Trip Report: Wildlife Photography Course November 2015

Andrew Beck Andrew 1 Comment

This last weekend saw the last edition of our popular wildlife photography course down at the Nambiti Private Game Reserve. The weather was pretty dull and overcast for most of the weekend which, from a learning perspective, was ideal for the group of 6 guests that joined me.

After working though the basic foundations of photography (aperture, shutter-speed and ISO) and making some subtle adjustments to camera setup for some of the guests, we headed out on our first afternoon drive. The overcast conditions had everyone almost constantly adjusting their ISO and exposure compensation and it wasn’t long before we got our first real photographic opportunity as we came across a small herd of elephant.


Overcast conditions are great for photographing these grey behemoths of the bush and we focussed on capturing textures, accentuating depth within a scene using a range of aperture values, and also on different and interesting compositions.


Just before stopping for sundowners we came across a rhino cow and her very active calf. With the light fading fast this gave us the perfect opportunity to practice some slow shutter and intentional camera movement as the young calf ran around its mother.


A chilly drive home was punctuated by a lion sighting and made that much more bearable with a welcome glass of sherry and a hearty meal as we returned to the lodge.

Our first full day at Nambiti started off with a hippo who was relaxing a the waters edge right below the dam wall. From an elevated position we were able to try out some pretty interesting and unusual compositions. The fact that the hippo was not bothered by our presence at all made the experience that much more enjoyable.


The poor light continued throughout the day but fuelled with inspiration from our second theory session and a short presentation on the aristic element of wildlife photography we headed out on our afternoon drive.


It was inevitable that with the poor quality of light that we would be getting creative with intentional camera movement once again but we enjoyed opportunities to play around with this on some different photographic subjects including red hartebeest, zebra and a herd of eland.



Stopping for our second sundowner, this time we were prepared, we enjoyed a hot chocolate with an Amarula Liqueur kicker!


Th Amarula clearly changed our luck as the skies above us turned into shades of pink, orange and red. Luck was also with us as we were making our way out of a valley and all we needed was to find something on the horizon-line above us to capture the perfect silhouette shot.

We rounded a bend to find a journey of Giraffe slowly making their way up the hill. Taking our time to wait for them to break the horizon-line paid off as we were able to make the most of the dramatic light before it faded away.


Needless to say, the guests were stoked with what they saw on the back of their cameras!

All good things come to an end and our final morning drive delivered a farewell gift in the form of cape-clawless otters, more elephants and a cheetah.


Whilst the cheetah was a fair way off this sighting helped us to look at capturing a bit more of the environment and step back from the tight, intimate portraits.


All in all this was another successful course which everyone not only enjoyed, but learnt from.

Here’s what a couple of the guests had to say about the weekend:

“Andrew is an excellent photographer and teacher with so much knowledge and experience. Thank you, Wild Eye for exceeding all my expectations. What a wonderful course it was.”

Taryn Botha

“The weekend was fantastic, Andrew was a super and very encouraging teacher who made sure to spend time with each of us. He provided us with new ways of looking for photo opportunities, as well as technical support!”

Bryony Leach

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About the Author

Andrew Beck

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Very few people can tell you what their passion in life is. Even fewer will be able to tell you that what they do for a living is in fact their passion. My love for the bush and conservation took me on journey which would not only allow me to explore the continent which fascinates me so much, but to share my passion for photography and conservation with others. Be sure to check out my my website and instagram account.

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