Our latest travels took us to South Africa with the intention of getting some wildlife photographs. Although I’m fairly well travelled, this was the first time I’ve been on the African continent and I was looking forward to the trip. Our schedule included time at the private game farms of Ukutula and Shambala, as well as a visit to the Pilanesberg National Park and Game Reserve.
Last week we took a five-day outing with Arizona Highways Photography Workshops to Havasupai in the Grand Canyon. The workshop was led by Suzanne Mathia and supported by Tyler, A.J. and Todd from Arizona Outback Adventures. It was a great trip with some excellent hikes, spectacular photographs, and lots of fun!
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A few shots from our recent visit to Triple D.
We did a little macro photo shoot a couple weekends ago, with plenty of interesting subjects to get a close look at. OK, I confess… shooting flowers and butterfly wings bores me to tears. Yes, they’re pretty and have nice detail, but the live stuff is much more interesting to me. As a result most of my shots were of spiders and other bugs. The lead shot hardly even qualifies as a macro shot since a tarantula is a pretty good size critter. This one was about four inches across as he was posing, probably another couple of inches bigger if he was trying to go somewhere. He was very docile, pretty much taking a nap which made for easy photographs.
The Tiger Gecko was a little more mobile and made for a little challenge for a good capture. I decided to not worry about the tail going out of focus to get a natural looking shot. It seemed more interesting than a view from the side.
I would have never thought of a spider as being cute, but the Jumping Spider did have some personality. It was quite animated and seemed to be almost posing for me. It was quite fascinated with its reflection in the lens, and seemed almost puzzled by it at times. The two large eyes in front which are its main vision are mobile, the other six eyes are apparently more for warning.
Last weekend we took a trip up to Page for a workshop with LeRoy DeJolie. While the main purpose of the trip was to shoot some slot canyons, the entire area is beautiful. Rather that try to capture it in words, I’ll just let a few of the photos speak for themselves.
A place that should probably be on every landscape photographer’s bucket list is Monument Valley on the Arizona/Utah border.
Anyone who has seen any John Ford westerns will immediately recognize some of the landscape made famous in countless John Wayne epics.
We were fortunate to be part of a group led by Navajo photographer LeRoy DeJollie who grew up in the area.
Much of the area requires a guide, and some of the spots like Hunt’s Mesa are difficult to get to, but it’s worth the trip!
The past few weekends we’ve been on a kick of taking animal photo workshops with Arizona Highways Photography Workshops. Arizona Highways is a regional magazine known for stunning photographs of the southwest, and the workshops are an associated organization. The workshops cover quite a range of subjects from technical “how to” courses to multi day photo trips. I’m somewhat ambivalent about photographing animals in a captive environment. On one hand it seems kind of like cheating, but from a realistic standpoint some of these animals are either rare enough or so remote in the wild that a trip to their natural habitat is plainly outside our means. One thing that doesn’t bother me, however, is the care and condition of these animals. Having met and observed some handlers and trainers, I’m comfortable with the care and effort made to keep the animals healthy and engaged. I realize that not every place operates to that high a standard, that’s why some research is helpful before deciding where you want to shoot.