Sunrise in Africa, Samburu National Park, Kenya. Photo by Mehmet Ozbalci
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 100-400mm, f8 @ 1/320 second, ISO 800

Writes Mehmet Ozbalci about the photo above, “We left our lodge before the sunrise to photograph it and I said to our driver/guide, it would be great if we could get something in the foreground. So, he took us to this great spot where there were some attractive trees and suddenly, there was a single zebra, separated from its herd, standing in the perfect position. I took this photo by resting my camera on a bean bag wrapped over the window sill for added stability.”

What I like about this African sunrise is the lush foreground and lots of greenery. It’s taken in June, the same time our tour is travelling next year, which is outside the peak tourist seasons. Like all aspects of nature photography, there are pros and cons for shooting in particular seasons. Some photographers like to travel when there is less grass so the animals can be more easily seen, but then again, if your subject is half way up a tree, it’s not a problem!

“We found this tree in the middle of the Masai Mara, Kenya and, viewed from a distance, it looked just like an ordinary tree. It was only when we got closer that I could see the leopard and its kill.”

And on photo tours like these, there’s always something happening. Continues Mehmet, “We were going back to our lodge for lunch when suddenly our driver/guide changed direction, again seemingly out in the middle of nowhere. When he finally stopped by a tree - WOW! There was a whole family of lions on and around the tree, sleeping and resting in the shade. I photographed this cub looking at me curiously.”

And then there are the ‘hero’ shots you have in mind, like a wide-mouthed hippo! Said Mehmet, “Hippos keep opening and closing their mouth all the time. They look like they are yawning. You would think it would be easy enough to photograph one big open mouth of a hippo, but it is not true. It took me many tries to get this shot with its mouth wide open and from the angle I wanted.”

If you’re interested in visiting Kenya (and/or Uganda), why not come along with Mehmet and me in June/July 2024! Spaces are still available. Click here for details.