Save the Dates

Posted by Piper & filed under Blog, inspiration, Tips and information.

There are several exciting photography events, throughout the Los Angles and Orange county area’s in Southern California, happening in the next few months.   Many of these events are free or at a very low cost.  This is a great way to connect with like minded passionate photographers and get inspired. I  am excited to be apart of  these events and hope to see you there!

April 14, 2014

I will be giving a presentation at the Sierra Club Camera Committee. This is a very active group of photographers in the Los Angeles area.  I have had the opportunity to hear some amazing speakers at their meeting over the years, including Nick Brant, who rarely makes public appearances. I will have give aways from Gura Gear and Outdoor Photographer. Hope to see you there. Details 

Sierra Club

April 26, 2014

On the Brink exhibit at the G2 Gallery

I am thrilled my rhino image will be on display with images from many very talented photographers;  Art Wolfe, Joel Satore, Thomas D Mangelsen, Michele Westmorland,  Ian Shive, Rebecca R Jackrel, Will Burrard-Lucas and many more at the G2 Gallery. The G2 Gallery is an award-winning nature and wildlife photography gallery that facilitates change by brining attention to environmental issues through the persuasive power of photographic art. The opening of the exhibit will be an exciting event. You must RSVP. DETAILS

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 May 3, 2014

OC Photo Summit

I am extremely excited to be one of the featured speakers, along with Jennifer Wu (Canon explores of Light) , Jasmine Star and Kristi Sutton Elias. This one day event is held at the refinery, an incredible space for an event, on the Lake Forest Campus of Saddleback Church. There will be hands on workshops, exhibitors with their latest and greatest, and canon will be there will a load of gear. Best of all, this one day event, is free. Be sure to register now. DETAILS 

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June 28, 2014

Wisdom and Wine

This is a private afternoon workshop, held in Huntington Beach,  limited to 16 people. I put together this informative workshop to  help  mentor photographers wanting to create a  successful  photography businesses. There are numerous workshops offered to improve your shooting and post processing skills, but there seems to be a lack of workshops that focus on the marking and business side of photography. During this informative workshop I will share my own experiences in making the transition from a successful career to full time photographer including; creating income diversification, finding a focus in your photography and why it is important, building a team as a solo photographer, collaboration, cross-marketing, the importance of social media, strategies in having your work reviewed beyond the obvious,  how to get through the hurdles, important facts in setting up your business properly, and much more. This will be followed by a private wine tasting where we can relax, network, and passionately  discuss  photography.  This workshop is 1/2 full. DETAILS

 

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Feb 19-22, 2015

Nature Photography Summit

The Nature photography summit presented by NANPA is every two years. In February of 2015 it will be held in San Diego, California. Many of us have this inked on our calendars and are already looking forward to this event. If you are a nature or wildlife photographer this is an event not to miss. NANPA brings together the best and most passionate nature and wildlife photographers from around the world with top notch speakers, breakout sessions,  workshops, exhibitors,  and portfolio reviews. The networking at the event is like no other. There are several social events held during the summit and you will find all the photographers very approachable.  Details for this event are not available yet, but you can view the past summits on the website. 

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See you there!!

Inspired by the experience; my first multi-media piece

Posted by Piper & filed under Blog, inspiration, travel.

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Four plus years ago I walked into my first lecture about shooting video with a DSL camera. I listen to the words that all photographers are going to need to shoot video and the wall of resistance instantly went up. UGH!! I had not even grasped the DSL Camera and shooting stills yet; I did not want to shoot video, I loved photography. Well a few years back, when I upgraded one of my bodies to one that had video capabilities, I started shooting a few clips. Why, because I could and because I was told I should be doing it. I mean, if there were not these constant conversations being had that photographers are going to need to be able to shoot video to survive, I probably would not have jumped in on my own accord. There were already video/film makers that loved doing it.  I think the main reason I resisted was the time I would need to learn the editing process.

At first, I started filming when the conditions were not good for stills; why not try it out.  Not a terrible idea, as you are able to film a lot of situations in which you could not produce great stills. The problem was when I saw some of the footage, I then wanted great footage, but I was not willing to sacrifice my still images to get that footage. I would return from a trip and just drop the footage in a hard drive not sure what to really do with it. Sound familiar?  From time to time I would drop it in iMovie and mess with it, but again, I didn’t really know what to do with it. I put some to music and put in some still images, but nothing that inspired me to really get on board.

Then last year, I need to create a promotional video for one of my projects. I met with the really talented staff at Tandem and stills, which I highly recommended for video projects!! A long story short, they told me to drop of mediocre and they would deliver amazing. They did just that. Sorry, I am not able to show you the video yet, but that greatly inspired me to want to shoot more video. It also helped that I hooked up with an amazing guide and filmmaker in Namibia who took me under his wing and taught me tons in the 10 days we were together.

This past year 2013, when I was in Ethiopia for about 2 months, I spent a lot of time shooting video instead of stills. I even managed a few interviews. I had a small vision of what I wanted to create, but I was still shooting a lot of footage just to shoot it. When I arrived in Lalibela (Northern Ethiopia), we were invited to a special ceremony at the underground churches; the celebration of St Mary. It was like stepping back a thousand years as hundreds of priest were chanting, singing, dancing and performing ancient rituals. The chanting was surreal and I immediately thought video.  The ceremony was from 9 pm until sunrise, so the lighting was a huge challenge for video and stills, but I shot it to the best of my abilities. It was such an incredible experience our guide pulled us away around 2:00 AM, for a few hours of sleep, before returning at daybreak.

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I just now found the time to watch the footage I shot in Lalibela. It inspired me so much I immediately decided I must create/edit my first true multi-media piece. I found a great source on the web, for videos on how to use iMovie, from MacMost. I went to work. Eight hours later I had something I was excited about. There were times that my frame rate was too slow or fast, but I am learning. I would need to work in Final cut pro to be able to lift some of the shadows in good quality and some of the transition could be a little be a little smother, but he exciting part is that I am now embracing this new powerful tool in story telling. Now that I have made this first piece, I cannot wait to return, attend the Christmas Ceremony in Lalibla, January 7th, 2015, and see the difference in how I shoot it and the piece I will create. Just going through this first editing process has taught me a lot!!

I have learned that I will probably always be a little late to the party, but I need to flow into things in their own time. I still love photography, but it is the story telling that I am passionate about. This is just another awesome tool. This May marks a decade of my photography journey and I can’t wait to see what the next decade brings in exploring this new medium.

It is not easy to put yourself out there, but I wanted to share this first project with you to encourage you to take a risk. Try new things. Go to new places. Put yourself out there. Don’t worry what others think. Know this going in; if you put yourself out there, it is 100% guaranteed that you will be rejected. In today’s anonymous Internet world, it is 100% guaranteed, you will draw out the haters and critics, but these are usually the individuals who are too afraid to get into the arena. We get one life, so I say take courage over comfort and jump in!!! It is one exciting ride.

 

It Takes Time

Posted by Piper & filed under Blog.

 

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Living in the era of right now, the concept of “it takes time”, eludes most of us these days.  Truly grasping this and accepting it, will allow you to have less pressure, live better and make wiser choices. It is also why so many people give up too soon, and those who simply keep going, no matter what the hurdles, eventually accomplish what they are striving for.  Although, I may have to contradict myself a little, because the ignorance of not believing this transition would take more than a year or two (LOL!!), allowed me to dive in with naivety and become completely consumed before the reality of how hard it would be and how long it would take.  It is at the reality stage where most people jump off.

Seth Godwin wrote a great book called, “The Dip”, that talks about this. It is a short book of about 40 pages and well worth the read. I read it early enough that I carried a lot of this philology with me during this “decade” long journey and I will be discussing this more at the Wisdom and Wine event. It has been fun speaking at several different photography clubs and events these past few months. In one of the presentations I show my first image I took of lions, not exactly a keeper, but a moment that transformed my life in ways I could never images. I also show one of my first tribal images that I actually thought was a keeper, but it is one of those snap shots of an extraordinary subject and NOT an extraordinary photograph. It is always fun to see then and now, which is proof that it takes time, and it gets better with time. Below I have posted those first images along with some of the highlights of last year.  Photography has taught me a lot about patience and to enjoy the incredible journey, as it is the ride that makes life interesting.

I am now at an exciting place in the journey where I can start to devote more of my time to projects that I really care about. During this long stretch in the US I have been working on some projects for 2015 that will raise funds to bring direct results into remote villages and conservations areas. I will be rolling out some of these projects in the next few months, before departing to Kenya in June.

This Sunday, March 30th, I will be walking for water to help raise enough money for The Samburu Project to build more water wells in the remote regions of Kenya. The Sambura project was started in 2005 by a young women who went to Africa, fell in love with it, and came back to make a difference. The organization has built 63 wells since then; also bringing in medical supplies and education.  Building wells does so much  more than just bringing in fresh water. It helps to eliminate the problem of water born diseases from dirty waterholes, rivers and streams. It also allows women to focus on prosperous work and young girls to go to school rather than spending a great deal of their time fetching water that most of would never even consider drinking.  I would be honored if you help me to reach my stretch goal during this final day by giving up a glass of wine, or dinner out to donate to this great cause. We will meet the stretch goal if just 16 more people donate $10.00!!! Here are the details

My first photograph and sighting of lions taken in Tanzania in June 2004

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Some of the lion images from last years safaris

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My first image of tribal photograph taken  in Tanzania in June 2004

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Some of the portraits taken in Nambia, Kenya, and in the Omo Valley Last year

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Coming Full Circle

Posted by Piper & filed under Blog, travel.

My work has not always been focused in Africa.

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This journey started, a decade earlier, by simply booking a trip to Africa with the Sierra Club.  A place I had longed to go since I was a child. One of the items on the list of what to bring was a 300mm lens. I had no idea what that was or what camera I would need, as I had never even held a real camera before, other than a cheap point and shoot; does that even count? My local camera store got me sorted and I flew off with my first professional SLR camera, a 75-300 image stabilized lens, and  CD burner…. remember how we first downloaded files from our CF cards…LOL.

Arriving in Africa was magic! I feel in love with everything about it, from the minute my feet touched its rich red soil. I discovered a passion for photography that was stronger than any I had know previously. Although I returned to Africa twice more in the 6 months that followed that first trip, and every year since, I decided I should explore this passion in more areas than just wildlife and Africa. I decided to go to India with a very successful travel photographer. The itinerary included a few days in Ranthambore to photograph the tigers so this seemed perfect for me. India was a 24/7 party of color, music, entertainment, and eye candy. The people were warm, friendly and fun to photograph. I had a blast and have long to return.

Beautiful young woman in Rajastan India

 It has been on the list for years, but things just did not line up quite right until this past year.  I am very excited to be teaming up with Deborah Sandidge for the Colors of India Tour in January/Febuary of 2015. Deborah brings many different talents and skills in travel photography, such as her long exposers, cityscapes at twilight, and infrared knowledge that will compliment my travel and cultural photography skills. She shoots with Nikon and most of you know I am still shooting with Canon. We are excited to be so versatile in our skills to be able to help everyone create stunning imagery. I have wanted to team up with another photographer for several years, but it takes time for it all to come together. We passionately worked hard to create an itinerary that includes two festivals and added a one night camel safari in the Thar desert.

Deborah Sandige Cityscapes at twilight

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Learn more about Deborah and view her images here 

Rajasthan, India is a place of energy, color, music, celebrations and surprises around every corner. Tractors come down the street decorated like they were going to be a float in a parade with music blaring from a boom box. Women are wondering the streets in bright saris and in the desert region the men are wearing bright multi-color turbans.  You could be out photographing the town and a wedding party suddenly starts marching down the street; men holding chandeliers, a stereo blasting music, the groom siting on top of a vibrantly decorated horse and a sea of women all dressed in their most beautiful traditional clothing. India is also a country that has extreme poverty, but is part of their society mixed in with all the beauty, unlike the way we try to tuck it away from the main stream. It would be extremely difficult to experience the Rajasthan area, without also experiencing it’s poverty. As a photographer, I want to experience a country and culture raw and as it is, even thought it can pull at my heart.

 

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My work will continue to be focused on the African continent, but it is important to mix it up and keep the creative juices flowing by stepping out of your norm, seeing differently, and increasing your skills to capture compelling images.  I was only into my first few years of photography when I visited India. It will be interesting to see how I view it through the lens seven years later. It also signifies coming full circle as I will now be leading a trip that I loved as a participant.  On a side note, I want to share that a few of the participants from the India trip have now been with me to Africa. I have made wonderful and long friendship with many of the people I have traveled with over the past decade. Just another wonderful way that photography has enriched my life.

Men walking their camels along the ridge of the sand dunes in Jalsalmer, India

We have a great group of people already signed up, but there are still a few spaces open if you would like to join us.

 More than a photograph; an Experience.

 COLORS OF INDIA – DETAILS

National Geographic Expeditions Publishes my Images.

Posted by Piper & filed under Blog.

This  past weekend I received a catalogue from National Geographic Expeditions. You can image my surprise to find one of my Omo images on the forth page as a 1/2 page ad. There are actually three images in the beautiful 140 page catalogue.  I had several emotional reactions at once. One was to do a happy dance, one was to cry, one was anger and the last was to laugh at the irony.  Why? I was trilled to see my images in a National Geographic Publican, but since they were licensed through Getty images, there was no credit given for the photographs.  Then the reality, irony, really set in……. my images were being used to sell the National Geographic Expeditions to the Omo Valley, so in essence my images are being used to compete with the trips that I lead to the Omo Valley.  Now one must keep their sense of humor about these things or throw ones hands up and cry.

In the end, it is just another day in the life of a photographer; a roller coast full of thrills, disappointments,  excitement,  fear and laughter.

The first image below is also being used on their website. It is a photograph of Nadiri from the Suri tribe. I have been photographing her for the past three years and I love working with her.  She is beautiful, could be a professional model, and always makes me laugh. The group that went with me to the Suri last year also  photographed her. For those of you who joined me, she was the model I used to photograph the Free People shirt and catalogue. The second image is the one used for  the half page ad on page 4 and the last one was used on the page that list the itinerary. It is interesting to see what images others choose for publication.  I think I have much stronger images that were available  and these would not have been my first choice.

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The power of light is the power in your photographs

Posted by Piper & filed under Blog, Tips and information.

Creating a stunning photograph is all about how you see and capture light. Lighting is one of the main differences between a snap shot and a great shot. I still remember being out on one of my first safaris with professional photographers where they were discussing how quickly the light went flat; I was baffled. I was looking across the savanna and the light looked fine, except that it was about 3 hours after sunrise.  I was so new to photography, I really had no idea what was meant by “Golden light”.  Being self-taught, it took time to even understand this basic concept, much less the idea of side-lighting, back lighting, and using light to create contrast and  shadows for impact.

My understanding of light and its impact on an image really began to develop when I started focusing on tribal photography as much as my wildlife. I began following commercial and fashion photographers who were masters of light. Drawn by the dramatic images they were able to create, I went from a wildlife photographer sworn to never bother with flash, to using several speed lights and radio triggers. Subconsciously this began to have a huge impact on the way I photographed wildlife and how I used natural light. I began seeking the light in unique ways for the “Wow Factor”.

It took me years to see light in the way I see it today, which is what  inspired me to create the spirit-n-light workshop. I wanted to help photographers learn to see the light and use it to create stunning photographs.  Below are several sequences of images, all using natural light. Each sequence starts off with a photograph of a subject lit directly with golden light, followed by one or more images where the placement of the light created a more dramatic image.

 

The first image has beautiful golden light creating a wonderful photograph, but the second has the sun placed at about a 45 degree angle, side lighting or rim-lighting my subject. When scrolling through loads of images, the second photograph stands out and grabs the viewers attention.

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The first image was taken in beautiful evening light with the sun coming from behind me,  to beautifully light up the zebras. The second image was taken early in the morning placing the light at about a 45 degree angle from the subjects.  The side-lighting allows the sun to filter through the dust particles, reflecting light on to the zebras and illuminating the entire scene. If the sun had been placed behind the zebra’s it would have been a silhouette.

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The first photograph is another example of an image using beautiful early morning light. In the second image the light is coming from a 45 degree angle from the subject,  glistening through the dust and creating a dramatic scene.

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The beautiful afternoon sun creates a stunning image of this Kara warrior, but the images that follow have greater impact because of how the light is used to create shadows and contrast.

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The next two images show how using the light changes ordinary to extraordinary.

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Again, the first photograph is wonderful with the light saturating the horses coats, almost making them glow, but in the second image the light creates contrast, rim-light, shows movement, the horses breath and is clearly  more dramatic.

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Lastly, the first image has beautiful light and movement, but the others that follow are more powerful, leaving the viewer saying, “Wow”.

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Sources to learn more about dramatic lighting;

” Seeing the Light” - ebook by Mitchel Kanashkevich ebook

Kelby training videos 

Spirit-N-Light workshop

 

 

 

Paying for Photographs

Posted by Piper & filed under Blog, Tips and information, travel.

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This is a question that comes up often in the comments of my post on FaceBook and Google+, particularly when I am posting photographs of the tribes in Africa. There is no one single right answer to this question; every situation is different. I know this is a topic many photographers struggle with, so I thought I would share my thoughts on this topic.

ON THE STREET, IN A MARKET, DRIVING DOWN THE ROAD –

When I am walking down the street, jumping out of vehicle, or roaming through a local market, I don’t usually pay for photographs. I am photographing environmental portraits of everyday life as it is happening. I am not disrupting what people are doing; I am merely documenting what I am seeing. Handing out money in these situations promotes begging and has negative effects, changing behavior. It teaches the culture to harass every tourist coming to visit, even if they are just using a point and shoot or iphone to document and share their vacation/experience. It can be a little heart tugging not to hand out money simply because many of these people have little or nothing. The best way to help your heart is to donate to an organization doing good work in the area, prior to your arrival.

However, if I see someone interesting or someone doing something that caught my eye, and I ask them to repeat it, or take them away from what they are doing, I may give them a little something in exchange. This does not automatically mean this exchange is currency. It could be; printing a quick photo of them to and giving it to them, coffee, candy, razor blades (popular with the tribes), tee-shirt or some other desired item. In these situations, I prefer to barter with a materialistic item for rather than hand out cash.

IN A VILLAGE
When visiting a village, remember, you’re a visiting someone’s home and you are a guest. When I first come into a village, I like to arrive early to properly meet the people. Taking sometime to socialize with them before taking out a camera will make for a much more relaxed and welcoming situation. If time permits, I like to visit a village a head of time without my camera.

If I ask a subject to model for any length of time, and I intend to use the photographs for anything other than sharing with friends and family, I pay them. I respectfully try to make this a business arrangement and negotiate a price in advance, before pulling out my camera and shooting. You would pay a lot of money to a model in the western world, why would you treat the indigenous cultures you are photographing any differently? If a photographer/film company arrived at your home wanting to photograph or film how you go about your daily life, would you open the door and say. “sure, take as much time as you need?”. Treat them the same way you would expect to be treated, with dignity and respect.

AT AN EVENT OR FESTIVAL
Again, each situation is different, but if I attend an event or festival where an advance fee or payment has been arranged, and I have permission to attend and photograph the event, I usually do not hand out money for photographs. That does not mean I will not be asked, but to hand someone money in this situation because they are hassling me, is the wrong action. I have made an agreement that should be honored. Situations like this can become tricky; having a great guide and relationships with some of the people who are attending the event, can be key.

However, similar to my philosophy on street shooting, if I find someone fascinating and take him or her away from the celebration, to pose for me, I might, make some kind of exchange.

PAYMENT CAN BE MANDATORY
From my experiences and observations, in most situations, it is the tourists who are changing the behavior of these cultures and not photographers; aside from the major impact of the modern world being thrust upon them. Most photographers have a curiosity and fascination about the subjects they photograph. They want to spend time socializing with them to learn about their culture and way of life and then begin to photograph them.

Sadly what I witness is that most tourist arrive at a village, take out their camera’s, rush around for twenty minutes, grabbing as many photographs as possible, hand out money for every photograph, get in their cars, and leave. This may happen several times a day, especially when a remote area becomes popular because new roads create easier access. The result, the people have been treated like objects. They have been trained that a car full of people from the other world will arrive, take a few photographs and  hand out money. Over time, payment for photographs becomes mandatory. There is not much you can do to change this, once it has started, but how you handle this situation, can have a big impact not only on those your are photographing, but those coming behind you.

TIP
When planning a trip to photograph indigenous cultures, build time into your schedule to spend a morning, afternoon or evening, with them, without your camera. Bring a gift of coffee, tea, or sugar, but bring it as a gift, not in exchange for what it might bring you later.  This will not only add to your own experience, but your photographs will be more compelling. Remember, more than a photograph is the experience; one that you want to remember not only through the images you took. If you are not able to plan this much extra time, try to go with someone who already has established relationships with those you want to photograph. You may also want to travel with someone who has experience in these type situations before going solo.

ADVICE
These are just the guidelines I have created for those who travel with me and for myself; they may not fit your situation or values. This post is to help you make your own decision on what you feel is right. My philosophy comes from my experiences of working in the remote nomadic regions of Africa. There are many of you that follow this blog who have experience photographing cultures around the world. It would be great if you would share your experience, thoughts, and comments on how you handle paying for photographs. Together, as photographers, we can ensure that we try to handle this situation with respect and dignity to those we are photographing and be ambassadors for those following our trail.

It takes time to get a balance and create you own philosophy about  paying for photographs, but most importantly is to come from a place of respect and dignity.

Another article you may enjoy reading is  - How to approach street photography in 12 easy steps, by Valerie Jardin

Thanks for a great 2013

Posted by Piper & filed under Blog, travel.

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There are times in life when it’s good to slow down and be silent. That is how I decided to end the last few weeks of 2013; one of the most chaotic, but rewarding years, since picking up a camera and heading to Africa, almost a decade ago. Since I have been sharing images throughout the year, rather than posting my top images of 2013, I thought I would post just few of the remarkable moments I had the honor of sharing with some of you. I wanted to start off 2014 by thanking those of you who joined one of my photographic adventurous, especially those brave enough to came on one of my private scouting trips!

Thanks for having the courage to get out of your comfort zone and letting me be apart of some of your first in life. One of you had never been on a photography tour, yet you chose to come to the Omo Valley on your first, jumping in with both feet. One of you was a keen portrait and landscape photographer, but not sure you were going to be wild about wildlife. That all change the moment you saw your first elephant in the wild! Many of you embraced the cultures we visited, being part of the ceremonies, rather than just observing and photographing them from the sidelines. Several of you were on your first safari, one of the most magical experiences of a lifetime, and you are now planning your second.

This is still a relatively newer part of my business as a professional photographer and a responsibility that I do not take lightly. I put my heart and soul into each itinerary, scouting the area first, and sweating it out in the background that all goes as planned. It takes a great team of people to make it all come together. I wanted to thank all the extraordinary guides, their patience, and endless hours of hard work. I want to thank all the outfitters who did backflips to make the itineraries work. I especially want to extend a special thank you to Sunworld safaris, my outfitter in Kenya, for all the support and respect you have given over the past few years, and always delivering beyond what was promised!!

It is with deepest gratitude, that I want to thank all of you for endless suggestions, idea’s, and comments, which will help me to continue to design unique itineraries and improve the experience for everyone joining me in the future.  Thank you all for touching my life in amazing ways. May 2014 be your best year ever, filled with more amazing experiences and stories to share in the rocking chair.

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No Black Friday here, but………..

Posted by Piper & filed under Africa, Blog, travel.

Wait to see what happens in my newsletter on cyber Monday!!!!

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Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. It is one of my favorite American holidays. It is were we are almost forced to stop our too busy lives for just one day, reflect, and be grateful for all we are blessed with. There are so many things to be thankful for and at the top of that list is my family and friends who have continuously supported this crazy dream. That support allowed me to find the courage to take risk, keep taking them, and experience places and events on this earth beyond my wildest dreams. My hope is that everyone can experience the magic of Africa, so on Cyber Money, in my newsletter, I will be offering a couple of big, but limited,  discounts, on two of my trips in 2014. So enjoy the frenzy of Black Friday, catch your breath, and look forward to your mail on Monday.

More than a photograph, an experience

Posted by Piper & filed under Africa, Blog, travel.

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I recently returned from 7 weeks in Ethiopia, which included several weeks exploring new ground that included wildlife and the historical north. It will take weeks to go through all the amazing images because I get so excited reliving many of the crazy wonderful experiences. It severely delays the process. So, I thought I would pull out a few and just start sharing.

This year I was able offer an extension down the west side of the Omo, to visit the most remote, but most exotic and beautiful Suri tribe. Remote, meaning two long days of driving, but I had a crew of funny, spunky, vivacious, fearless and extraordinary women who brought their senses of hummer; quite mandatory for a trip such as this. Since we were mostly camping, it was like girl scouts, but letting it all hang out and having loads fun. Guys you missed out on this one!! The reward was great stories for the rocking chair and extraordinary images.

The Suri tribe is known to be one of the most ornate tribes in Africa with the artistic body paint, headdresses, and lip plates. Since they are so remote, they have not been as effected by tourism as on the east side and most all are still dressed in their traditional clothing. You feel like you have gone back to an authentic Africa of times gone by.

It can be hard to pull yourself away from taking portraits of these beautiful people and capture some of the environmental shots.

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I loved the adventurous spirit of those who went to great lengths to capture the extraordinary

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We enjoyed hours at villages surrounded by the beauty of the landscape as the Suri went about their daily lives.

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One of the highlights of the trip was a visit to the cattle camp. This is where the men go to take care of the cattle; a very prestigious job. In the evening once the cattle were back in camp they would go through their evening rituals of bloodletting (drinking the blood from the cattle followed by drinking their milk), covering their bodies in ashes, and dancing. We were in awe of the authenticity of the place and their hospitality in letting us freely wander through the camp to experience and photograph this mystical place.

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A trip filled with memories of a lifetime.

Don’t miss out on the next tribal and wildlife photographic adventure this April. Cultures are vanishing into the modern society faster than wildlife is being poached and environments destroyed. Sadly, I think we are one of the last generations that will get to have these beautiful authentic experiences as we race towards a generic society. I teamed up with a very talented Namibian photographer and filmmaker with over 20 years of guiding experience to put together and extraordinary itinerary to experience and photograph the Himba tribe and San Bushman in Namibia, as well as some of the exotic wildlife living in the stunning Namibian Desert. Please click here for all the details.

Himba women walking in morning light

Himba women walking in morning light