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Sunday, April 9, 2017

Why The Safari Collection?

Saturday, April 8, 2017

One of my anonymous readers had asked about the specifics of my trip...what I brought, why i chose this tour, etc.  So here it goes...for my gear list, everything I brought was in my "I'm Going To Africa!"post.  You can click on the link to see what little I had to bring.  Actually I was quite happy, although I would've brought more if I was allowed.  I used all three lenses, a lot.  My camera didn't break, which was a plus!  And the ND filter did wonders!  I'm so glad Robin recommended it to me.  The only thing I was bummed about was my flash broke on my first game drive.  Which wasn't too detrimental, I didn't really need to take many night shots.

Why the Safari Collection?  Well you see...I saw an advertisement on Facebook a couple of years ago for the Giraffe Manor, so I clicked on it.  Here's what I saw:

I was sold.  I then went to their website  and whattya know?!  They offered a photography tour!! It was meant to be.  But the only problem is, when I saw the ad - I think in the Fall of 2015ish the only date they offered was in Mid-February of 2016.  There's no way I could've pulled that off.  So, I patiently waited and in mid-2016 I emailed The Safari Collection to let them know I was interested.

The price breakdown?  Here it is...don't mind the dates, they accidentally typed 2016 because I booked so early.  Yes, I admit it was kinda pricey for a one week tour, but lemme tell ya.  IT WAS WORTH EVERY PENNY.
Cultural Photographic Safari Leslie Kuba x 2 Invoice
Oh, and I forgot, we bought $500 worth of Kenyan Shillings from American Savings, we needed money for tips - $25/day for lodge staff, $20/day for drivers, $15/day for spotters.  I think we gave them a little more because they were really good.  We should've bought more Shillings, we were scraping at the end.  We also brought cans of mac nuts to give to the really nice people.  Randy's luggage was much lighter than mine so he could afford to haul the extra weight.  I woulda brought more omiyage otherwise.


Anyone else have any questions about my trip?  Feel free to message me, I could talk about this trip forever!

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thank you for taking us on your wonderful adventure and sharing your pics! I look forward to your next trip, be it near or far!

Izsmom

Honolulu Aunty said...

I think this was like therapy for the health so health insurance could cover the expensive rooms and adventure that made you feel so good and wonderful, you are much better than you were before you left!

So this didn't include airfare - that must have been big bucks. And it included the dinky 1st night hotel?

Honolulu Aunty said...

BTW, that video was so well done. The music alone and the kids. Except I wouldn't want to go with kids.

Anonymous said...

Talk about it forever... okay I'll bite.
Looking back on the trip would you have even brought a flash at all? Thus saving the weight, space, batteries. Knowing you're going to shoot in mostly lighted conditions. Why did you choose to bring a ND filter instead of a polarizer? Which also would cut a bit of light and also glare. How dark was the ND filter? Did you consider bringing a travel tripod?
Did you consider renting a crop (1.6x) body to get more reach or a longer lens (knowing that the 70-200mm and 1.5tc has a top end of 300mm)? Maybe taking along a super-zoom point and shoot as a second body or in case of gear failure, theft, lost, moisture, dropped, corruption? Any thoughts about a GoPro? How did you mitigate dust in the field especially while changing lenses on one body?
How many memory cards did you take, batteries? Did you ever run out? How did you back up your images? Any power issues (lack of outlets, adapters, charging voltage)?
I noticed you did not take a macro lens but you did take a 50mm. Could you have just used the 70-200 to substitute for the 50mm knowing you're probably going to have space to back up? Did you bring any rain protection or a rain sleeve (zip locks)?
How did the new photo bag work out? Any problems with that? Did you take a laptop or tablet (external hdd)? How did you pack it all? Cable management?
What were your autofocus settings most used? Were you on single point, multi, or continuous and why? Any issues with autofocus tracking? Most used ISO? Any exposure compensation?
How was the weather there (strong winds, sand storms)? Any issues with leaving gear in the heat? Did you take out travel insurance? How many images did you take while there? Any other gear worth noting i.e. shoes, flashlight, camelback, camera strap? Would you change anything if you were to do it again?

Anonymous said...

Aside from the ND filter recommendation, did you learn any tips from Robin?

Anonymous said...

Did you take a check in luggage as well or was that backpack your only bag for the entire trip? Were there laundry services on site or could you just wear the same shirt everyday for a week to take a 300mm?

Leslie's pics said...

Thanks Izsmom! I'm trying to get to Iceland next year, hopefully I can squeeze it in somewhere!

Aunty - yes, very good therapy! Sadly, no, it didn't include airfare, I think it was about $1300 pp. Our dinky hotel was about $120. I loved the video. Like I said, I was hooked!

Leslie's pics said...

Anon - wow. I think you're taking this waaay too seriously! :) First and foremost, I was going for the experience. But here it goes. Yes, I would've still brought my flash. I didn't get very many pictures of us, the people and I could've took pictures at the sundowners when we all got together. I brought the ND filter because Robin suggested it. I don't have a polarizing filter for my 70-200 or 16-35. I have on one my 50, but honestly I forgot it was on. I have on always on my 35 mm and always forget it's on there too. This is the filter I bought: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00K0TJKKC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 No, I wasn't planning on bringing a tripod because I knew it was gonna add to the weight and I knew that we were going to be in cars majority of the time so I wouldn't need it. I didn't want to rent a crop body, I was spending enough already on this trip. I was originally gonna bring my 5D MKI as my backup but if I did I wouldn't be able to bring much clothes. My camera bag was already 20 lbs without an extra body. Even if I brought a PNS it would've hampered my weight limit. Nope. Don't own a go-pro. I just changed lenses out in the open and hoped for the best. If I got dust spots I'd just clean it up in PP.
I took 5 CF cards, 28GB in all. I never used more than 12GB in one day. I only shoot in RAW and I'm constantly deleting as I go cause I knew what I was shooting for. I brought 2 external HDs, 2TB each, very small so it was light. I brought power converters & adapters so I no issue with power.
I didn't need a macro, besides it's twice the size of my 50mm. I brought the 50mm because I knew I was going into the village so I wanted a lens for portraits. Didn't bring anything for rain.
Brought a laptop, my husband put it in his luggage. Loved the new camera bag.
Single point AF, mostly AV settings played with the EC whenever it got bright. Not sure which ISO I used the most. In the early mornings it was around 2500 and daytime was prob 640? I dunno.
It was hot, but not much different than Hawaii or Vegas. It was hot, but dry heat and it was only in the 90s at the hottest spot. We were required to get travel insurance when we signed up, I only got a cheap one from travelocity (or whoever I bought my airline tickets from, I can't remember). I wouldn't change anything about the trip except to bring more cash.
The main thing Robin helped me with was AV mode. I wasn't used to shooting that way, I normally shoot manual. It helped a lot. Oh and Lightroom. He showed me some shortcuts that I didn't know about, since I only know the basics. I was too lazy to study the functions.
I had 2 bags, one for my clothes and electronics and my camera bag. They did have laundry services so I only brought 4 tops and 2 pants. I could've wore the same shirt every day but I'm a girl so I want different clothes!! I didn't need to bring a 300mm. My 1.4 extender brought my zoom to 280 so that was good enough. I can always crop in pp.

jalna said...

Ummmmm . . . me, me, me! I have a question. Are giraffe's tongues smooth like a dog's or rough like a cat's?

Leslie's pics said...

They're rough like cats, but not as bad as a cow. Also, some of them's saliva was slimy like Matties! ugh. Kinda gross when you're supposed to be eating breakfast at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Wow it was pricey but the experience was incomparable. The memories you have will last your life time and there is no price for that. Seeing from an age perspective, you really should travel while you are physically able. I've got arthritis everywhere and it makes prolonged walking difficult, not to mention limited carrying ability. I don't think I can do all the walking most tours have, just would be too much for me. So you should do all of it before the dang aches and pains show up. I do love 'going along' with you and live vicariously though you though. All the fun without the traveling. -N

Leslie's pics said...

I totally agree, N. Glad you reminded me, I was gonna do post on "Should I Go On a Safari??" Maybe I'll post it tomorrow...I'm so happy I went when I was young and healthy. The plane ride alone woulda killed me!

Anonymous said...

What will you take on your trip to Iceland? Will you take the same gear?

Anonymous said...

Would you change anything if you were to do it again?

Anonymous said...

So its a 1.4tc or 1.5 as in your "I'm going to Africa" post?

Leslie's pics said...

Anon - I would probably take the same gear, minus the 50mm and bring a tripod. That's it. It's mostly landscape over there so i'll mostly be using my 16-35.
I don 't think i'll ever do a safari again but if I do i wouldn't change a thing.

Anonymous said...

Will the giraffes let you go up to them and hug them?

Anonymous said...

Do the giraffes smell? Can you go out and wander around outside the hotel at night?

Anonymous said...

What was the most exciting/exotic animal that you saw while you were there?

Leslie's pics said...

Anon - sorry, it was a typo in my other post. It's a 1.4x. We weren't allowed to hug the giraffes. We weren't even supposed to pet them. They can get aggressive and head butt you. Some of them were mellow and they let you pet them. Others wanted nothing to do with you unless you had food. They didn't smell and you could only walk around certain parts of the hotel. The giraffes aren't there unless they know there's food. Once we ran out they all walked away into the pasture.
All the animals were exotic and exciting to me. I've never been that close to a wild animal before. I can't pick just one.

Anonymous said...

It looks like Randall is shooting with a Canon superzoom (sx60, sx50?), did he get any nice shots?

Leslie's pics said...

He did, but that's another post

Anonymous said...

What counties have you been to already? Where else would you like to go?

Leslie's pics said...

i've been to quite a few, and there's only a few more that I really want to go to. Iceland, Peru (Machu Picchu), Galapagos Islands, Prague and Budapest. There's still some states that I haven't visited yet either.

KitTKat said...

Les you so nice to answer A L L of anon's questions. I wouldn't. Eh, anon, Les has a life so please limit your questions. She's also too nice to tell you herself, is why I asking for her. (Even if she never really)

Honolulu Aunty said...

So funny!

jalna said...

Wait. SAY WHAT? The giraffes might HEAD BUTT you? In my book that's up there with monkeys ripping off your face.

Leslie's pics said...

haha yah but you get a couple of seconds to dodge him because their neck is so long and it's kind of in slow motion...kind of. haha but it surprises you and you just gotta duck! I think we all had to duck at one point or another... "NO PATRONS WERE HARMED ON THIS TOUR!" Maybe they should have a sign "IT HAS BEEN ______ DAYS SINCE THE LAST HEAD BUTTING"

jalna said...

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Okay, so maybe that's why I keep buying Bop-Its at the swap meet. Need to keep my reflexes (and brain) quick for those giraffe head butts.

Leslie's pics said...

Yes! Maybe we should start a dodgeball league...