I got the opportunity to fly back home to South Africa to shoot promotional images for the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge in Johannesburg. Before I shot the JPMCC I had some time to see family and drive up to the Kruger National Park and spend a few days there. I only went int the park for two days however I had the best two days I have ever had, I have never before been as lucky as I was this time. I was fortunate enough to see all of the Big 5 and plenty of smaller animals. Until this trip I had never seen a Leopard in the park, only a Cheetah, however this time I got to see both! A leopard just relaxing and hiding in the shade of a tree and then a little later a group of three cheetahs all walking around together. I think what made this trip really special was to be able to see an entire family of rhinos, all with their horns, to adults and a baby. I was able to just sit and watch them for ages whilst they quietly grazed right next to the road. With the number of rhinos being poached and killed by hunters for their horns it was incredible to see all three fighting fit, something I haven’t seen for many years unfortunately.
I also spent some time getting to know my new Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 lens. Having been to the Kruger many times before I knew exactly how bright and just how many stars you can see which is the perfect place to give this incredible lens a really good test whilst shooting a time-lapse of the stars. I have also never used the GoPro Hero 4 Black Night Lapse mode, even though I have had my GoPro for ages, so this was a great opportunity to see what it could do, and it did not do badly at all! Below is a video of some of what I captured.
After spending a few days in the Kruger I drove back down to Johannesburg to get back into work mode!
I already shot the JPMCC in London last summer so I had a rough idea of what to expect. However what didn’t cross my mind was the light conditions! Because I flew from the UK I have been so used to the sun setting only at around 7pm, but because South Africa is moving to winter it means the days are shorter and by about 5:30 the sun has set. With the race start scheduled for 6pm this created some very challenging shooting conditions for myself and the rest of the team. On the streets where the race took place there is very little help from street lights, and the power even went off at one point which plummeted us all into complete darkness!
However despite the light making things challenging you can always rely on people to give you great big smiles, dance around and enjoy the race! This makes the job that much easier, when people are natural in front of the camera the photos are just so much better than forced posed images. Below are a few highlights from the event.
Next week I will be travelling to Singapore to shoot the JPMCC there and then straight from Singapore I will fly to Norway to shoot with the Epic Action Imagery team at Viking Race, and after that I will finally get home ready to upload images and catch up on lost sleep!
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