KaingU Lodge

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KaingU Lodge last won the day on August 16 2016

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About KaingU Lodge

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    Kafue National Park Zambia

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  1. Very impressive specifications and price in comparison to Canon's rather sad recent offerings...
  2. In an open vehicle at 40km/hr at 20 degrees centigrade you have a wind chill induced temperature of about 13 degrees. That for me is most certainly fleece time!
  3. Having driven open vehicles considerable distances (Jo'burg to Kafue National Park being the longest) I can fully understand why closed vehicles but with a pop roof are used for transfer type journeys. Certainly Southern Africa the tendency is to use open vehicles with or without roof. Generally 'properly' converted vehicles will be such that the roof can be removed in a few minutes with a couple of spanners. We sometimes do this (generally on request). As our game drives in the morning can be very long we tend to leave the roofs on for shade. Fully open is great for a few hours, but once the sun has some real sting in it then the roof is vital. Travelling at highway speeds in a row of elevated seats in one of our gameviewing vehicles is frankly terrifying. Did it with friends going to Liuwa and swore never again! But overall an open vehicle is a far far better experience than a pop top with sliding windows.
  4. Thanks for posting this Michael. A truly remarkable story and an amazing life.
  5. Fantastic trip report Tony. Congratulations on the corncrake and the eagles in flight - super!
  6. John, have you contemplated m4/3? It is a mature system with some stunning small lenses.
  7. On 'monkey head island' and having set up an island sleep-out for one guest doing a canoe trail with JohnD.
  8. I would say without a doubt it is the future. Look at the latest ML sony A9. A viewfinder that doesn't black out, completely silent electronic shutter at 20fps with autofocus and basically no rolling shutter. 4K video, in body stabilisation etc etc etc etc There is technology there that is actually game changing. In fact the only thing Sony lose out on right now is a less developed lens catalogue. Olympus and Panasonic are doing similar technology with their flagship (but much smaller sensor) cameras. Nikon and Canon are in serious danger of getting left behind here. Unless they really pull rabbits out of hats. Canon's glacial pace of development and allowing technology into lower end models is frustrating - not that I am in the market for another camera, but in a few years I would like to see something like a used A9 but made by canon in my bag. The only thing tying me to my DSLR is my lenses and my pocket depth.
  9. We just finished placing our island hide that we build every year for the white fronted bee eaters. I couldn't resist trying it out for an hour yesterday afternoon.
  10. Brilliant stuff indeed. I am amazed at how close the bears are.
  11. I am a huge fan of auto ISO too. Sadly my big old 1DMKIV doesn't allow exposure compensation in auto ISO, but it is basically my go to ISO setting for wildlife regardless of that. My strategy for moving things like wildlife is: I generally shoot in Tv and let the aperture and ISO float. Why? Well my canon 100-400 is not a wide aperture lens so 99% of the time it is going to be wide open. Fortunately it is sharp wide open and there is enough depth of field for most subjects so being wide open doesn't really matter to me. Like Xelas for me back button focusing is essential, but it always causes total mayhem when I pass the camera to someone else to use. By being in Tv I can control the camera dependent on the subject: e.g. trying to shoot white fronted bee eaters I am going to need probably 1/2000 or maybe even more. If a Goliath heron floats past then I can dial way back with one twirl of a wheel. Aperture and ISO I will leave up to the camera. If I am on a boat or vehicle with a long lens my camera is pretty much always set like that. If I notice the ISO is getting higher than I am willing to accept then it is probably time for a sundowner or to get out a wide angle and look at the sunset. But if it is anything that is not moving or not likely to move then either I am in manual or Av. I don't mean to hijack this totally excellent tutorial, but Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson is arguably the best and very understandable primer in photography - I re-read it at least once a year and recommend it to anyone with an interest in learning about photography basics. He does a very good job of breaking complexity down into easy to understand concepts. Buy that, read it and experiment. Like Dave has said, modern cameras are capable of total overwhelming complexity but the basic principles haven't changed since the camera was invented. The menus and complexity of my little OMD EM1 are actually ridiculous. I like that, but I totally understand why Olympus menus get vilified at times. I too have so many people come through here saying "ah, I will never learn all these settings". Meanwhile they are teachers/scientists/accountants etc and all quite capable of understanding - its probably just that they haven't taken the time to experiment and learn the basic fundamentals. It's only three things and their relationship to each other; aperture, shutter speed and sensitivity to light. Annihilating (okay, maybe a bit strong a word!) backgrounds has it's place, but not all the time. There is somewhat of a belief that blurry backgrounds give a 'pro' look. Take this shot by Kaley (one of our field guides) from yesterday morning. Kaley has an old rebel body (like ancient thing) that Julia gave him and an old but good 300mm F4. He (like many) is really struggling with settings, but he is getting there. But look at this image (ISO I00. f5.6 ss1/500): He could have been at F4 but to be honest for me the image is actually made by the context. If he had even more depth of field it would have been even better to me. he probably couldn't really have gone much lower with the SS with that lens/body combination and contorted around in the drivers seat (he, like all good guides is far more concerned about his guests getting the shot than himself). As it stands all that means nothing. Viewed on facebook at 1800px wide on a laptop from 24" it is still a spectacular photo. I am looking at the background, the fact that it is out of focus slightly and the waxy looking rocks and thinking "he REALLY needs a better body". I am in the minority! The other three sitting here in our office are actually making gaspy mooning type noises. If he had been using a f2.8 and turned the background to total blur it would just not be the same. All our guides (except Kebby the junior) have decent cameras that we have bought them. Kaley (with the most complex and 'best' set up) probably struggles the most with settings. JohnD has a good bridge camera but also struggles. Israel has a basic bridge (with a ginormous zoom) camera that seems to only shoot in full auto. Israel gets the 'best' shots - in terms of focus and all the other technical aspects being right. I suspect that for 90% of users on 90% of general safari situations a bridge camera on auto is going to get the desired results and memories of the trip. In a guest discussion around the fire last night one guest was amazed by how his "little camera" (his words, not mine) gets everything sharp. It does. Because that small sensor and fixed lens have a massive depth of field. This sometimes helps a lot. I guess my point is that we sometimes get over obsessed with (literally) the details. For me at least the best way to learn something is by doing it. Reading a book like Bryan's really helps grasp the basics. After that then go to a zoo or sit in the garden snapping birds. You will soon learn what works and what doesn't for you. For me I am more of an instinctive person - my head doesn't work with "setting, reading and evaluating and adjusting" - I need to be relying on muscle memory, normal brain (poor in my case) memory and having been in a similar situation before. Only practise and experience gets me there. I guess validation of this is that there are so few really, really good bird photographers (as an example) that haven't spent years and years perfecting their art - it all happens so quickly and needs muscle memory to track moving birds in a viewfinder with a long lens - this is the converse of say some 20 year old super talented portrait taking savant who has all the time in the world to get the shot. I am a firm believer that the best way to get better at photography at the end of the day is to take hundreds and hundreds of pictures.
  12. The first one is a stitched panorama (9 pictures if I remember right) taken with my 1D MKIV and Samyang 14mm - so in reality an 18mm with the crop factor. 30 sec exposures - which were actually borderline too long as I was getting some star movement - ISO 1600. The 2nd one surprised me.... it is one from the timelapse sequence that I was shooting. ISO 2000 at a 15 sec exposure with my little omd em-10. The fact that the m4/3 sensor picked up so many stars at quite a short exposure (f2 with samyang 12mm) slightly amazed me.
  13. With a fire many many kilometers away I went up 'the rock' to see if I could get wildfire and stars together.
  14. A weird one as I think I can count on one hand the number of selfies I have ever taken. But I couldn't resist messing around a bit under a full moon while trying to put together a small timelapse sequence...
  15. Always! (well actually my last fly in safari was like 9 years ago, so that is a bit of an lie, but it does go everywhere with me). Its obviously very limited and I haven't tried my sigma 120-300 and 1DMKIV on it and I don't think I will! But for a quick video, timelapse, long exposure, hell even a selfie with my little mirrorless it is quite useful. I have done some long exposures with it too and it managed:

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