Social Networks and RSS Feeds
About Andy

 

I am an avid adventurer, conservationist, teacher, and outdoor photographer whose photography celebrates the African landscape and its rich wildlife, people, and culture. My photographic safaris allow my travelers to not only enhance their understanding of photography, lighting, and wildlife, but to develop a life-long admiration for Africa ‘s beauty and culture.

Banana Republic recently used my photographs as the cornerstone of their Urban Safari campaign, and my images were seen in all 750 stores around the globe, as well as in their billboards, catalogs and annual report. I was also the winner of the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year in the ‘Wild Places’ category in 2008 and a highly commended in the ‘Creative Visions of Nature’ category in 2007.

I launched Gura Gear in 2008, in an attempt to deliver lightweight camera bags to the market. I was looking for a lightweight camera bag to hold all of my photographic gear, and there was nothing desirable on the market that suited my needs. After spending 2 years with many prototypes, the Gura Gear Kiboko bag was born. More products are now available on the Gura Gear web site.

 

 

 

Search
Recent Twitter Updates
Wednesday
Mar122014

Fine Art Photo Processing Sessions! New Dates Added [12 March update]

I have been doing 1-on-1 sessions for quite a few years now, and the best feedback I have received from past participants is a willingness to spend more time in my studio past 1 day, without breaking the bank. Well, here is my plan for the rest of 2013 with this feedback in mind.

The Dates

  • May 13-15 (sold out)
  • June 2-4
  • July 7-9
  • August 13-15 (1 spot remaining)

The Plan

I am going to host a series of 3-day Fine Art Photo Processing Sessions in my studio in Houston. Each session will be limited to only 2 or 3 people each. We will work diligently on the processing of creating the absolute best quality images and prints possible. We will work on color images. We will work on images for black and white. And we will create proof prints and large prints alike. And you will go home with a large number of prints.

 

 

What Is Included

These 3-day sessions will include mid-day meals, all materials including ink and paper, and all you need to do is show up. I do prefer you show up with your own computer, as we will optimize your machine for the best color possible, which you will enjoy when you are back in your own environment. I have a *ton* of printing equipment from 13” printers all the way up to 44”. I am likely to have your exact printer model if you are using Epson, Canon or HP printers.

The Cost

These sessions are $1,450 each. I normally charge $950 per day, and since we will work in small groups I am able to reduce the price significantly.

Other Information

Here are just some of the topics we will cover:

  • Color management (how to definitively know your display and printer are properly calibrated and profiled)
  • Lightroom processing and workflow. This is my workflow, not a class on Lightroom functionality.
  • The use of Nik Software plugins
  • Soft proofing and how to correct your printing workflow if it needs correcting.
  • Black and white image processing and how to create dynamic B&W prints
  • What to look for in a good print and how to correct
  • Paper choices
  • Print sharpening
  • Upsizing and sharpening files for large format output
  • Editing images for a portfolio

 

How To Signup

Just email me at info@andybiggs.com and I can send you an invoice and additional details such as hotel recommendations. That’s it! I hope you will join me for some exciting times in my studio.

 

 

Thursday
Feb062014

Photo Of The Day - Lion in the Masai Mara

 

Lion

Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya. January 2014

Friday
Jan102014

South Georgia Island and Antarctic 2014 Polar Photography Expedition

 South Georgia Island and Antarctic 2014 Polar Photography Expedition

November 3-22, 2014

 

I am excited to publicly announce that Joshua Holko and I are opening up the booking process for our photographic expedition to South Georgia Island and Antarctica. Our expedition will last for 20 days, and we will depart Ushuaia, Argentina on the 3rd of November, 2014. Our photographic expedition has been designed to provide the definitive South Georgia Island photography experience. We will cross the Drake Passage where we will spend time photographing amazing icebergs and the spectacular Antarctic Peninsula. We will also visit Elephant Island, home to twenty two of Shackleton’s men for four months. We will enter the Scotia Sea, detouring to the remote and rarely visited mountainous South Orkney Islands. We will zodiac cruises through a maze of icebergs before landing ashore on a beach with penguins, seals and lichen encrusted boulders. This location alone promises fantastic wildlife and landscape opportunities. We will then continue across the Scotia sea, bound for South Georgia Island, where we will see and photograph the world’s largest King Penguin rookeries, majestic albatross nests, seals and a plethora of bird life. Kelp-strewn beaches are cluttered with basking elephant seals, feisty fur seals and hundreds of penguins that will prove a wildlife photographer’s dream. Stromness and Grytviken harbour’s 9,000 foot rocky peaks that rise up from the ocean will fulfill every landscape shooter’s wishes for dramatic landscape. South Georgia’s remote, untamed landscape is simply stunning. Scattered across the mighty Southern Ocean, the tiny arc of windswept islands and harbours are some of the world’s greatest wildlife sanctuaries set against world class landscapes. Famed for its abandoned whaling stations and Shackleton’s heroic journey, South Georgia is home to literally millions of fur seals and penguins, wallows of elephant seals and nesting albatross. After we finish photographing in this breathtaking area we will sail back to Ushuaia where we will dock on the 22nd of November and conclude our once in a lifetime expedition.

Joshua and I wanted to put together a dedicated photography expedition to both Antarctica and South Georgia Island that gave photographers the best possible opportunity to photograph big icebergs and amazing wildlife on the same trip. We wanted to ensure sufficient time in both Antarctica and South Georgia Island, so this is a brand new itinerary that has been planned from the ground up to really maximize the opportunities for photography. We have specifically timed our expedition early in the season in order to give us the best opportunities for plenty of icebergs as well as wildlife at South Georgia Island. The ice and snow at South Georgia island will be pristine and as yet unvisited by man after the Antarctic winter. If you can only travel to Antarctica and South Georgia Island once in your life for photography then this is most definitely the trip you want to be on.

 


Key Details of our Expedition

 

  • Dates: 03 November to 22 November, 2014. 20 days / 19 nights
  • Ship : Ice Hardened Expedition Class Ship ‘Polar Pioneer’ Regarded by many as the best vessel for polar photography for its ability to get really close to big ice and ample deck space for photography.
  • Trip Leaders : Andy Biggs and Joshua Holko
  • Dedicated to Wildlife and Landscape Photography

If you would like to join us, please send me an email to info@andybiggs.com. Places are very limited on this trip and given the unique nature of this expedition we do expect to sell out quickly. Due to early expressions of interest the Captains Suite and Mini Suites are already sold out and there are only limited twin private and twin share rooms remaining. We have the entire vessel so this trip is solely for photographers and is 100% dedicated to both landscape and wildlife photography. Places are booked strictly on a first come first served basis. A full itinerary and costs can be found on my web site.

 

 

 

 

 

Friday
Dec272013

2013 Year In Review [Warning: Modem Buster]

Wow. What a year. I mean what-a-year. I spent more time away from home than I ever anticipated, but in that time away I had some amazing experiences, photographic opportunities and time with customers that are nothing short of amazing. So let’s jump into my year, which is going to be a modem buster of a blog entry, due to the large volume of images.

Camera Equipment

Before we get to the destinations and photographs, I need to say that 2013 was a huge year of change for me. Why? I sold off much of my Nikon 35mm gear in order to be more agnostic. I did this because I need to shoot with Canon and other systems, as I need and want to know exactly what the needs of my customers are. I sold off much of my Nikon system and only own a D800E, 24-70mm, 70-200mm and a 50mm. This means I have a huge gap to fill on each of my trips, which I fill by relying on the rental market. I use Borrowlenses.com exactly for this need. I just rent either a Canon or Nikon camera body and a ‘long’ lens, like a 300mm f/2.8, 400mm f/2.8 or 200-400mm f/4. Voila. Simple, easy and I accomplish the goal of knowing both platforms as best that I can.

I also shoot with Phase One medium format gear, and late this year I upgraded from a 60 megapixel IQ160 digital back to an 80 megapixel IQ280 digital back. After my first trip with the new IQ280 I am extremely happy with the upgrade, as I now have 10,300 pixels on the longest dimension to work with. These files are HUGE, I tell you. HUGE. And yes, I now need a new computer to process the files.

International Travel - Africa and Iceland

I spent much of the month of March in Iceland, as I co-led two workshop groups with friends Joshua Holko and Daniel Bergman. These workshops were winter workshops, primarily driven around snow, ice and the aurora borealis. Here are a few images from March:

 

Aurora Borealis, Lighthouse and Power Plant

 

Daniel, King of Ice

 

Workshop Group at Jökulsárlön

 

Reysnisdrangar near Vík

 

Near Stokksnes

 

Having a little fun at my expense. Funny people.

 

Joshua out on the ice

 

I also spent a ton of time in Africa, splitting my time between Tanzania (1 safari), Rwanda (1 safari), Kenya (3 safaris) and Botswana (3 safaris). I didn’t visit Africa until May, yet I managed to fit in so many game drives into the year I think I lost count. Here is a quick synopsis of my African travels, in order of where I guided my trips:

 

Mother and Baby Giraffe, Singita Grumeti Reserves, Tanzania

 

Playing Cheetahs, Olare Motorogi Conservancy, Masai Mara, Kenya

 

Cheetahs Chasing Their Lunch, Olare Motorogi Conservancy, Masai Mara, Kenya

 

Welcome To My Office

 

Wink Wink, Olare Motorogi Conservancy, Masai Mara, Kenya

 

Lion, Olare Motorogi Conservancy, Masai Mara, Kenya

 

Giraffe and Clouds, Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya

 

I Am King, Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya

 

Four Lions, Olare Motorogi Conservancy, Masai Mara, Kenya

 

Silverback, Rwanda

 

Silverback, Rwanda

 

Silverback, Rwanda

 

Three Giraffe, Singita Grumeti Reserves, Tanzania

 

Liftoff, Helicopter Aerial Flight over the Okavango Delta, Botswana

 

Our Mobile Shooting Platform, complete with custom brackets (and Andy Biggs Photo Safaris exclusive)

 

A Boat Cruise out on the Okavango Delta

 

Stretching Leopard, Okavango Delta, Botswana

 

North American destinations

Well, my year wouldn’t be complete without some trips to the American West and the Pacific Northwest, which I visited early on in the year, so here are a few images from Death Valley and the areas near Moab, Utah (Arches and Canyonlands National Parks):

 

The Fiery Furnace, Arches National Park

 

Juniper, Arches National Park

 

Eureka Dunes, Death Valley National Park

 

Valley Floor, Death Valley National Park

 

Valley Floor, Death Valley National Park

 

The truth is that my African travels were enough to fill up an entire year, but it didn’t end there. I guided 7 African safaris alone, and once you add in the Iceland trip and other North American trips I needed more time at home with my family, or at minimum more time with family out on vacation. Which leads me to……

Family Time

Leslie and I took our boys to Florida for some time on the beach, and this year was the first time for me to have a family portrait off all 4 of us. Seriously. How lame is *that*?!? As a photographer, I am always behind the camera, but this time I successfully conned my kids into standing there for 20 seconds for me to get a couple of images captured with the assitance of the self timer. Christian, my oldest, is 7 years old. Yes, it has taken me 7 years to get to this point, and I am extremely glad that I now have an image of all of us in the same frame. And then William gave us his tongue sticking out in the photo. Priceless. I actually giggled, because it reminded me of exactly the same behavior when I was his age.

 

First Family Portrait

 

Christian Without Training Wheels. Talk about a proud kid and a proud dad

 

My Future Soccer Pro, William

 

Last, but not least, Leslie and I went on a no-kids vacation up to the Pacific Northwest. This was our first vacation away from kids in 3 years, and it was amazing. We spent time with friends and family in Seattle and Vancouver, and spent some time doing ‘research’ for my business at Sonora Resort, one of the most fabulous destinations I have ever been to. Seriously. If you are interested in a great balance of the outdoors, fine dining and pampering services this is the place for you. We went flyfishing, grizzly bear viewing, hiking, spa-ing and just about anything else outdoors, and I cannot wait to go back.

 

Sunset near Sonora Resort, British Columbia, Canada

 

To cap off this huge blog post, I thought it is worth noting that my kids have hearts of gold. During one of my trips to Africa, William had heard that there isn’t enough clean drinking water in Africa. So William took a bottle of water, wrapped it up and put it into the mailbox to send to me.

 

 

I have the most amazing family, who support me in everything that I do. If it weren’t for the love and unselfishness of Leslie, I would not be able to do what I do for a living. Yes, my travels were a bit excessive this year, and I will do my very best to cut it back in 2014 and beyond. My trying to find a work / home balance is a difficult one to master, and I don’t do a good job of it much of the time.

I look forward to another wonderful year in 2014, which will take me back to many of the same places in Africa, yet will add Antarctica, South Georgia and the Galápagos Islands to the mix. Bring ‘em on!

 

Thursday
Dec262013

Safari Testimonial

I really appreciate everything you did to make our Botswana safari a success. It exceeded my expectations in every way. The organization was very well done and I could not be happier with the landscapes and animals we saw, and the help you, Grant and our guides gave us to achieve the objective of coming back with some amazing photos. Our following the elephant in the water from the boat was an amazing experience that I’ll never forget. Having a great group of fellow travelers was a bonus and added another layer to the experience, especially with those who were in my vehicle each day.

-Traveler, November 2013 Botswana safari

Thursday
Dec262013

Gal├ípagos Islands on a Private Motor Yacht - June 2013

Galápagos Islands on a Private Motor Yacht

June 14-23, 2014

It’s time to announce yet another amazing photography trip! I have chartered a private motor yacht for a week-long cruise of the Galapagos Islands, limited to a group of 19 people plus myself. This will be my fourth time to lead a trip to the Galápagos archipelago, and I cannot wait to return to a place that yields such amazing photographs and experiences.

**update** The ship is already 50% booked, so please contact me if you are thinking of joining the trip. info@andybiggs.com.

Monday
Dec232013

Photo of the Day - Leopard In The Rain

 

Leopard In The Rain

Okavango Delta, Botwana. December 2013

Nikon D800E, 300mm f/2.8, 1/500 @ f/4.5, ISO 800

Monday
Dec022013

Photo of the Day - Stretching Leopard

 

Stretching Leopard

Okavango Delta, Botswana. November 2013

Phase One DF+, IQ280 80mp digital back, Schneider 240mm lens

 

As many of you know I have been working with digital medium format for a couple of years, and even though medium format digital equipment isn’t the most appropriate for much of my wildlife work it definitely has its place in my bag on those trips. Why? If you could see this image printed in person you would have that answer. The detail and crispness stand out in a way that no other capture device can do so.

I recently upgraded from a 60 megapixel digital back to an 80 megapixel back and I am very glad that I did so. The new dimensions are 10,300 x 7,760 pixels. Whoa. Yup. That’s a big file to deal with, but the results are astounding. My longest lens is a 240mm, which equates to around 155mm on a full frame 35mm camera. Since I photograph many subjects and not just wildlife, the new Phase One IQ280 on a Phase One DF+ camera will be in my bag on all of my trips going forward. For my wildlife trips I augment either Nikon or Canon gear, however for landscape trips I am 100% medium format.

I am heading back out to the bush tomorrow, and I hope to come home with another image or two from this new camera system.