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I was lucky to participate on a safari in Tanzania last summer, undoubtedly one of the more incredible photographic experiences of my life. The wildlife was amazing and the Tanzanian people were incredibly friendly and welcoming. In so many ways, it was the trip of a lifetime.
While photographing the wildlife of the Serengeti Plains and the Ngorongoro Crater was a phenomenal experience, perhaps equally stunning were the beautiful landscapes of the Serengeti. The vast grasslands dotted with beautiful acacia trees and outcrops of granite known as kopjes had a beauty reminiscent of parts of the Southwestern US…complete with amazing wildlife around every bend!
We were treated to beautiful sunrises and sunsets most days, but this particular evening was especially remarkable. We were out photographing a small herd of elephants when the clouds built up and the color in the sky exploded to the west. The lone acacia tree stood out against the dramatic sky and made for a dramatic composition.
Photographing on safari can be challenging as far as landscapes are concerned. You spend most of your day in vehicles, and using a tripod is pretty much impossible. Fortunately, the vehicles are open-sided and ours had beanbags strapped to the sides which were extremely helpful for stabilizing a long lens. I took this shot with a Sigma 150-600 zoom at 155 mm. The lens has image stabilization, which helped, but I nonetheless often shot at high shutter speeds. The low light when I took this shot required a shutter speed of 1/640 at ISO 400.