Posts Tagged ‘Photography’

Third day on safari, we all got up and had breakfast early. We were in the truck and descending into the crater by 7am. It was still foggy so we couldn’t see anything. The weather was nice, around 18 degrees C. The first animals we saw were two cheetahs casually laying around, with big bellies, leading Issa to guess they had just eaten. Now in retrospect and looking at the pictures, I believe one of them was pregnant.

Inside the crater and in our vehicle, we all had a cup of coffee to warm up.

And as magic, we began to see many other animals. I remember seeing 5 lionesses and a young lion. For a while, we waited around hoping we would see them hunt, but they did not.  We saw a rhino which is a rarity. We saw hyenas running alongside herds of zebras.

After driving around the crater for a few hours, we stopped at the hippo swamp to eat lunch. After lunch, we took off to the Serengeti.

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I was looking back at our expenses for Moshi.  Two expenses I wanted to comment on: a local sim card and a bean bag.

The sim card was with the Tigo company.  It cost me 5,500 Tanzanian Shillings or 3.60 USD.  The only real difficulty I had getting it was walking down the street to get to the shop.  I was highly irritated by the near constant hounding of street peddlers and hustlers.  I got propositioned to buy pot and all kinds of useless little things.  But having a local telephone number really helped out.

T- wanted a bean bag to set her camera on while shooting photos during the safari – which we wouldn’t arrange until we got to Arusha.  So what we did was sacrifice the shirt I got when I had the cooking class at La Vecchia Scuola.  We asked at the Kilimanjaro Coffee Lounge where we could get someone to make a bag out of it.  She took over and talked to someone out on the street to sew it for us.  It costed 1,500 Tanzanian Shillings – less that a dollar – and it had a zipper.  The idea of the bag was that T- could set her camera down on odd surfaces – like the roof of a Land Rover – and make the camera level and steady to take photos.  Later we bought some beans from a roadside vendor and filled it up.  When we were done with it we left it behind in a hotel room.

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We are still in the planning stage of the trip and I can’t help but feel excited about all the photo opportunities we will have.

One of my favorite types of photos are portraits and I would love to collect a series of them during the trip, especially in black and white.

When I first got into to photography, I was still living in Salvador, BA and, I must say, Salvador is a blessed place for photographers.  Great landscape, old/modern architecture coexisting all over town, colorful geminated houses, many old churches (more than one for each day of the year) and, above all, friendly and unsuspecting people. So in Salvador, because there are so many subjects, every day out would result in some decent photo.

I am confident that during the trip, there will be many opportunities for great portraits as well, but I am concern with two issues. Please feel free to enlighten me with ideas and suggestions.

From my stay in the US, I have already learned that most people are not keen on having their picture taken by strangers (me included).  But there are two drawbacks to talking to someone first and then shooting second.

1. I am not sure how that would play in US or in other Countries I am planning to visit, but I tried that approach in Brazil and the results was tragicomic. Almost everyone was friendly and granted me permission to click, but ALL of them just stared right at the camera with a huge frozen smile in their face.  (Ok, I do the same. My hubby says that in 90% of my photos I have exactly the same smile on my face). So what to do with that?  When a subject calls my attention, very rarely will it be because of their smile.  Most likely it will be because of the care-free look on their face, or the extreme concentration on a task, or the pain in their eyes, etc. So how can you get permission for a photo without disturbing what got your attention in first place?

2. This is actually a personal problem that I need to overcome. I am quite shy and the idea of approaching everyone I may want to click sounds quite challenging. Especially, when you are not familiar with the culture (I am reading about the places before of course) and you know nothing on their language (I have some phases written down, but I am sure my pronunciation will be a mess in most cases). Any tips on how to make the ice breaking moment less painful? I know that when it is over, it can result in very pleasant interactions, so I would like to work on that.

Well, hope to hear some good advice.  Thanks.

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It was a great Saturday. Perfect weather! It had been unusually cold in Florida recently, but this weekend was sunny blue sky and nice breeze.

In preparation for this trip, we went back to the old habit of making a list (or many lists for this matter) of items we need or want to do. And, in the mood of acting on them, we decided to drive down to Nana and Pepe’s house.

We had not gone to see my grandparents in quite a while and it was about time. They live in a house of solid concrete walls with a Dade-Pine roof. I brought the SLR camera with me to snap photos of them. Nana and Pepe kept asking me what I was going to do with all the photos. I guess the large lens can be intimidating, because at the end of the day, I didn’t really take that many.

I got some good photos, although I did not really capture the rich changes in the ambient light. The flash kind of eliminated that aspect, but I will always remember the daylight in the house, it lighted me up. I will always remember how comfortable it felt. I have a tendency to be nervous and uncomfortable in many situations but I really felt at home there with my grandparents.

My grandfather can really push my buttons, whether he is trying to or not. And I let myself get so worked up over it too. Race, politics, what kind of car to drive, how to be a man. We really sorted a few things out – not that the rest of the world ever noticed our solutions. My wife tells me I give him a hard time. She’s probably right. They are catholic, my wife is too (well, more on that some other time). But my wife tells me that I should finesse things a little better. What can I say? She is my better half.

I did manage to get a shot of my grandfather holding forth on some topic and my sweet, smart grandmother looking at him while he spoke. An action shot, no pose.

In addition to some new insights on the current USA politics and international markets, we also scratched another item off the list. They have an apartment over the garage behind their house. We asked them if we could stay there for a couple weeks right before we take off on the trip. The plan is to have a short period to tie up all of the loose ends before we go. During this time we would be already gone from our jobs and out of our leased apartment. We may still be trying to sell our car, arranging entry visas, firming up reservations of places to stay and so.

Of course, they said we could stay with them for the grace period. (If you’re reading this Nana and Pepe, thank you. We love you.)

Around 6PM, we left starving and roamed around until we found a small, busy Italian restaurant. We still had the camera. There were two beautiful little kids at the table next to us. They kept looking at us like we were movie stars. Their mother let us snap a shot of them.

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