Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife Photography Seminar - Sabi Sabi

Trip Report: Wildlife Photography Seminar, April 2016

Gerry van der Walt All Authors, Gerry 1 Comment

From 4 to 9 April the Wild Eye team hosted our second Wildlife Photography Seminar. 

The easiest way to describe the seminar would be this – take some of the best game viewing in Southern Africa, add seven informative and dynamic wildlife presentations and include the luxury and amazing service of one of the most amazing lodges in the Sabi Sands and you will still only have a small idea of what a Wild Eye Seminar is about.

Oh, and also include the entire Wild Eye team – Andrew, Marlon, Johan, Jono and myself – and you can be assured of a wildlife photography experience that will change the way you see your own photography!

Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife Photography Seminar - Sabi Sabi

The goal of our Seminars is simple – teach, guide and inspire as much as we can with the ultimate goal of sending each guest home with three things:

  1. First and foremost – an incredible wildlife and photography experience.
  2. Secondly – new knowledge, photographic skills and tricks to play with.
  3. Last but not least – amazing wildlife images.

One of the most important things when hosting wildlife photography seminar is that you need wildlife and, like the year before, the Sabi Sabi reserve produced some incredible sightings!

Here is a small collection of images from guests and ourselves from the April Seminar.

Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife Photography - Wildlife Photography emainr

Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife Photography - Wildlife Photography emainr

Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife Photography - Wildlife Photography emainr

Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife Photography - Wildlife Photography emainr

JW2_0790-Edit Guest Images - Wild Eye Seminar

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Andrew_Beck_Wild_Eye_Sabi_Sabi_Seminar_April__2016-13

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Wild Eye - Wildlife Photography Seminar

Wild Eye - Wildlife Photography Seminar

Wild Eye - Wildlife Photography Seminar

Guest Images - Wild Eye Seminar

Guest Images - Wild Eye Seminar

Wild Eye - Wildlife Photography Seminar

Wild Eye - Wildlife Photography Seminar

Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife Photography - Wildlife Photography emainr

Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife Photography - Wildlife Photography emainr

Guest Images - Wild Eye Seminar

Guest Images - Wild Eye Seminar

Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife Photography - Wildlife Photography emainr

Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife Photography - Wildlife Photography emainr

The Presentations

One of the highlights of our Seminars is always the presentations which covers a diverse range of wildlife photography related topics and forms a wonderful foundation from which the team and I can then teach and share various technical and creative ideas and techniques in the field.

Since we have quite a few return guests on our Seminars and in order for our content to be relevant and up to date we always have brand new presentations and topics.

During our April Seminar we presented the following:

  • The A to Z of Wildlife Photography by Gerry van der Walt:  From basic concepts and simple reminders to food for thought – the world of wildlife photography in 26 letters.
  • Back to Basics by Andrew Beck:  Often guests on safari have a decent understanding of the basics of photography but, as one becomes more comfortable with concepts such as depth of field, focus modes and exposure, there are some pretty interesting and relevant details which will add to your understating of these concepts and perhaps even change the way you capture images in certain conditions.
  • Low Light Photography by Marlon du Toit:  Too many photographers pack their gear away just about when the light offers something truly magical, for a very short moment in time. In this presentation I explore photography when light conditions become tough and knowing your way around your gear becomes essential. 
  • Shooting Into the Sun by Johan van Zyl:  In this presentation we will look at how to shoot into the sun and use backlighting to create rim lit images.  So many times we are so focused on shooting with the sun behind us, that we forget about backlit photography.  Although it could be challenging, knowing how to use different metering modes and exposures, will help you create different and interesting images. 
  • The Art of Wildlife Photography by Andrew Beck:  With photography becoming an increasingly popular hobby more and more people are starting to take their hobby more seriously, the foundation upon which a photographic journey is built should without a doubt sit firmly on having the technical know how, or craft. However, to break through the mold and conventional imagery into a world where images become art, one has to have vision, imagination and somehow be able to evoke an emotional response from the viewer in a single frame.
  • The Bigger Picture – Southern Africa’s Woodlands by Marlon du Toit:  Africa certainly has some of the most scenic & diverse environments on earth. Why is it that so many photographers fail to acknowledge this when photographing their favourite subjects.   Take the step with me as I open up a whole new world to you, the bigger picture of photographing within Africa’s woodlands.
  • A Vision Driven Workflow by Gerry van der Walt:  It’s becoming increasingly clear that the ability to describe the desired mood of a photograph is key to being able to create or refine that mood in processing.  Getting it right in-camera is still critical, but the way you process an image in the digital darkroom can also make or break the mood.

If you think the content on the blog and on our various social media channels is awesome you need to get yourself to our next Seminar and experience the presentations for yourself.  Sharing our passion with people is what we do and not only is it a lot of fun but there is nothing more rewarding than to see people ‘get it’.

Whether a new technique, creative idea or just a good solid reminder of the basics the presentations is the foundation around which our Seminar experience is built.  The knowledge and information shared during the presentations meant that up until the very last drive we were able to add incredible value to our guests and teach them new approaches to their own photography.

And yes, we have already started throwing around some new presentation ideas for our next Seminar in November.

The People

At the end of the day – and this goes for every single course, workshop, safari and seminar that we run – it’s about the people.

It’s the people that share the moments, the laughs and create memories.  During the Seminar we ran an informal ‘selfie’ competition and the winner – well done again Andrea – walked away with a Wild Eye jacket.  Great fun all round and a lot of laughs!

Guest Feedback

At Wild Eye we pride ourselves on our relaxed professionalism, great levels of service and creating amazing experiences for our guests and the feedback from our guests help us to know that we are on the right track.

We are extremely proud and humbled to receive positive feedback from our guests and it’s one of the things that help us to keep looking at ways in which we can raise our business, and our guests’ experience, to the next level and stay

Here is what some of our guests had to say about their Seminar experience.

“Perfect…no one comes close to what you offer. You change the way people see the world.”
~ Nancy, USA

“This seminar, my second, added more depth and breadth to my photographic journey than I thought possible. The presentations, without exception, were excellent and could immediately be applied during the game drives. Already strong, the team of photographic guides was enhanced by the addition of Johan. The pacing was intense, but the addition of the optional afternoon and the morning tutorials allowed me to catch my breath. Altogether, the seminar was a wonderful experience, filled with excellent photographic advice and memorable wildlife sightings.”
~ Martha, USA

“The whole week was exceptionally well organised and the level and presentation of the tutorials outstanding. The Wild Eye team could not have been more obliging and helpful in ensuring that all participants improved on their level of photography and took away some amazing images and memories.”
~ Malcolm, South Africa

Fantastic guides, excellent tuition and great fun.”
~ Matt, United Kingdom

Not the first time I’ve travelled with Wild Eye and have already booked my next adventure. Repeat business must surely speak for itself, but to put it into words, a quality, professional and dedicated team, determined to customer service giving the best photographic and safari experience available.”
~ Janet, South Africa

My second seminar experience with the Wild-eye team, which proved to be as educational and enjoyable as the first. Great team, great fun and great venue for the seminar. Book me in for the next one.”
~ Gerry, United Kingdom

What an amazing experience! From someone who considers them self a fairly beginner level photographer with no big, fancy lenses I was a little nervous going into the workshop that I was getting in over my head. I’m so glad I did it! I learned an incredible amount and have come home with a collection of photographs that I hadn’t imagined I could take. The lectures were all very easy to follow, practical and motivating. I feel more knowledgeable and inspired to continue with my photography hobby/addiction. The Wild Eye guides are great and really work hard to teach you how to get the shot you’re trying for as well as encouraging you to try new things. The location for the workshop was excellent, we saw all of the Big 5 in less than 24 hours of arriving. It was a great time all around and the only downside is now I can’t wait to go on more excursions with Wild Eye.”
~ Andrea, Gabon

So to wrap up this post I’m gonna use the same image we started with because this is what it’s all about.

Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife Photography Seminar - Sabi Sabi

Thanks to everybody that played a part in another amazing Wildlife Photography Seminar.

All the members of the Wild Eye team, guides, trackers, lodge staff and last but not least all the guests that joined us.  It was a pleasure and privilege to share another Wild Eye experience with you.

We look forward to seeing you on the next Seminar that takes place in November this year and remain committed to changing the way you see the world!

Until next time.

Gerry

About the Author

Gerry van der Walt

I am a private and specialist photographic safari guide, public speaker, co founder of Wild Eye and wildlife photographer. Visit my website at www.gerryvanderwalt.com or follow my journey on Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Periscope.  I look forward to changing the way you see the world! Have you checked out The Wildlife Photography Podcast?

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