KelbyOne Interview – Canon 7D Mark II

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See my interview with KelbyOne’s Mia McCormick as I share my thoughts on the new Canon 7D Mark II. I discuss how shooting high ISO has helped me get free from my tripod and shoot handheld. We also address the crop factor and many other features that make this an amazing camera without a painful price. Get more information on the New Canon 7D Mark II.

African Big Cat Cubs & Wonderful Experiences

Every morning and afternoon photographing in the Masai Mara is a grand adventure. The wildlife spectacle is truly astounding. Having led 16 tours to Kenya, I can say with certainty that we connect with baby animals in a very special way. Our last safari was filled with nearly daily filming of a large pride of lions. This particular pride had a pair of females alternating duties, caring for 6 small lion cubs about 6 weeks old. Needless to say we took every opportunity to film the antics of the junior members of the lion pride as they played, nursed, and wrestled one another.
Babies_blog_wMark Beers, who went on a recent Kenyan safari with me, relays a story reflecting on his experience and feelings when stalking a leopard providing for her cubs.

I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you what a great experience my trip with you to Kenya was. All expectations were truly exceeded. The camps we stayed in were fabulous with great food and nice people. The drivers of the vehicles were exceptional with their knowledge of getting us to the right places at the right time. The photographs I was able to get are my valued “trophies” of this safari.

I was thrilled to have been present for the entire sequence of tracking a leopard throughout the brush and photographing the true nature of the wild when that leopard took down a wildebeest in order to get a meal for her cubs. This was truly spectacular and my most treasured series of photographs from the trip. None of this would have been possible without the supportive leadership and guidance that you provided throughout the trip. The safari in Kenya was truly a life altering trip for me and I cannot wait to go back.
Thank you,
Mark Beers
91205_blog_wPlease join me, in collaboration with Donna Eaton Photography, in Kenya this August for a wonderful African safari. More information is available on my Kenya Photo Tour page. There are only 5 spots remaining, so hurry to make your reservations.

Plain Skies – Post Processing – Blending & Masking

This image was captured on the plains of the Masai Mara in Kenya. We’ve all had a great situation ruined by a terrible background.  The sky in the zebra image was rendered as solid white and featureless. A cloudy sky with lots of detail was dropped in, adding lots of interest. The key is to use a more detailed/interesting sky, but one matching the overcast condition of the zebra image. A little layer masking, a blend mode on the sky layer, and the image is much better.
165008_2_blog_wEquipment & Settings:
Canon IDs-Mark II
Canon 100-400 F5.6 lens @ F5.6
1/500th sec.
ISO 800
If you’re interested in capturing stunning images in Masai Mara, visit my Kenya Photo Tour page.

Cheetah Chasing Thomson’s Gazelles

This shot is all about being in the right place at the right time. We first encountered this hunting cheetah early one morning. Our guide spotted two small ears sticking up above the tall grass. He instantly knew there was a cheetah in the grass stalking a group of Thomson’s gazelles. We parked our vehicle, with the sun at our backs about 50 yards away. Waiting nearly two hours she finally started crawling ever so slowly and suddenly we were rewarded with a lightning quick run toward the grazing gazelles. Luck favors those that are prepared. In this situation I had time to discuss what to expect with my safari group, and many of us got great images. In a few seconds the spectacular event was over, and we had wonderful images and an unforgettable memory.
98014_blog_wEquipment & Settings:
Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 500mm F4 lens, F5.6, 1/1000th sec. Servo Tracking Mode, Continuous High Speed Capture Rate
Camera on bean bag atop safari vehicle

If you would like to join us in Kenya for a wonderful African Safari, please visit my Kenya Photo Tour page.