HIGHLIGHTS

Mount Kilimanjaro sets the stage for some of the most dramatic wildlife spectacles at Amboseli. While Masai Mara never fails to deliver in terms of photography learning opportunity, regardless of the season. Two amazing Kenyan parks alongside Sudhir – this is everything you need to take your photography to the next level.

Why do this photography learning tour with SSP?
– Accommodation in upscale resorts with top-of-the-line facilities.
– Flying directly to Amboseli and Masai Mara from Nairobi saves on-road time so you can spend more time in the parks.
– Expert drivers and guides/naturalists trained to position the vehicles to help photographers achieve the right angles.
– On-field guidance from Sudhir during the safaris to help you get the best images.
– On-field review of images and feedback to nurture in-depth learning.
– Planned during the ideal season (February) to maximise photography opportunities.
– Photography competition where participants get to judge each others’ best images. This will introduce the parameters on which photographs are judged in most photography competitions.

Who should attend this tour?
– Quite simply, this tour is for anyone who wants to be an awesome wildlife photographer.
– You can be a rank beginner or have some experience wielding the camera, either way, SSP’s photography learning tour is bound to enhance your skill and knowledge.
– This is the ideal tour if you are looking to capture some great action shots. The short grass during February makes it the best time to view and shoot hunting sequences in Mara.

What can you expect from this tour?
– Practical on-field learning from Sudhir.
– Understand the various challenges of wildlife photography and learn how to arrive at the correct camera setting for any given situation.
– Pre-visualising your images in the field and how to arrive at the camera setting for that.
– Discussions back in the camp as well to ensure all doubts are cleared for your next safari.
– At the end of this tour, gain enough practice and confidence to put your camera to optimal use – with respect to basic and certain advanced camera settings.
– Move away from taking images to making images.
– Develop an eye for what makes for an award-winning image.

Beyond Learning
Nothing gets in the way of our photography learning/teaching. Until it’s time for lunch, that is. And dinner. And breakfast. During which time, nothing comes between us and the food. As for the fun part, when we do what we love, fun happens. Just as polite hellos turn to boisterous fist bumps; quiet handshakes turn to backslapping bear hugs; acquaintances become friends for life

SPOTLIGHTS

Airport

The trip is ex-Nairobi. So please to arrive into Nairobi JKIA.

Ideal Flight Timings

Plan to arrive into Nairobi JKIA by 10am on day 1 of the tour. Plan to depart after 8:30pm on last day of the tour.

Last Mile

Our own chartered flight from Nairobi-Amboseli-Nairobi and later Nairobi-Masai Mara-Nairobi.

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT

2 camera bodies. 1 full frame and the other crop sensor is recommended. For wide angle shots, you will need a 16-35mm and 70-200mm range lens. Then you an have the 100-400 or the 200-500/150-600 zoom lens and finally you can get the 500/600/800mm biggies. You will need every single lens in Masai Mara as the opportunities are huge.

Duration/Stay

2 nights/ 3 days at Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge and later 3 nights / 4 days at Mara Intrepids

Check-in/Check-out Timings at the Resort

We check-in to Amboseli Serena Lodge by 3:30pm on day 1. Check-out by 10am. Similar check-in and check-out timings at Mara Intrepids.

Safari

Morning and afternoon drives every day with the option of all-day safaris in open vehicles. We decide upon this as a group.

Weather/Temperature

Max temp: 25°C and Min temp: 12°C. Do get warm clothes for early morning and late evening.

Key Subjects to Photograph

The key subjects we will photograph are animals with Mt. Kilimanjaro at the backdrop. Apart from that Lion, Cheetah, Hippo, Zebra, Giraffe, Elephants and hopefully the elusive Leopard. Apart from mammals, we will get an opportunity to capture the local birds and reptiles.

Things to Carry

The recommended Camera gear, Binoculars, Hat, Sunglasses, Essential medicines.

Here’s a complete overview of what happens in the SSP Photography learning tours.

 

1.Photography learning through indoor/outdoor sessions:

Sudhir will have interactive classroom photography sessions followed by hands-on outdoor sessions to help the participants take a practical approach to learning. These sessions help you pick up the basic and advanced concepts of photography and start applying them in the field.

2.Photography learning in the field during the safari:

Once you have understood the concepts in the indoor/outdoor classroom sessions, it’s time to implement them in the field. During the safari, Sudhir will guide you with the camera settings and composition based on the challenges in the field. He will also give you a few assignments to help drive home the concept of pre-visualization.

3.Photography Competition for participants:

This is a newly introduced feature in all SSP Photo Tours. In this format, the participants are judges too. Each participant evaluates and rates every other participant’s image based on certain criteria. This not only fosters healthy competition but also introduces the parameters on which photographs are judged. A useful bit of information to have, if you are looking to participate in photography contests.

4.Fun Times:

While we are extremely serious about our photography, we never play down the importance of some good old-fashioned fun and some great food. Breakfast during the safaris is a great time to share, interact and know each other. Last night of the workshop is official party night where we match steps with the local tribal folk over a celebratory dinner. So, what do we celebrate? Good times, great food, awesome friends. And of course, photography!!

The teaching and learning will not stop after the workshop. In fact, this is just the beginning. You will be part of the SSP Community on our website, where your learning and interactions with fellow photographers will continue.

Sat 23 Feb, 2019

Nairobi to Amboseli
Participants flying in from Mumbai (India) typically arrive by 10:00 am on day 1 of the tour. Allow about an hour to complete customs/immigration formalities. Our local representative is ready to meet and greet as you step out with your luggage. After a brief round of introductions, he will facilitate your transfer to the domestic airport (Wilson Airport, Nairobi), where you will also have lunch. Your flight to Amboseli departs from here at 2:00 pm. Expect to arrive at Amboseli by 3:00 pm and complete check-in formalities at the Serena Lodge by 3:30 pm. Quickly freshen up and brace yourself for an exhilarating game drive at the park at 4:30 pm. With compelling views of Mount Kilimanjaro, Amboseli is known for its big game. It's highly likely that you will find the animals grazing around and congregating at waterholes just outside of the lodge. The safari ends at 6:00 pm. Head back to the lodge for an eventful evening of learning and of course dinner. Make plans for the following day before you retire into your charming rustic-style, yet comfortable cottages.

Sun 24 Feb, 2019

Amboseli
It's safari time again, with packed picnic breakfast. A few straight hours of serious shooting and on-field learning later, you will return to the lodge and to a sumptuous lunch spread. Safari, shooting and learning continue unabated post lunch as well, right until sundown. More photography learning and interactive sessions are planned for later in the evening, along with dinner. You then retire to your cosy nook for a restful sleep.

Mon 25 Feb, 2019

Amboseli to Masai Mara
The last day at Amboseli begins with yet another game drive. Make the most of the opportunity to capture this expansive landscape with its larger-than-life inhabitants.
Post-safari, you will return to the lodge and quickly pack up and check out. You depart Amboseli at 11 am and reach Nairobi at 12 pm. The flight to Masai Mara leaves at 2 pm, and you reach your destination at 3 pm. Arrive and check in at the Mara Intrepids Camp and proceed for a late lunch.
Primarily known for the great migration of thousands of wildebeest, the Mara is also home to many a mighty beast including lions, elephants and rhinos. After a spectacular game run in the evening, you return to the beautifully laid out camp for dinner and to retire for the day. (Learning session in evening?)

Tues-Wed 26-27 Feb, 2019

Masai mara
These two days will bring you four more game drives, two each in the morning and evening, giving you ample time and opportunity to learn, unlearn, experiment - with Sudhir constantly by your side. He will take turns to be in each safari vehicle, so that all participants get equal share of his time. More learning and interactions will continue at the camp, post safari on both evenings.

Thu 28 Feb, 2019

Masai Mara to Nairobi
One last morning safari on this day draws the curtains on six days of high drama on this wild stage. On your return to the resort, you will have lunch, pack up and head to the airstrip for the flight back to Wilson Airport, Nairobi and further proceed to the Jomo Kenyatta Airport to catch your international flight.

Before the Workshop
We will ask you for:
– some basic information about your equipment
– your photos/portfolio
– your expectations from the workshop

Based on this, Sudhir will chart out best practices for your set of equipment. He will review the images and judge the areas that need working on.

Communicating your expectations beforehand will ensure that Sudhir addresses them during individual interactions with you.

During the Workshop
– Sudhir will demonstrate the best way to approach and shoot the subjects and give deeper insights on their behavioural aspects.
– He will introduce the advanced custom function settings of your camera. A firm understanding of these settings will be your first step toward shooting like a pro.
– In the park, he will continually guide you based on the field conditions and subjects.
– Knowledge sharing and image review will continue through the evenings as Sudhir interacts with you with focused inputs to reinforce the day’s learning.
– You will have assignments to complete, giving you ample scope to assimilate and apply all that you have learnt.
– We will have a healthy competition among the participants where they will be the judge and select the winning image. This helps them understand the expectations of the judges in any competition.

After the Workshop
Your pursuit of photography knowledge doesn’t end with the workshop. The SSP Community is your gateway to continued learning and interaction, apart from being the ideal platform to showcase your best images. In addition to image review and critique by Sudhir and his team, you also gain the perfect peer group interaction to grow as a photographer. Theme-based assignments, healthy discussions, candid feedback, equipment reviews and resale are the other great perks of being part of this community.

*The below topics will be covered and the participants will learn how to apply these concepts in wildlife photography.

Fundamental and Advanced Concepts of Photography:
– Manual and autofocus (focusing points, autofocus lock, single or continuous focus, Focusing Sensors, AF cases, Advanced AF settings of camera)
– Manual exposure (ISO, shutter speed, Aperture)
– Metering modes (evaluative, matrix, spot metering)
– Depth of field (shallow, deep, hyper focal distance)
– Motion (freezing, blurring and panning)
– Picture styles / picture control (colour, black and white, sepia etc…)
– Aperture priority, shutter speed priority and program modes
– Understanding exposure – the 18% concept
– White balance (pre-set and custom)
– The temperature of light (natural and artificial colour cast)
– Composition (framing)
– Elements of design (seeing v/s looking)
– Lenses and perspective (the right choice of focal length)
– Pre-visualization
– Completing the story
– Camera settings related to Wildlife Photography.
– Understanding Subject Behavioral aspects.
– Understanding your camera and shooting techniques.

Post-Processing:
During the course of the workshop, you will be taken through the fundamentals of image processing and the following topics will be covered:

– Colour management policies (colour settings, working space, ICC profiles etc.)
– Working with RAW files
– Cropping and image editing
– Levels, curves, contrast, saturation adjustments (All through layers and masking)
– Image sharpening, cloning, dodge and burn
– Noise reduction.
– Saving for web/ printing

During the Field Outing:
During the field outing, your mentor Sudhir Shivaram will help you make memorable images. Inputs provided on the field will enable you make the most of the opportunity.

The teaching and learning will not stop after the workshop. In fact this is just the starting point. You will be part of the SSP community of the SSP website where your learning and interactions with fellow photographers continues.

Workshop Cost:
USD $3080 (plus 5% GST) on Double Occupancy
(Exchange rate considered is USD $1 = INR 73)

INCLUSIONS:
– Accommodation and meal plan is Full board basis i.e breakfast, lunch and dinner.
– Game drives in our open landcruiser with our english speaking guide.
– Non resident park entry fees are included.
– Snacks at the airport.
– Flight from Nairobi to Amboseli to Nairobi and flight from Nairobi to Mara to Nairobi.
– Airport transfers and airport taxes.
– Bean bags will be provided in our open landcruisers
– 3 to 4 pax per vehicle in open landcruisers.
– Wifi hotspots in camp and vehicles.

EXCLUSIONS
– International air tickets and visa fees.
– International travel; medical insurance and vaccinations.
– Porterage, tipping and gratuities to staff and guides.
– Extra meals, visits and activities not mentioned in the “INCLUSIONS” section.
– Shopping and other items of a personal nature.
– Alcohol (House drinks, Gin, Vodka, Beer, soft drinks).
– Anything else not mentioned in the “INCLUSIONS”
– Laundry.
– Optional Hot air balloon safari USD 420 per person (actual cost will vary)

Accommodation
– Twin beds/Double beds
– Hot water for bathing
– Hot tea and coffee in the morning
– WiFi in camp
– Charging facilities in the tents
– All park fees

Meals
– Snacks (juice, fruit and sandwiches) on arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport.
– Indian food will be served courtesy a trained chef – vegetarian and non-vegetarian selection.
– Lunch on last day, since you are departing in the afternoon.

Activities
– Silver-level guides.
– Flexibility of doing game drives as per requirement of the group.
– Full-day game drives to be done, if required.

Vehicles
– 4 open vehicles.
– 3 or 4 persons per vehicle depending on group size.
– Vehicles with WiFi hotspots.
– Beanbags.

Flights
– Charter Aircraft – Wilson Airport to Amboseli and back. Then Wilson airport to Masai-Mara and back.
– On this flight, you will be allowed to carry the camera bag (max. 15 kg); all other luggage will be transfered to the camp by road.

AMBOSELI SERENA SAFARI LODGE

Enjoy the view of Mount Kilimanjaro…
Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge was created for adventurers with an African dream. With Mount Kilimanjaro soaring majestically just beyond the golden, acacia-specked savannah, the safari lodge offers a graceful blend of stark beauty and lavish comfort in the heart of Kenya’s Amboseli National Park.

Nestled in an acacia grove by a gentle mountain spring, our hotel, comprising a Maasai-inspired design, a garden restaurant and a palm-shaded swimming pool and sundeck, provides uninterrupted views of Mount Kilimanjaro and the surrounding landscape. In every detail, the ambience captures the essence of Maasai culture, warmth and indomitable spirit. The setting our Amboseli safari lodge is breathtakingly beautiful, the wildlife abundant and the cuisine, hospitality and amenities unrivalled.

Mara Intrepids camp

Mara Intrepids Camp enjoys one of the most spectacular locations in the world’s best-known wilderness Maasai Mara National Reserve. It sits above a sweeping bend in the Talek River at the confluence of the Maasai Mara’s four game-viewing areas. Mara Intrepids camp is a short drive from the Mara River, where more than a million wildebeest and zebra make their perilous migration crossing every July and August.

YOUR CANCELLATION & REFUND
We understand that sometimes you unfortunately have to cancel a tour. Therefore, the following are the cancellation policies for our tours:

– INR 30,000 is non refundable booking fee.
– Balance to be paid 60 days prior to departure date.
– Even though initial booking fee of INR 30,000 will be non-refundable, in event of tour getting cancelled (for whatever reasons), we will refund full amount charged from the clients.

The below refund policy will be applicable to amount outside of the initial deposit amount of INR 30,000.
90-60 days before departure, 50% of above mentioned tour cost will be refunded.
59-31 days before departure, 25% of above mentioned tour cost will be refunded.
30 days or less before departure, no refund.

Any airline tickets issued are subject to the carrier’s refund policy. Leaving a tour in progress will not result in a refund, and no refunds will be made for any unused portions of a tour.

All cancellation notices must be received in writing and emailed to info@sudhirshivaram.com

TOUR CANCELLATION

We reserve the right to cancel the tour due to few guests that have signed up for the tour, strikes, war, natural disasters or other unforeseen circumstances that make the tour inappropriate. If a tour is canceled prior to departure, you will be fully refunded.

We are not responsible for any refund for non-refundable airline tickets or for any airline tickets purchased by the passenger directly from an airline or travel agent.

EXCHANGE RATES AND PRICE CHANGE

Our tours are based on different currencies and exchange rates. The currency and rate used for calculating are listed under the “Cost” sections of the tour page. In terms of fluctuations in exchange rates a surcharge will be invoiced. Notification will be given at the time of final invoicing. We will consider the exchange rate as per the invoice we receive from our vendors.

The prices are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances such as increase in fuel prices, government surcharges and other increases beyond our control. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, if it is necessary to levy a surcharge, we reserve the right to do so, and notification will be given at the time of final invoicing.

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