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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.





Canon 1DMkIII arrived

I received my Canon 1DMkIII on Friday, and I have been running the camera through its paces before I leave for Tanzania this week. I normally only use camera equipment that I know through and through on my excursions, but I feel confident enough in this camera to take it to Africa with me.

Here are a few of my thoughts on this camera so far. It is incredibly fast, I love the new battery life, I love the new battery information indicator, I love the images at ISO 3200, I love the lighter weight, and I love the large buffer. There are some things I am scratching my head over, such as the default location of the new rear autofocus button. I feel that extended use of this button will cause sever thumb strains (not an issue, as you can reassign the AF button some place else).

I am planning on posting all of my configurations for all to see, with short explanations of each selection other than the default settings.

PhotoShelter Profile

PhotoShelter has just posted a profile on me and my photography business. You can read some of the other profiles that PhotoShelter has written about, as well.

PhotoShelter Profile - Andy Biggs: From Software to the Serengeti


Of online retailers and brick and mortar camera stores

In order to keep my photography business going, I need to purchase a decent amount of gear. And I expect my gear to fail from time to time, which also increases the frequency of my purchases. So what is better for me, a discount online retailer or somebody that I can call by name on the phone? For my larger purchases, I rely on Hunt's Photo. Gary Farber has been taking care of my needs for a while now, and he always comes through when I need something in a hurry or when I am away from home.

Have you ever tried to make a purchase online from a box-pusher, and have the delivery made to you at a motel in the middle of Utah? That will never happen, because of how those types of relationships work. Yes, the prices are often less expensive, but in the end does it really pay? For me the answer is no, but for your own needs the answer might be different.

If you need good service, try giving Gary at Hunt's a call. (800) 221-1830 x2332. Or email him at A great guy, and always happy to help out. I know this sounds like a commercial, but it is true.

/End commercial

Please do not feed the wildlife

I hesitate posting this entry in my blog, but I feel compelled to say something that I am passionate about. If you are going to visit Ngorongoro Crater, or any similar environment in Africa where there are birds of prey that have become habituated to humans, please read further. Ngoitokitok springs in the Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania is only one of a few locations inside this collapsed caldera that we as human visitors are allowed to get out and stretch our legs and eat a well deserved picnic. Since the location is popular, we are bound to have wildlife that have become habituated to our presence.

One of the most common examples is that of the black kite, which swoop down from the sky to steal food away from humans. Ok. It is what it is, but I cringe when I see people deliberately feeding this bird of prey. The main reason I get so upset is that I once saw a young girl with a piece of chicken in her hand, and a black kite quickly swooped down to grab it from her hands. It was a close call, but she did have some scrapes on her hand from the bird's large talons. I can only assume that over time something much worse could happen to somebody, as these carnivores could easily take off a finger.

I don't want to sound like an old curmudgeon, but I feel like I needed to post my feelings on the matter. As the old adage says, "please don't feed the wildlife". The adage is there for a reason. Please respect it.



Photo of the Day


Canon 1DMkII, 100-400mm, 1/200 @ f/8.0, ISO 160
Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania


June 21, 2008 Tanzania Photo Safari Announced

My summer 2008 plans are coming together, and I am announcing my June 21 - July 3, 2008 Tanzania Photo Safari. This safari will take place in northern Tanzania, and we will visit three very different and distinct national parks: Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park.


June 21 - July 3, 2008 Tanzania Photo Safari


High ISO article on dpreview has just posted a nice high iso article that is a good read for those who are interested in low light photography. As dpreview writes:

"It's rare these days for a compact camera to be launched without a high sensitivity mode / high ISO capabilities, but the truth behind the marketing hype is often disappointing to say the least. We believe consumers are often being misled by the manufacturers when it comes to the actual performance of most cameras at higher ISO settings and in low light. So we decided to put together a short article for the uninitiated on the truth behind those headline high ISO modes. If you're new to digital cameras or are in the market for a new one this is well worth checking out."

Compact Camera High ISO modes:
Separating the facts from the hype


Photo of the Day

We were lucky enough to witness a short-eared owl while on the island of Genovesa, Galapagos islands, and had an opportunity to be within short range of this amazing creature. This was the only image I was able to capture before flying away, but take notice of the storm petrel in his grasp. The storm petrel is the most common food source for the short-eared owl in the Galapagos.


Short-eared owl, Genovesa island, Galapagos, May 2007
Canon 1DsMkII, 100-400mm, 1/500sec @ f/7.1, ISO 320