Blog Tag: Photo Safari

Notes from Lake Natron: Flamingos, Infrared, and Footprints

by Dave Burns | Posted in Trip Reports | Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Camp at Lake Natron with Ol Doinyo Lengai Behind
Camp at Lake Natron with Ol Doinyo Lengai Behind
Fuji X-T1, 18-55mm @ 55, 1/350 @ f/9, ISO 200.

We stayed at Lake Natron Camp, a beautiful camp set next to the flats of Lake Natron and with an outstanding view of Lengai. It’s a desert-style camp, designed with lots of shady places, a swimming hole, the Rift Valley escarpment behind us, spacious tents with great views of the lake from their front door, and the food was outstanding (special diets handled well too: my gluten-free meals were excellent).

For wildlife photographers, Lake Natron is best known for its high density of flamingos – about 2.5 million lesser flamingos. There were also plenty of zebra and wildebeest around who left evidence that they even came through camp while we slept. The camp was sprinkled with plenty of desert rose which I think of as a Bonsai version of a baobab but with pink flowers on top.
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Starting My July Safari: Arusha, Mara River Crossings, Fuji X, and Lake Natron

by Dave Burns | Posted in Trip Reports | Tags: , , , , , , ,
Loading up the Landy in Arusha
Loading up the Landy in Arusha
iPhone 6S

I don’t typically travel to Tanzania in July but when I mentioned to my Tanzanian operator that I wanted to see the migration herds when they crossed the Mara River and also that he had some new camps that I hadn’t seen yet, it seemed like a great opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

One of the camps is in the northernmost part of the Serengeti to allow easy access to the herds when they cross the Mara River. There was a bit of a gamble though since you can’t predict when the herds in the area will actually decide to cross. And in the bigger picture, you can’t predict the weather well enough to even know if the herds will arrive and cross in the weeks before or after you’re there.

Another camp new to me was on the edge of Lake Natron, an area I had wanted to see for a long time. The area is known for high concentrations of flamingos, lots of other wildlife, and stunning landscapes.
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New Photo Safari to the Serengeti in March 2017

by Dave Burns | Posted in News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Elephant and Photographers in Ngorongoro Crater

Last week’s gallery opening in Arlington, MA was a big success. For those of you who aren’t local or couldn’t make it, I’ll post the images of Paris that I’m showing there over the coming weeks on my Facebook page – be sure to follow me there.

In Photo Tour news, my March 2017 photo safari is now ready and listed on this site and I’m excited that I can offer it at the same price as my 2016 tour. It’s an amazing 11-day, 10-night safari where you will stay at exclusive camps right in the parks. Iā€™ve designed it to put you right in the middle of the action so you can come home with great images.

March is at the end of the foaling season in the Serengeti: you will see young zebras and wildebeest among the herds. The Ngorongoro Crater is lush and green and Tarangire is full of amazing baobabs and elephants for us to photograph. You can find all of the details about this safari here.

Contact me soon if you would like to join the group on this great photographic opportunity!

Safari njema!

Lion and Wildebeest in the Crater

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Print Sale: Flamingos Taking Off

by Dave Burns | Posted in Photo of the Day, Story Behind the Photo | Tags: , , , , , ,

I just sold a canvas of Flamingos Taking Off. When someone buys a print, I always enjoy telling them the story behind the photo.

Flamingos Taking Off
Flamingos Taking Off

I took this image of Lesser Flamingos while visiting the Serengeti in Spring of 2012 on one of my photo tours that I lead in Tanzania.

On March 16th, our group drove to sunset at Lake Ndutu, an area just off the southern tip of the Serengeti where the famed migration is at that time of year. Lake Ndutu is packed with flamingos but I noticed this group of six wading together very tightly and followed them with my lens for several minutes. My patience paid off because, suddenly, they formed a line and started running. I pressed the shutter button as the first in line spread its wings to take flight. Seconds later, they were all in the air.

My New 2016 Photo Safaris to the Serengeti

by Dave Burns | Posted in News | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Elephant and Photographers in Ngorongoro Crater

My new photo safaris in 2016 are ready and now listed on my site. Both are amazing 11-day, 10-night safaris where you will stay at exclusive camps right in the parks. I’ve designed them to put you right in the middle of the action so you can come home with great images.

Both safaris hit the best locations in Tanzania’s northern circuit:
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Print Sale: Baobab Tree at Sunset

by Dave Burns | Posted in Photo of the Day, Story Behind the Photo | Tags: , , , , , ,

I just sold a framed print of Baobab Tree at Sunset: 12 x 18 inches plus matte and frame. When someone buys a print, I always enjoy telling them the story behind the photo.

Baobab Tree at Sunset
Baobab Tree at Sunset

This image was taken on one of my photo tours that I lead in Tanzania and was made with my DSLR modified to record infrared light.
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Print Sale: Zebras and Wildebeest Running

by Dave Burns | Posted in Photo of the Day, Story Behind the Photo | Tags: , , , , ,

I just sold a framed print of Zebras and Wildebeest Running: 12 x 36 inches plus matte and frame. When someone buys a print, I always enjoy telling them the story behind the photo.

Zebras and Wildebeest Running
Zebras and Wildebeest Running

This image was taken on one of my photo tours that I lead in Tanzania and was made with my DSLR modified to record infrared light.
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The Fuji X-T1 on African Safari – How Well Did It Work?

by Dave Burns | Posted in Trip Reports, What's in the Bag | Tags: , , , , ,
Fuji X-T1 and 55-200mm Lens in the Serengeti
Fuji X-T1 and 55-200mm Lens in the Serengeti

UPDATE 12/15/2014: I’ve caught some grief in online discussion groups for the images in this post and it made me realize I should have been more clear about my intentions. You can find articles everywhere online that show off the best a camera can do. The images here are not those. My goal was to illustrate challenges the X-T1 has and where Fuji needs to improve the X Series features if they want to better serve certain markets (sports, wildlife, etc.).

The other goal I had for this post was provide an answer to the question I’ve received more than once from my clients: should they bring their mirrorless camera on one of my safaris? Until now, I’ve had to say, “I don’t know.” With this experience, I can give them a more balanced answer.

In a recent post, I described the kit I took on the most recent photo tour I led to Africa. The kit included the Fuji X-T1 and in this post, I’m going to talk about my impressions of using that X-T1 in the field, how well it performed, and whether I would bring it again. At the end is a gallery of images I made with the X-T1.
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Fall 2014 African Photo Safari – Notes from the Serengeti

by Dave Burns | Posted in Trip Reports | Tags: , , , , ,

As always, our camp was located in an incredible setting in the middle of the Moru Kopjes, south of the center of the Serengeti, our final park on this safari. We were there for 4 nights and were treated to excellent wildlife sightings, the calls of lions and hyena in the night, and vibrant sunsets as we ate dinner while watching the migration herds go by on the plains below.

This year, the migrations herds came south early so they were right around our camp for our entire stay. We had many opportunities to shoot them as they wound their way south:

Wildebeest Migration Winding down the Serengeti Plains
Wildebeest Migration Winding down the Serengeti Plains
Fuji X-T1 w/ 55-200mm, 1/500 at f/6.4, ISO 200
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Fall 2014 African Photo Safari – Notes from the Ngorongoro Crater

by Dave Burns | Posted in Trip Reports | Tags: , , ,

The Ngorongoro Crater is a special place and although we only had one and a half days there this Fall, it treated us well. The weather was cool and crisp in the mornings and sunny and warm midday.

We were off to a great start by coming upon a male lion and his cub almost immediately after descending the access road. Very difficult to photograph well since they were staying in the long grass. We saw a black rhino mother and her calf in the distance but they tend to avoid coming too close to the roads. Photographing them at such long distances is tough because, even though you have them in focus, you tend to get atmospheric refraction which gives you something like a “mirage” look.

At our picnic spot by the water, a bull elephant gave us a rare show by partially submerging himself and then swimming past the resident pod of hippo as he made his way to the soft grasses on the bank:
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