I suspect this is true of most people, and I suspect this due to the fact it is true of me and was true of the three people with whom I traveled – even if you buy a new camera months before a major trip, you spend a lot of time on the trip exploring what your camera can do. You’d think that we would spend some major time educating ourselves before we go, but life intrudes, with demands and time consuming errands, and the focus just isn’t on learning your camera and its capabilities.
For me, the truth is even worse. AdventureMan gave me the new Lumix for Christmas, and I took a few photos with it, and really used the earlier Lumix with which I am now very familiar. I could always count on it to get great shots.
There are two things I love about this camera. I used to carry a big huge Nikon everywhere – Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Nabimia – backpack full of lenses and cleaning supplies, having to change lenses, and often not having enough light. . . the Lumix fits in my purse, and is easily cleaned. You don’t switch lenses; it has a lot of versatility, and it takes photos in very low light. In fact, I often have two in my purse; I bought a smaller one for everyday-in-a-hurry photos. I use it when you might use your phone camera.
This time, early on, I discovered the Scenic mode: sunset. It allowed me to shoot exactly what I was seeing, those stunning colors of the African sunset (LOL, during burning season, the atmosphere is full of particulate, and that gives it those amazing colors.)
At Nsefu Camp, the oldest Robin Pope Camp, they have decorated with old black and whites, and there is a romance to some of those very old photos that intrigued me. I have a wall in my office, a wall no one else can see, and I think it would be fun to have a romantic Africa series, black and white, so I decided to use my Color Mode: Dynamic Black and White. It gave me exactly what I was looking for, and I also learned that to get that old time look, I needed NOT to use the zoom, but to take the photos in context.
The bright sun, reflecting off the tusks, the backs of the hippos, the water, palm leaves, contrasting with the deeper darks of the green bushes, trees and foliage, is what makes them pop. I took a lot of mediocre shots; I won’t bore you with them, it’s a lot like the leopard, bad things can happen, or there just isn’t enough contrast to make it a good photo.
These are the ones I am enjoying. I’ll probably choose 4 – 6 of them to have printed
This is where we had coffee/tea in Chongwe; doesn’t it look early 1900′s to you?
I love this one; I think it is a matter of perspective:
It sounds funny, but it helps to be a quilter. When you are doing a quilt, you have to have a focus, and you need contrast to make the quilt effective.
Oh! What luxury! To sleep in until 0615 and to watch the sun rise from my bed, hearing the Egyptian Geese, the hippo, the Fish Eagle- and across the river, from the Lower Zambezi River Park, the sound of the roaring lion, one last thrilling morning at Chongwe River Camp.
I dress quickly once I am up – it’s not yet 0630 – but the mornings are chill in late June, and we have learned to lay our clothes out so we can jump into them soon after we arise, so as to keep warm. We are dressed to travel today, so many flights, so many people. . .
Although it is chilly, it is not cold this morning, and there is no wind. When we look out, there is this perfect reflection:
Victor joins us for breakfast, and CJ, and . . . we hate to leave. We are packed on time, our bags go, but we linger. . .
Victor says it’s time to go, he wants to take us by the Chongwe River Lodge – we had asked to see it. It is a marvel, sort of Gaudi-on-the-Chongwe, all natural materials and space, all privacy and perfect for family or a group of friends. There are four bedrooms with King sized beds, and more beds can be moved in to each room or the common rooms, if you really want to fill the house.
We head out to the landing strip; we can hear the plane coming in, but here is what is cool – the plane is for us! If he dawdle, he will wait! LOL, we don’t dawdle, we are there to check in – check in is the pilot asking if we are the passengers, and we can go whenever we are ready. Oh, I could get so used to this
The check in counter:
A few last photos with Victor, promises to write, we scramble aboard. Sigh. Farewell, Chongwe River Camp Adventure . . .