As we start to head towards the middle of the year, I find myself reminiscing and thinking of my past experiences I have been fortunate enough to have in the Masai Mara. In this blog, I thought I would share my favorite photograph from the Masai Mara, it may not be my best picture that I have taken in this incredible destination, but it is by far my favourite.
The Masai Mara ranks very high up on my list when it comes to safaris, not only is it home to the greatest wildlife spectacle on earth, but it is also a place that I think of as my second home.
Ever Since I can remember, I have always dreamt of what it would be like to go to the Masai Mara and see the Great Migration. A couple of years back, this dream became a reality and now as I sit here reflecting on past safaris, I am filled with joy and emotion as I scroll through some of the images I have captured on numerous trips.
For me, there is one photograph that stands out above the rest. As we photographers progress and assist our guests, we try and get into the mind set of setting up an image before we have even lifted up our cameras. This is quite a difficult art to master, especially with wildlife as it is so unpredictable. Often, the shot we have in mind can never be created in wildlife photography due to the number of elements that are out of our control.
Before my first trip to the Mara, I found myself researching and looking at other images that have been taken from this incredible destination. What this did was start to build a photograph in my mind that I wanted to capture.
When it comes to crossings, it is chaos, it is intense, extremely exhilarating and often overwhelming. Over time I began to formulate this image in my mind, an image that I would go out and look for and try to create as best I can considering the factors that are not in my control.
I wanted to capture the feeling of chaos, tell a story of what a crossing is from start to finish, but only using a single image. I wanted a mass of wildebeest, I wanted a dramatic sky, I wanted dust… I wanted it all. That’s a pretty big ask and I for one, know that wildlife is unpredictable and these kind of chances don’t come around very often.
It was on my third trip to the Mara, when My guests and I found ourselves watching a mass herd of wildebeest start to build up on the opposite bank of the Mara river. Seeing this, I discussed the situation with my guests – What angle we going to have, what our settings should be and what kind of images we can try to capture. This all helps in the heat of the moment, especially when it is so overwhelming to stay calm and to look for specific moments to capture.
On this specific day, one of my suggestions was the image I had always imagined, the image that tells the full story of a crossing, maybe not quite what I had in mind, but close enough.
The wildebeest approached the waters edge, you could feel the excitement starting to grow… Suddenly, they took the leap and began to cross. We headed down to the river, got into position and started snapping away. In that moment, your heart is racing, the sounds are over powering and the emotion is sky high.
The preparation we did before the crossing even took place resulted in everybody getting some INCREDIBLE images. Such as the one you will see below.
I will never forget this day, the day that an image
I had in my head for years, my favorite photograph from the Masai Mara, finally became a reality for my guests and I.
I cannot wait to return to this incredible destination and to spend time with my amazing Kenyan family.
Until next time,
Masai Mara Peak Season
During the peak migration season over 2 million animals gather on the plains of the Masai Mara setting the scene for one of nature’s most incredible spectacles and undoubtedly one of the best wildlife and photographic experiences.
Masai Mara Off Peak
The Masai Mara offers incredible photographic opportunity outside of the typical migration period. In fact, many an award winning image have been captured during the shoulder season either sides of the migratory movements. The Mara remains a quintessential safari experience in off-peak season and is still one of the bucket list items that any wildlife and nature enthusiast should tick off.