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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Wildlife Talk 
Thread started 02 May 2017 (Tuesday) 22:21
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First trip to Africa - Suggestions/advice/comments​? Leaving in *2* days...

 
RonnF
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Post edited over 1 year ago by RonnF. (11 edits in all)
     
May 02, 2017 22:21 |  #1

My wife and I will leaving on our first trip to Africa in less than a week. When I suggested the trip last year, she was underwhelmed but has come around to being pretty excited. We'll both be shooting primarily with a Canon 7D Mark II and a 100-400 IS II lens but will also have wide angle and macro lenses. I also bought a Canon 5D IV for a backup camera in case we encounter a problem with our 7D'S.

We're scheduled to visit the following locations:
1. Timbavati PGReserve, Kruger Park, South Africa - 2 days
2. Kapama PGReserve, Kruger Park, South Africa - 2 days
3. Sheldrick +Giraffe Center
4. Arusha, Ngorongoro Crater Conservancy, Tanzania - 2 days
5. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania (335 kms from Arusha) - 2 days
6. Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya - 2 days

I would appreciate any suggestions or advice anyone can provide on the places we will be visiting and/or staying.

We have the Canon 1.4 Extenders to be used with the Canon 100-400, but after seeing photos of how close the animals sometimes are to the vehicles, I'm wondering if they will even be needed. Does anyone have experience with using extenders in this situation?

We were bringing a third camera body only as a backup, but I'm wondering if it might make sense to put my 24-70 lens on it and have it available for anything large that gets too close to the vehicle to effectively use the 100-400. I've read cautions that changing lenses in the field should not usually be done in Africa because of the dust. Have any of you done this on a safari (used two bodies simultaneously) and is it feasible or would it be too awkward in the vehicles?

Anyway, hope any of you folks who have already made this trip will be able to give me some suggestions or advice.

Thanks!


Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM Lens, Canon 100-400mm 4.5/5.6 L IS II, Canon 400mm F5.6L, Canon 50mm f/1.4, Canon 17-40 f/4 L, Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L, Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, Set of Kenko Extension Tubes, Canon 580EX
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RhodyPhotos
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May 08, 2017 21:42 |  #2

Might be a bit late, but I would avoid changing lens if I can, especially when out on the game drives. You will be spending a lot of time travelling, so travelling light might be a good idea. Three bodies, three lens split between the two of you should be more than adequate. Put the 24-70 on the 5D for landscape shots, if that is something that interests you.

Make sure you have enough batteries and storage :-)

Enjoy the trip. It sounds awesome.


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RonnF
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May 09, 2017 21:39 as a reply to  @ RhodyPhotos's post |  #3

Thanks for your response. We're actually in our seats on British airways Flt BA0286 at SFO waiting for our 7:30 PM flight to London where we'll catch our flight to Cape Town, South Africa. I had planned to have the 24-70 on the 5D so great minds think alike. :-)
I'll probably need to go on one or two game drives before I decide whether to use the extenders.

Got to go! Thanks again for your response.


Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM Lens, Canon 100-400mm 4.5/5.6 L IS II, Canon 400mm F5.6L, Canon 50mm f/1.4, Canon 17-40 f/4 L, Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L, Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, Set of Kenko Extension Tubes, Canon 580EX
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RhodyPhotos
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May 09, 2017 22:14 as a reply to  @ RonnF's post |  #4

Have fun and do post a link to all the pictures once you get back :)

Safe travels


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CyberDyneSystems
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May 09, 2017 23:38 |  #5

Sorry I missed this earlier.

Extender in your pocket,. there when you need them.


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RonnF
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Mar 09, 2018 12:45 |  #6

As planned, and as mentioned in my first post to start this thread, my wife and I traveled to Africa on 05/09/17, where we spent the next three weeks at various locations in South Africa, Kenya, Zambia and Tanzania, before returning home on 06/04/17. Along with the normal items one would need for 3 weeks and a few days in Africa, each of us had a camera backpack with photo gear. Mine weighed 28 pounds and my wife’s weighed close to 25 pounds. We each had a Canon 7D Mark II as our primary camera with a Canon 100-400mm f/4-5.6 IS II telephoto lens. We also had a Canon 5D Mark IV as a backup camera in case we had either of our cameras malfunctioned on our trip.

We first flew to Heathrow Airport in London on 05/09/17 to catch our flight to Cape Town, South Africa where we spent the first four days of our trip. Then, over the next 3 weeks, we moved on to nine different locations, 7 of which were safari camps, where we went on morning and afternoon game drives to view and photograph the animals and scenery in that area.

The first two safari camps were in South Africa, where we spent 4 days in total before flying to Livingstone, Zambia to view and photograph Victoria Falls on the 20 of May. We then flew to Nairobi City, Kenya where, on the same day, we were able to visit both the Sheldrick Animal Orphanage, to see and photograph the orphaned baby elephants, and the Giraffe Center where we were able to get *very* close to the resident giraffes. Tanzania was up next where we viewed and photographed the wildlife in three different areas: Lake Manyara, the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park. Our final stop was back in Kenya at the Masai Mara National Reserve.

It was an amazingly wonderful experience for us to spend so much time in Africa and have such a great opportunity to see and photograph animals and birds we’d only seen previously in a zoo or not at all. From the totals on my spreadsheet(Of *course* I made a spreadsheet...are we savages?), I determined we took 11,047 photos with our iPhones and 32,691 photos with our Canon 7D's for a grand total of 43,738 photos. My wife took 3,872 photos with her 7D and I took 28,819 with mine. At one time in our trip, when my wife mentioned to one of our guides that I was taking 10X the number of photos that she was taking, I *knew* she was exaggerating. As it turned out, it was actually *only* 7.4X her number, so…total vindication! ;-)a

Along with the many animal and bird photos we took in Africa, I have quite a few iPhone photos I took of my wife when we were on a game drive. I *never* needed to ask her to smile because whenever she turned around in response to hearing me call her because she always had a big smile on her face. After we spent almost a month in Italy in 2007, she always referred to it as, “The trip of a lifetime”. High praise. So I was surprised, but pleased, that when we were on our flight home from Africa she said, “That was a *second* trip of a lifetime”.

This was our trip itinerary:
SOUTH AFRICA
1. 05/11/17 to 05/14/17(4 nights) - Cape Town, South Africa - FLEW to Hoedspruit Airport, Kenya for #2 & #3

KENYA
2. 05/15/17 to 05/16/17(2 nights) - Tanda Tula Tented Camp - Timbavati PG Reserve, Kruger Park, SA - DRIVEN to Kapama Karula
3. 05/17/17 to 05/18/17(2 nights) - Kapama Karula - Kapama PG Reserve, Kruger Park, SA - FLEW to Livingston, Zambia

ZAMBIA
4. 05/19/17 to 05/20/17(2 nights) - Avani Victoria Falls Resort - Livingstone, Zambia - FLEW to Nairobi City, Kenya for #5 & #6

KENYA
5. 05/21/17 to 05/22/17(2 nights) - Fairmont Norfolk Hotel - Nairobi City, Kenya - DRIVEN to Amboseli Serena Lodge, Kenya
6. 05/23/17 to 05/24/17(2 nights) - Amboseli Serena Lodge - 250 kilometers from Nairobi City, Kenya - DRIVEN to Lake Manyara Serena Lodge

TANZANIA
7. 05/25/17 to 05/26/17(1 night) - Lake Manyara Serena Lodge - Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania - DRIVEN to Ngorongoro Serena Lodge
8. 05/27/17 to 05/14/17(3 nights) - Ngorongoro Serena Lodge - Ngorongoro Crater Conservancy, Tanzania
9. 05/28/17 to 05/30/17(3 nights) - Serengeti Serena Lodge - Serengeti National Park, Tanzania - FLEW to Masai Mara, Kenya

KENYA
10. 05/31/17 to 06/03/17(3 nights) - Mara Serena Lodge - Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya - FLEW to Nairobi City, Kenya
11. 06/04/17 - FLEW to London Heathrow and then home

It obviously takes time to go through 28,000+ photos but, for those who may be interested, I’ve so far posted 118 images to my Flickr album, “Africa - 2017”: https://www.flickr.com …/albums/7215768​3333546932 (external link)

My thanks again to RhodyPhotos and CyberDyneSystems for replying to my original post.


Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM Lens, Canon 100-400mm 4.5/5.6 L IS II, Canon 400mm F5.6L, Canon 50mm f/1.4, Canon 17-40 f/4 L, Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L, Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, Set of Kenko Extension Tubes, Canon 580EX
Galleries at: https://www.flickr.com​/photos/ronfredrick/ (external link)

  
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CyberDyneSystems
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Mar 10, 2018 13:38 |  #7

Sounds like an Awesome trip Ronn!

Post up some photos when you can.


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RonnF
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Post edited 2 months ago by RonnF.
     
Mar 11, 2018 01:08 |  #8

CyberDyneSystems wrote in post #18582021 (external link)
Sounds like an Awesome trip Ronn!

Post up some photos when you can.

It was a wonderful trip. Photos are at: https://www.flickr.com …ck/sets/7215768​3333546932 (external link)


Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM Lens, Canon 100-400mm 4.5/5.6 L IS II, Canon 400mm F5.6L, Canon 50mm f/1.4, Canon 17-40 f/4 L, Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L, Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, Set of Kenko Extension Tubes, Canon 580EX
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RonnF
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Mar 11, 2018 21:23 |  #9

Here are a few photos from last years trip to Africa.

This is one of two lion cubs we saw at Kapama Karula in Kruger Park, South Africa

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4314/35928865342_e4b038a57f_h.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …/album-72157683333546932/  (external link)
Lion Cub (Panthera leo) at Kapama Karula, Kruger Park, South Africa (external link) by Ron Fredrick (external link) on Flickr


A male lion we saw surveying the area from the high perch of a rocky outcropping.

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4378/35544265973_8cbbc4be64_h.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …/album-72157683333546932/  (external link)
Lion (Panthera leo) in the Serengeti, Tanzania (external link) by Ron Fredrick (external link) on Flickr


An African Fish Eagle that we saw catch a fish in a small body of water in Amoseli, Kenya and then land near our vehicle to devour it.

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4459/37113156133_afb1e26115_h.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …/album-72157683333546932/  (external link)
African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer) (external link) by Ron Fredrick (external link) on Flickr


We saw this beautiful leopard in the Serengeti, Tanzania

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4608/40070897732_429919c758_h.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …/album-72157683333546932/  (external link)
A Leopard (Panthera pardus pardus) gazes at me from its comfortable limb, 12 feet above the ground (external link) by Ron Fredrick (external link) on Flickr

Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM Lens, Canon 100-400mm 4.5/5.6 L IS II, Canon 400mm F5.6L, Canon 50mm f/1.4, Canon 17-40 f/4 L, Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L, Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, Set of Kenko Extension Tubes, Canon 580EX
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CyberDyneSystems
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Mar 11, 2018 21:31 |  #10

Wow! Some serious beauties here!

Seeing the fish eagle on land takes me aback.. and your cat shots are fantastic!


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RhodyPhotos
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Mar 11, 2018 23:11 |  #11

These are terrific! How far were you from the cats? They are sending shivers down my spine :-)

The photos you uploaded to flickr are also terrific. This was certainly one heck of a trip. Lucky that your wife is into photography as well :-)


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RonnF
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Post edited 2 months ago by RonnF.
     
Mar 11, 2018 23:36 |  #12

CyberDyneSystems wrote in post #18583200 (external link)
Wow! Some serious beauties here!

Seeing the fish eagle on land takes me aback.. and your cat shots are fantastic!

Thanks, Jake! Like most photographers in Africa for the first time, I went a little crazy with all the photo opportunities. Since I took 28,819 photos with my 7D Mark II, 1% should get me almost 290 decent ones. So far, I'm a little short. :-)


Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM Lens, Canon 100-400mm 4.5/5.6 L IS II, Canon 400mm F5.6L, Canon 50mm f/1.4, Canon 17-40 f/4 L, Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L, Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, Set of Kenko Extension Tubes, Canon 580EX
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RonnF
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Mar 11, 2018 23:55 |  #13

RhodyPhotos wrote in post #18583267 (external link)
These are terrific! How far were you from the cats? They are sending shivers down my spine :-)

The photos you uploaded to flickr are also terrific. This was certainly one heck of a trip. Lucky that your wife is into photography as well :-)

Well, I had the 1.4X extender on my 100-400mm for the young lion, so 560mm, but the other shots were at 400mm or less. The leopard was about 16 feet above us in a tree. And yes, I am a lucky man...in fact, when I wake up every morning, she's whispering that very phrase into my ear.


Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM Lens, Canon 100-400mm 4.5/5.6 L IS II, Canon 400mm F5.6L, Canon 50mm f/1.4, Canon 17-40 f/4 L, Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L, Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, Set of Kenko Extension Tubes, Canon 580EX
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RonnF
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Post edited 2 months ago by RonnF. (4 edits in all)
     
Mar 12, 2018 13:53 |  #14

Here's a few more from our trip.

This is an Orange-breasted Sunbird that we saw in Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Cape Town, South Africa

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4354/36237937521_df297060b6_h.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …/album-72157683333546932/  (external link)
Orange-breasted Sunbird (Anthobaphes violacea) (external link) by Ron Fredrick (external link) on Flickr


While we were watching a Black-backed Jackal in Amboseli, Kenya, it dug up a "treasure" that it had apparently hidden from a previous lion kill and headed to a more private location to enjoy it.

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4379/36633809085_524b67b736_h.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …/album-72157683333546932/  (external link)
Black-backed Jackal (Canis mesomelas) (external link) by Ron Fredrick (external link) on Flickr


While we were watching a group of elephants in the Serengeti, Tanzania as they were dismantling and devouring small trees, I noticed these two smaller elephants and the larger of the two seemed to be giving a lesson on trunk usage to the smaller one.

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4335/36490898245_5641ada6d9_h.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …/album-72157683333546932/  (external link)
African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) - Small, Medium & Large (external link) by Ron Fredrick (external link) on Flickr


Elephants do love that red dirt! But they prefer red mud...

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4373/36799562712_363a2052bb_h.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …/album-72157683333546932/  (external link)
African Elephants (Loxodonta africana) at Lake Manyara, Tanzania (external link) by Ron Fredrick (external link) on Flickr


Judging from the pink tinge to the fur around their mouths, these two young cheetahs in the Serengeti, Tanzania were resting after they had fed on a kill.

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4761/26343853938_223f6fc584_h.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …/album-72157683333546932/  (external link)
Two young Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), resting on a termite mound after feeding on a kill (external link) by Ron Fredrick (external link) on Flickr


We saw this male lion by headlights after our tracker, on foot, had located it and radioed our Ranger/driver. This photo was taken at 100mm.

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4489/37130178173_9dae6b9c83_h.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …/album-72157683333546932/  (external link)
African Lion (Panthera leo) in Timbavati Reserve, Kruger, South Africa (external link) by Ron Fredrick (external link) on Flickr

A 56 second clip of the Blue Wildebeest Migration in the Serengeti, Tanzania on 05/29/17. Click below the image and turn up the volume to hear the wildebeest grunts.
IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4623/26459699738_f02ee62d74_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …/album-72157683333546932/  (external link)
Flickr VIDEO: A 56 second clip of the Blue Wildebeest Migration in the Serengeti, Tanzania on 05/29/17 ... (external link) by Ron Fredrick (external link) on Flickr

Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM Lens, Canon 100-400mm 4.5/5.6 L IS II, Canon 400mm F5.6L, Canon 50mm f/1.4, Canon 17-40 f/4 L, Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L, Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, Set of Kenko Extension Tubes, Canon 580EX
Galleries at: https://www.flickr.com​/photos/ronfredrick/ (external link)

  
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Mybludog
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May 07, 2018 05:22 as a reply to  @ RonnF's post |  #15

You've some really nice stuff there Ron. Africa certainly is an amazing place


Just like a dung beetle......

  
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First trip to Africa - Suggestions/advice/comments​? Leaving in *2* days...
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