself to Tom during a lunch break and had asked him if he had any seminars or workshops coming up in the future. He says well I will be going to AFRICA and I have to be honest that I thought to myself there would be no way I could ever go to AFRICA.
Well without going into all the reason why I should not go I made the decision and the leap into my pocket book and signed up. I must say that I had the support of my wife, family, and friends. I have not looked back on my decision to go, take the time, and spending the money because it has opened up many doors to new friends and new opportunities on the horizon for photography and related business ventures.
The trip consisted of about 19 days which we explored East Africa’s wildlife sanctuaries, along with it’s renowned biodiversity, and cultures that Africa is known for. The highlights of the trip took us to Amboseli National Park, Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro National Crater, Ndutu Area, and last but not least, Central Serengeti Park.
All the “Big 5” were seen which includes Lions, Leopards, African Elephant, Black Rhinoceros, and Cape Buffalo. Many other species of mammals were also observed and photographed on the trip.
If you are at all interested in birds Africa is the place to go because there are more birds in Tanzania then all of the United States. Numbers in Tanzania alone amount to over 1000 species. Examples on the list would be Red-billed Hornbill, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Fish Eagle, Secretary Bird, Marabou Stork, and out of around 1100 species just in Tanzania alone the Coqui Frankolin.
The trip was all about photography and I mean some serious photography engaged by all. From sunrise to sunset shooting anywhere from 500-2000 images per day, everyday. Downloading images every night to external hard drives, reformatting your CF cards every night to get ready for the next day of shooting. There was no time for rest and relaxation, or sitting by the pool guzzling down a Tusker Beer, unless you took a day off or decided not to go on any of the game drives which were 2 per day. If you wanted you could choose to sit back and do all of those relaxing activities, but for me I did not go to Africa to lounge by the pool. I went to capture the wildlife, as many species as I could and try to get the best shots that I could.