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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.




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African Photo Safari Tips

This was originally posted on my old web site, and now I am moving over to my blog. - Andy

1) Bracket the difficult exposures if shooting film, or learn how to read histograms on digital cameras. When photographing wildlife, you typically have dark bodies against light backgrounds, which are one of the most difficult situations to expose for. An incident meter is also a great idea.

2) Know your equipment before you depart for your safari trip. Learning to use a new camera in the field will most likely end up as that: a test. Bring along the manual for your camera(s)!

3) Bring along a bean bag, or some other means to support your camera. A stable camera platform is preferable to hand holding. I prefer the Kinesis Safari Sack product.

4) Bring the longest lens that you can afford. There will be many shots that will be close, and there will be many that are far away. Having the best tool for the job will definitely help. In 35mm terms, a 400mm lens is a great starting point.

5) You should try and take your best photographs within the first hour of sunlight, and the last hour of sunlight. The closer the sun is to the horizon, the warmer and more dramatic your shots will be.

6) Try to practice the 'rule of thirds'. By offsetting your subject away from the center of the frame, you will create nice negative space that has balance and harmony to your images. After you have practiced the rule of thirds, start breaking the rules. Rules are meant to be broken, especially if you want to think creatively.

7) At the very end of the day, when the sun is below the horizon, flash photography is a must. I have found that a Better Beamer or Flash X-Tender attached to your flash can illuminate wildlife farther away than you might think. Better Beamers are also great to put the catch light in the eyes of a far away mammal or bird. There are 3 reasons for using flash: flash as your main light (brigher than the ambient light), flash as fill light and flash as catchlight. Understand the differences, and how to use your flash for each of these situations.

8) Learn more about the wildlife you would like to photograph. You will be amazed at the abundance and variety of wildlife in east Africa, and how they interrelate. I recommend The Safari Companion by Richard Estes.

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