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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.




« Day 14 –Mashatu Main Camp, Botswana | Main | Day 12 – Johannesburg / Mashatu Main Camp, Botswana »

Day 13 –Mashatu Main Camp, Botswana

Ok, I must say it in advance that today was all about elephants. Yes, there is excellent general game here at Mashatu, but today was all about elephants. The elephants here are extremely relaxed, and this makes for excellent photography. We spent a great amount of time with one family of elephants, and they were so relaxed around us that they actually fell asleep. Half of the herd fell asleep while standing up, and the other half actually laid down on the ground and started to slumber. One male stood only 5 feet from my lens and started sleeping within minutes of our arrival. It was just amazing to witness such large animals in such a relaxed state.

I took the opportunity to use my 200-400mm and isolate parts of this male, and this was a fun exercise to try and compose intimate compositions. I am not confident that many of the photographs worked out, but it was fun to at least try to get out of my normal way of shooting. I am trying to photograph in a different way on this trip, as I need to get out my shell a bit. My photographs haven’t been up to my standards in a while, and I need to try and break out a bit. Jessica Mitford once wrote a book on writing, and she talked about how writers need to ‘murder their darlings’. Writers have pet phrases that they try and fit into their writings, and they actually hold writers back from growing in their craft. As a photographer I am trying to learn this approach, and I am trying to murder my own darlings on this safari. I may not be successful, but I am hoping that I will at least learn more about creativity in the process. Since I am here in Africa often, I have the luxury of being able to try new things. Let’s hope I both learn something as well as come home with some newer looking images.

This afternoon we tracked two leopards, a mother and her sub adult son. Only 1 vehicle had shots of the mother, however most everybody else was able to shoot the male up in a tree. I didn’t take any photographs this afternoon, and spent the time working with my vehicle mates on exposure and composition. I also took the time to just think about my own compositions, and have come up with some new ideas that I will put into practice on future game drives.

After a nice sundowner drink, we all headed back to camp, cleaned up and met at the bar before dinner. Dinner was under the stars in the boma, set amongst a roaring fire in the middle of the enclosure. The Mashatu staff sang a few joyous songs for us, and many in the group retired back to their rooms by 9:00. Jet lag really hits hard for the first few days, and I was tired for other reasons.

Note: All images in these daily blog postings are very very rough edits of the things we have seen, and I often omit the photographs that take too much time to process. I don’t take much time off during the day, as I am working with people with their photographic needs. All of my images in these posts will have to be re-processed when I get back home, and they are only included in these blog entries for illustration purposes.




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Reader Comments (2)

Love your elephant images! Like the slow shutter panning effect of the young one. Great work Andy!

August 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDick Berry

The shot of the baby with the light hitting it's trunk is my favorite. And I'm glad to hear that you're trying new things and keeping your photos fresh.

August 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAngie

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