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Back from 20 Outstanding days in Kenya/Tanzania!


Mosquito
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Wife and I got back late Monday evening from 20 days of a glorious safari in Kenya and Tanzania. Twaffle was a great, great aid in putting together the trip. Spot on advice on everything from where, how long, what to take (and not to take) and more. Even how best to handle bush stops with my wife! :D

 

Also Kudos to Billy Jones from Alex Walkers Serian camps for flawlessly working out all the details and the special surprise on our 41st wedding anniversary.

 

And in the "its a small world afterall", what a coincidence to be sitting next to Safaridude and his family on the way back!

 

Have started posting daily trip reports on our blog at http://uffmannatureimages.net/ . Have four days up and will try to post a daily report each day as we traveled from Lewa-Northern Mara-Masai Mara-Northern Serengeti-Tangere. (Lewa House-Serian Ngare-Nkorombo-Serian North Serengeti-Oliver's Camp)

 

Our game sightings were phenomenal by all I have talked to. My wife has always been my lucky charm and this trip was no different.

 

Images that are up so far are more to support the storytelling in the blog and are quick hits with no digital darkroom effort to speak of.

 

We were setup to do photography and between us have 15K images to go through...Ugh. And my wife has ordered me to finish the images from NYC with two of our grandkids before I can work on the safari images...go figure? :rolleyes:

 

To some it may be of interest that we shot 4 cameras- 1dx, 2-5dIIIs and a 7D.....Of course, my wife and I are not pros but enthusiastic amateurs with lots of time on our hands...but the low light capability of the new cameras is impressive

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Ah so was sitting next to Safaridude the highlight of your trip? :) Looks like another positive for Serian?

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Welcome back Mosquito. Look forward to the trip details and of course the pictures. However a question for now. Please compare the 1DX to the 5D III on terms of overall performance ( obviously the frame rate of the flagship is much higher) with emphasis on IQ and low light performance. What glass did you use. I think you are the first person to use these two newly released bodies on safari.

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Welcome back Mosquito, I am thoroughly enjoying the blog and can't wait to hear and see more.

 

 

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Didn't take you long to get the blog going! Well done.

 

Looking good and of not surprised that it was phenomenal given where you went. looking forward to seeing how phenomenal "phenomenal" is.

 

If you don't mind, please post a note here when you update you blog - or at least after every few updates.

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Welcome back Mosquito. Glad you had a great time and I will follow your blog closely as I'm at Serian Serengeti North and Oliver's in August 2013.

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Ah so was sitting next to Safaridude the highlight of your trip? :) Looks like another positive for Serian?

 

Billy Jones with Serian worked out the details of the trip and it was flawless from an organizational standpoint...Of course, Twaffle had us aimed in the right direction so it then was a matter of execution. Serian even took care of the little things such as removing the front row of seats in the Land cruiser and then providing a nice size pad that was convenient for both laying the gear for quick access and kneeling since we now had a lower POV to shoot from....Of course, the lower POV was helpful when the grass was short....

 

I plan to include a summary of our experiences at each camp when I write up the last day for each but quick story is we were very well pleased with all our selections, the outstanding guides and more.

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Welcome back Mosquito. Look forward to the trip details and of course the pictures. However a question for now. Please compare the 1DX to the 5D III on terms of overall performance ( obviously the frame rate of the flagship is much higher) with emphasis on IQ and low light performance. What glass did you use. I think you are the first person to use these two newly released bodies on safari.

 

I will be happy to report on my analysis once I finish looking at enough images from each of the cameras. I will say though that my significant experience with the 5dIII is that it is an outstanding camera for low light, focusing on BIF and more. I have had mine since it came out and have spent a week in Alaska shooting bald eagles and then another week in Minnesota taking black bear images. Not only IMO but the true pros that were on the trips loved its abilities with focus and low light.

 

I also found that for my wife (who is fabulous at composing and selecting shots but pretends to not be technical at all) that I could set her rented 5dIII on a wide aperture, a reasonable shutter speed and auto ISO (with top end limiters) most early mornings and late afternoons. That simplified things and unlike some other cameras where the auto ISO goes wild, her images stayed well within a reasonable ISO and are very good.

 

For glass, I put the 70-300L on her 5dIII which I think is a wonderful piece of glass. On the 7d, I put the 100-400. That gave her a good range of coverage. On my 5dIII, I had the 500L f/4 -sometimes with the 1.4x III. On my 1dx, I used the 70-200L f/2.8 II with or without a 1.4x or a 2x depending on need. Other lenses that we used were the 17-40L and the 24-70L when situations warranted.

 

Of course the downside of 2 shooters with 2 cameras each is that you have lots of images to go through....so please be patient with me on giving you a heads up on thoughts of the 1dx vs 5dIII. I do think I can safely say that the AF on the 1dx is lightning fast as it should be. A cursory review seems to indicate that while I will have a great many deletes, there will be very few deletes as to focus issues from the 1dx.

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Didn't take you long to get the blog going! Well done.

 

Looking good and of not surprised that it was phenomenal given where you went. looking forward to seeing how phenomenal "phenomenal" is.

 

If you don't mind, please post a note here when you update you blog - or at least after every few updates.

 

http://uffmannatureimages.net

 

is the link to the blog..not sure why the link looks funny in my original post. Hopefully, I will be able to do them on roughly a daily basis but that is likely ambitious....

 

Also on the definition of phenomenal, mine might be at a lower standard that some of you veterans.....but I know that a few folks that are aware of some of our sightings deemed us incredibly lucky...so I am going with that as my definition of phenomenal ;)

Edited by Mosquito
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Really enjoyed the report on the blog. Lovely photos and succinct commentary.

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Welcome back Mosquito. Glad you had a great time and I will follow your blog closely as I'm at Serian Serengeti North and Oliver's in August 2013.

 

When you go to Oliver's, I would put in for the guide Erasto Macha. All of our guides on the trip were superb but Erasto IMO is a master or the elite of the elite. He had been a hunting guide for 10 years before he switched to conservation some years ago. He is very goal driven and Ken and Michelle Dyball commented on what an incredbile student Erasto is of his craft. Bear in mind that he had to provide new insights to us after 17 days in the bush ..We sort of thought we had heard it all..However,with his wealth of experience, he blew us away... and quite likely is the most polite, considerate individual, I have ever met as well....

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Just got caught up with your blog entries, Mosquito. It does indeed sound like you had some phenomenal sightings. Looking forward to more.

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Really enjoyable trip report and some great images on the blog!!!

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Didn't take you long to get the blog going! Well done.

 

Looking good and of not surprised that it was phenomenal given where you went. looking forward to seeing how phenomenal "phenomenal" is.

 

If you don't mind, please post a note here when you update you blog - or at least after every few updates.

 

FYI-posted day 5 of our trip on the blog moments ago...

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Didn't take you long to get the blog going! Well done.

 

Looking good and of not surprised that it was phenomenal given where you went. looking forward to seeing how phenomenal "phenomenal" is.

 

If you don't mind, please post a note here when you update you blog - or at least after every few updates.

 

http://uffmannatureimages.net

 

is the link to the blog..not sure why the link looks funny in my original post. Hopefully, I will be able to do them on roughly a daily basis but that is likely ambitious....

 

Also on the definition of phenomenal, mine might be at a lower standard that some of you veterans.....but I know that a few folks that are aware of some of our sightings deemed us incredibly lucky...so I am going with that as my definition of phenomenal ;)

 

I'm sure your phenomenal is "phenomenal". :) You've already seen so much in the first four days.

 

Thanks for the update - off to read it now.

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Just loving your blog, Steve. Looking forward to more from Serian and the Mara North Conservancy. Two years ago we had stayed fairly close to there and saw a start to finish cheetah hunt in the MNC that was one of the highlights of our Kenya /TZ family trip.

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Put up a partial report up to the bush breakfast on day 6. Day 6 started very fast so I will have to blog in multiple posts to cover it. Hopefully, I will finish part II today. Unfortunately we are in the sights of Hurricane Isaac so off for a while to get prepared.

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Also many thanks for all the kind comments about the blog and the images. Glad those of you that visited are enjoying it. Its fun to pull the stuff together.

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Just got caught up with this. Great stuff Mosquito. I especially adore the lion cub photos. Waiting for more...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Whew, after leaving the dry season in Kenya/Tanzania, we came home to a hurricane and 15-20 inches of rain. So my blog posting got a bit behind while helping others that were flooded...

 

Anyway, back to blogging again if you are interested......http://uffmannatureimages.net/ has the most recent post which is a continuation of Day 6

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So glad that you're back posting and what an end to day 6. Hard to believe that you are only on day 6.

 

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You make a good case for the conservancy where pastoralists and wild animals can both exist, which results better visibility for the visitor. You really caught the look in the young cheetah's face looking to mom for guidance and the glare of the adult cheetah staring at the camera. I agree with Safaridude on the quality of that peeking lion cub. Only Day 6 of 20, much more to come.

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