Malachite Kingfisher

Malachite Kingfisher

So what do you bring these days on a (mostly) photo safari to East Africa? Here is what I am packing and the reasons why:

Lenses- 16-35, 24-120, 80-400. All Nikons. The 24-120 is my go to, standard lens- perfect for landscapes and portraits. the 80-400 is the new Nikon lens that I am taking instead of the monster 200-400. I am losing speed with the smaller glass but I am gaining convenience. I am bringing the wide angle zoom because I am intending to take some pics inside some small houses and this lens is perfect for showing the entire place.

_DSC6251Cameras- Nikon D4. It is my reliable workhorse. I just got the D750 but since I can’t see the pics on Lightroom yet (next upgrade) I am sticking with my D4. I am also bringing my little Coolpix 340 with the 24-120 equivalent lens. This is my shirt pocket camera.

Support- Two Gitzos- my traveling tripod and my stout legged monopod. both are topped with the small Kirk Enterprizes bullhead. I am bringing the monopod to use while photographing in a vehicle. I have found that people move around so much in a vehicle that window mounts aren’t very handy. I will be putting the monopod leg out the side of the car on to the ground to keep the motion of the vehicle away from my camera. I will then shoot at a high shutter speed to gain sharpness.

Estras- battery chargers, cords, polarizer filter (one size fits all!), back up hard drive, lens hoods (in case it rains), extra batteries. All my gear will be wrapped in soft wraps.  I also have binoculars, sunglasses, hat and a couple of waist pouches/fanny packs to carry and organize lenses and books while in the car or on hikes. I am also bringing my little 11″Mac Air to download and edit my images while I’m there and to us to write and send emails. there is no better traveling companion then the 11″ Mac Air.

Carrying- I am using a regular, now fairly beat up, backpack to carry all my gear. Nothing conspicuous and nothing that is obviously a camera bag. the tripod and monopod go into my duffle as do the chargers, extra batteries and cords. All the lenses and cameras, binos go in my carry on.

As far as my head goes, well, who knows? I have given myself a couple of assignments while I am there. the most important is to get really compelling shots of Luci Lights in action. I will send the images to MPower, the maker of Luci Lights, when I return. I am very glad to support their important work with education in the impoverished parts of the world.

That’s about it- off to the airport now. Keep checking my blog for updates and stories.  I return just before Thanksgiving!