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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.





Entries in Workshop (35)


Fine Art Photo Processing Sessions! New Dates Added

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 2015 with this feedback in mind.

The Dates

  • April 6-8
  • July 14-16
  • August 25-27

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 $1,850 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 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.




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 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.







Namibia Overland Photographic Journey, April 2014

Namibia Overland Photographic Journey
March 29 - April 7, 2014
April 8 - 17, 2014




I will be co-leading a group with Joshua Holko to the Namibia desert in Namibia, Africa. The goal of this safari is to photograph the breathtaking desert landscapes of Namibia in a different way than how I have offered my Namibia trips in the past: in an overland fashion. This will be an overland photographic journey, and we have complete flexibility to stop to take photographs at any time along the way. We wanted to put this trip together that has a good balance between flexibility, photographic opportunities and comfortable accommodations. This approach will also enable us to carry more than enough amount of camera baggage, so bring what you need!

On the South Western Coast of Africa, where the icy Atlantic ocean meets the world’s oldest desert lies a place that is known for its landscapes as much as the Serengeti is known for its abundant wildlife. The unique combination of desert, grassland and cold ocean current form a one-of-a-kind terrain found only here. For this reason landscape photographers from all over the world flock to the Namib Desert to try and capture its ethereal beauty.

In this captivating region of Namibia lies a maze of mountainous valleys that look like they were carpeted from slope to slope by ivory colored grass, criss-crossed by ancient riverbeds and dotted with a collection of photogenic acacia trees. The final unique touch is added by the large snake like dunes that rise from the grasslands like the roof of some subterranean world. These stark and compelling landscapes are something to behold with the human eye, but when it’s sweeping meadows, barren mountains and blood red dunes are captured and transformed into a two dimensional image, it becomes obvious why this place is so beautifully addictive to photographers.


– This private overland safari covers fascinating attractions in Namibia while enjoying a relaxed pace along the way.

– We will enjoy four amazing destinations in central and southern Namibia: Sossusvlei, the Namib Rand, the deserted mining town of Kolmanskop and the ancient quiver tree forest near Keetmanshoop.

– The Namib Desert may well be the world’s oldest desert. The apricot-colored dunes at Sossusvlei are some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth. Herds gemsbok and springbok roam the area.

– In all the locations you will have the opportunity to spend quality photographic time.

– Finish on a high note in the magnificent sand dunes of Sossusvlei.

– Limited to only 10 participants.

The cost of this all-inclusive trip is U.S. $7,950 per person (but not inclusive of airfare to Windhoek, Namibia). The same rate applies for each participant regardless of whether they are doing photography and participating in the workshop, or not. This fee includes all in-country ground and air transportation as well as hotel accommodation (double occupancy) and all meals.

A 30% deposit of U.S. $2,325 (per person) will be required when you register. A second payment of $1,500 will be due on October 1, 2013 and the balance of $3,925 will be due no later than  February 1, 2014. If we have to cancel the trip for any reason you will receive a full refund of all monies paid to that date.

Please note: This trip is designed for photographers. Though non-photographer spouses are of course welcome, and alternate activities will be scheduled if possible, our primary emphasis will be traveling to the best locations for the best light, and this will often mean long days of both travel and shooting.

You should therefore only consider joining this expedition if you are a passionate photographer willing to put yourself out a bit. This is not a vacation sightseeing trip, but rather is a trip designed for those who’ll go the extra mile (or kilometer) to get the images they’ve been dreaming about.

Please contact me at You can see the entire day by day itinerary:

Namibia Overland Photographic Journey 2014




The Namib Rand


Desert Landscapes of Death Valley - Workshop

Desert Landscapes of Death Valley National Park


January 9-13, 2013


The Race Track, Death Valley National Park


I will be co-leading a rigorous 5-day photography workshop with my friend, Michael Gordon, in Death Valley National Park January 2013. Death Valley is a landscape photographer’s paradise, combining large sand dunes, mountains and desert scenes all in one place. If you have never photographed in Death Valley, you owe it to yourself to witness some of the most famous geological formations in the American West. January is an excellent time to photograph in Death Valley, as the combination of moderate temperatures and shorter days make for an excellent experience. Outside of the winter months, Death Valley is too hot and days are too long to be considered good times to visit. I do prefer to be in Death Valley in the winter, as the short days allow for more star trail photography, which we will spend some time doing out on the Race Track.

This workshop is primarily a field workshop, however we will have opportunities to discuss and work on post processing tips and techniques with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom as well as some of the Nik Software plugins. We will be in the field early in the morning and early in the evening to catch the dawn and dusk light with a little bit of down time in between. We will also spend a few evenings working on star trails, which will keep us out late when combined with some long drives back to our hotel. We will have discussion and assistance while out in the field each day. Advanced techniques will be constantly discussed, demonstrated and put into practice. We will all work closely together, sharing our knowledge and experience.

The workshop will begin on the afternoon of Wednesday, January 9 at 1pm, and will finish after a morning shoot on Monday, January 14th. The workshop is limited to 10 particpants only.

Desert Landscapes of Death Valley, January 9-14, 2013


Sabi Sands Safari Report - Day 5

We were up at 5:30, a quick coffee and tea at 6 and we were out before sunrise. I loved the cool morning, as it is hot back at home and I am already tired of 70+F temps at night. We had some amazing sightings of elephant and giraffe this morning, and we took the time to try and get the best shots possible. Drive-by photography rarely pays off in the safari world, and the best photographs take time to unfold. I love photographing anything that is in front of me, and giraffes and elephants are actually my favorite subjects. They can be the most challenging for me, and think that is part of the fun.

Giraffes are difficult from a composition standpoint. What to include? Head? Head and neck? Whole body? Vertical or horizontal? So many options and my choices rarely seem to have me happy in the end. I put my camera down for much of the day, as I wanted to spend time working with people on the rear autofocus button on their cameras, as well as discussions about composition, metering and storytelling.

We did get a report of an often-not-seen animal in the Sabi Sands, and that was of a cheetah out on the southern open planes. We hoofed it to the area and tracked the cheetah to a place where he was resting underneath a tree. The light was harsh, but our time with him was enjoyable because of the rarity of the sighting. One of the vehicles did get a great opportunity to photograph him later on as he jumped up onto a very narrow top of a termite mound. Very very cool.

We broke for a late brunch back at camp, and the staff had set up a really nice table for us out underneath a shade tree. Cold cereals, fruit, breads, cheese and eggs to order from the kitchen. It’s nice not to have to worry about my guests when we have such wonderful staff around.

We had tea at 2:30 and promptly left for our afternoon drive, and headed towards the Sand River in the northern part of Singita. We had a great sighting of a dominant male leopard of the area, and we followed him on one of the roads for quite some time. We drove behind him at a distance, as well as drove offroad to the side of him to capture him walking. The goal was to get some tall grass in the foreground as to make the road less obvious in the shots. He was walking more quickly than we could drive, as the terrain offroad was littered with large stones. Eventually he went off into the thick bush, and the rest of the afternoon was spent trying to intercept him on the other side of the thick bush. We lost him and never found him again, but we did get a great sighting nonetheless.

I feel like today was one of the better days I have had in a while, as a cheetah in the morning and a glorious male leopard in the afternoon is tough to beat.


Male Leopard

Nikon D800, 300mm f/2.8 VRII, 1/400 @ f/8, ISO 250, Hand Held


Male Leopard, as seen from a moving vehicle

Nikon D4, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 1/10 @ f/22, ISO 100


Chris, Barry and Scot

Nikon D4, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 1/250 @ f/7.1, ISO 400


Camera bags on this safari are sponsored by Gura Gear, which I started in 2008. Check us out. We make the best camera bags on the planet.

Some of the gear on this safari has been provided by I rely on for both my own needs as well as my safari travelers’ needs. When we need big lenses, cameras or anything else photographic, we turn to to help out. They are the best resource in the industry for traveling photographers.


Sabi Sands Safari Report - Day 4

Today was the last day of my pre-safari at Mala Mala, and we did things a little differently than the past few days. We wanted as much as possible to see the wild dogs at the den, so we knew we wouldn’t benefit by arriving first thing in the morning with the cold temperatures. We had our bags packed before sunrise, we ate breakfast and then we headed out for the long drive down to Charleston and the southern end of the reserve. This allowed the dogs to hopefully wake up and let the air warm up a bit before coming out. We had to transfer to Singita at 10am, so we only had about 30 minutes total at the den when we arrived there. I am glad that we planned the morning this way, because we had yet another chance to see these magnificent predators one last time. When we arrived we had either 5 or 6 adult dogs running around the vehicle, and it was difficult for me to count just how many unique individuals we had amongst us due to the dense brush. We head some fascinating vocalizations and when things died down we had to rush back to check out and head over to Singita.

I always have a great time at Mala Mala, and this short stay was no exception. I will be leading a private safari group to Mala Mala in 2013, and it might be on my public safari schedule as well. I am not sure, as my 2013 safaris aren’t set in stone yet.

At 10am we grabbed a vehicle and drove an hour west to Singita Castleton, where I will be spending the next 16 nights. Castleton is a small and comfortable camp in the Singita area of the Sabi Sands. Castleton has only 6 bedrooms and can accommodate up to 12 people, and that is the maximum. I like to take sole use of camps when I can, because this allows me and my safari groups to have flexible dining schedules based on what we are seeing out on game drives. If we are 2 hours late for lunch nobody will care. I love that kind of care-free feeling that my game drives are not based on set dining schedules. Wildlife photography comes first, and it’s not like we are going to starve if we adjust our dining schedule around a little bit.

We arrived at camp about 30 minutes before the bulk of my travelers arrived at the airstrip, so I had time to throw my bags into my room and book it to the airstrip. I chartered a Beech 1900 private airplane to bring in the rest of the safari group, which allowed for an extreme amount of weight allowance per person. The typical allowance is 44 pounds in southern Africa, which would include everything inclusive of camera equipment. Heck, my camera bags (A Gura Gear Kiboko and a Gura Gear Chobe) weigh close to that amount without even into my duffel bag with my clothing.

We said hello to everybody as they exited the plane, had cold water and wet towels for people to freshen up with, and we took off for Castleton. Everybody got settled in, had a nice lunch out in the garden and took off around 3pm for our afternoon game drive. The first game drive on any safari typically involves short distances, as we don’t want to miss all of the things that are new to people if it is their first time on safari. Zebras, rhino, giraffe, elephant, kudu, impala, countless bird species and wildebeest were on tap for the afternoon, followed by a stop for sundowner cocktails after the sun had set.


El Grupo

Nikon D4, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 1/400 @ f/8, ISO 400

Camera bags on this safari are sponsored by Gura Gear, which I started in 2008. Check us out. We make the best camera bags on the planet.

Some of the gear on this safari has been provided by I rely on for both my own needs as well as my safari travelers’ needs. When we need big lenses, cameras or anything else photographic, we turn to to help out. They are the best resource in the industry for traveling photographers.


Sabi Sands Safari Report - Day 3

Today we decided to try and track/visit the Kikilezi female leopard with her two cubs, but we knew we needed to wait to visit the den until they had a chance to warm up after the sun came up. We drove the roads towards Clarendon dam in hopes of picking up signs of cheetah, but that turned out to not yield what we had hoped. That gave us some time for the day to heat up a bit, and when we arrived at the leopards the two cubs were racing around and as active as I have ever seen. The cubs were about 8 weeks old, and as a result have a schedule of playing, sleeping and nursing with their mother. So our time was filled with playing, and after they settled down after an hour we decided to move on. We did revisit the cubs in the late afternoon, however we had better memories than photographs due to the dense vegetation that was in the way.

Ok, let’s chat about cameras for a few moments. I have the new Nikon D4 and D800 cameras with me, and there are some major differences between the two that should be noticed. Since I only have a few minutes to write this entry between game drives, I am going to use a bullet point format to explain.


  • Camera is too small for my hands, and will need to purchase the portrait grip.
  • Resolution is absolutely stunning.
  • The ability to crop an image, as the result of an absurd amount of pixels, is fantastic.
  • Low frames per second works for me, but might not work for somebody who is less familiar with African wildlife photography. I tend to shoot only when I need to, as opposed to letting the camera rip off 20 shots.
  • Autofocus is pretty darned goof for a $3,000 camera. I am not seeing any differences between the D800 and my old D3, D3x and D700 cameras.
  • I am not a fan of the new autofocus mode switches. I wish we still had a switch on the back of the camera, as opposed to having to use the A/M switch and button on the front of the camera. This is a step backwards.
  • I am finding that ISO 1600 is my limit, which is similar to what I did with my D3x. ISO 800 or lower is more ideal, but 1600 seems to be the edge of the breaking point.



  • The best camera ergonomics of any camera I have ever used
  • I absolutely love the autofocus joysticks for both normal and portrait modes. This was sorely lacking in previous cameras.
  • I like the nice balance between file size, dynamic range and high ISO capabilities. ISO 6400 is turning out to be my limit, but 1600 and 3200 seem to be more common over the past 3 days since I began using the camera.
  • I do wish the D4 had two identical compact flash slots. Boooooo


It was a fantastic day, filled with leopard cubs as well as general game! Until tomorrow…..


Cubs of the Kikilezi Female Leopard

Nikon D800, 300mm f/2.8, 1/500 @ f/5, ISO 400


Breakfast In The Bush

Nikon D4, 16-35mm, 1/800 @ f/5.6, ISO 400


Matt, Terry and Jim

Nikon D4, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 1/160 @ f/8, ISO 250


Elephant and the Sand River

Nikon D4, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 1/640 @ f/5.6, ISO 250


Camera bags on this safari are sponsored by Gura Gear, which I started in 2008. Check us out. We make the best camera bags on the planet.

Some of the gear on this safari has been provided by I rely on for both my own needs as well as my safari travelers’ needs. When we need big lenses, cameras or anything else photographic, we turn to to help out. They are the best resource in the industry for traveling photographers.


Sabi Sands Safari Report - Day 2

Up at 5:30 this morning and in the vehicle around 6. We decided to take a simple breakfast with us, as my small group of 3 of us didn’t want to eat so early nor come back to camp later on in the morning. We poured our coffees and got settled into our vehicles for the morning’s game drive.  The temperature this morning was in the mid 40’sF, so the wildlife early on wasn’t exactly very active at first light. We headed towards the northern part of Mala Mala, where there are some open areas where cheetah like to spend time. Near Clarendon Dam we didn’t locate any cheetah, however we did have a nice sighting of a rhino who was intent on sniffing out another of his own kind. I find rhinos difficult to photograph, as there aren’t many angles that are good to photograph from. Trying to line up the vehicle for a head-on view was our preferred approach, but we mostly ended up with side shots of his head and horn.


Rhino Profile

Nikon D800, 300mm f/2.8, 1/1250 @ f/4, ISO 400


After our rhino sighting we went towards an area that had a confirmed sighting of one of the adult male lions who had taken down a nyala the evening before, and when we arrived we actually saw a leopard in the vicinity. The young-ish male leopard was curious yet calm, so we sat and watched him for the next couple of hours. He sat behind a log and didn’t give us a good angle for quite some time, but I enjoyed working with blurred grass in the foreground to try and create a dreamy look to the scene. Eventually he sat up and looked at a flying bird overhead, and that probably yielded the best view of him. At one point he looked into the bushes and noticed the male lion sitting there, which was only about 40 meters away. The leopard inched forward over the next 10 minutes to see what the lion would do, and you can suspect what happened next. The lion burst out of the bush and chased the young male leopard away. I couldn’t help but laugh at how young cats tend to take bigger risks than when they are older.


Male Leopard

Nikon D800, 300mm f/2.8, 1/2500 @ f/2.8, ISO 500

This afternoon we decided to drive back to the wild dog den, and when we arrived we had 4 adults lying in front of the entrance. The view wasn’t the greatest, so after a short while we moved out for somebody else to come and take a look. As we were leaving we drove a road towards the Sand River and intercepted the same dogs as they were heading out for their evening hunt. The light was superb, and watching the now 6 dogs trot towards the river was an invigorating exercise. The dogs made it to the water and crossed over as the sun was fading. What a huge honor to be in the presence of one of the most endangered predators in Africa. The last research I have read has indicated there are around 4,000 wild dogs left in the wild.


Wild Dogs (Lycaon Pictus) Heading Out For A Evening Hunt

Nikon D4, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 1/1600 @ f/5, ISO 1600


African Wild Dog (Lycaon Pictus) In The Late Afternoon Light

Nikon D800, 300mm f/2.8 VRII, 1/1000 @ f/3.2, ISO 800



Camera bags on this safari are sponsored by Gura Gear, which I started in 2008. Check us out. We make the best camera bags on the planet.

Some of the gear on this safari has been provided by I rely on for both my own needs as well as my safari travelers’ needs. When we need big lenses, cameras or anything else photographic, we turn to to help out. They are the best resource in the industry for traveling photographers.