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It was a killer morning today, as we were up and loaded at 0300, with 0 meaning ‘oh my god it’s early’.  Everyone was ready to go and we were off in no time flat.  Although we had scouted the area yesterday afternoon in the nasty rain, Daniel, being the location master of Iceland, decided to head for a ridge line that we had not seen before.  Crossing three serious creeks (far too much water for me to call then a creek), we started our climb up and up.  Before you know it, a visual wonderland was before us.

Highlands-of-Iceland---IIHasselblad H5D40, 28mm HC, ISO 100, 1.3 sec @ f/18

Cheers and happy photoing

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After a prompt departure from the city center, we were on our way to the Highlands.  The weather took a nice change and we made an impromptu stop at the 4th largest waterfall in Iceland.  It was great to get out and stretch out legs a bit and get the cameras working.  Our luck turned just a bit and we caught a break in the weather.

After photographing the waterfalls, we made our way to our lodge at Hrauneyjar.

HalifossHasselbald H5D40, 35-90mm @ 40mm, ISO 100, 1/10 sec at f/16 plus ND.6 Hard across the top

Cheers and more to come from Icleand.

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Reykjavik
Temp: 54F
Sunrise:0420
Sunset: 2245
Duration of day: 18 hours, 2 minutes
Wind 25mph ESE
RAIN
I thought I would get up early today and see some sun – NOT.  Instead I woke up at 0445, pulled the blinds back to a bright cloudy typical Northwest November morning – wait, I’m in Iceleand.  Today, we travel north to an area called the Highlands.  Josh puts it very simply, out in the middle of nowhere.  Reykjavik saw the heaviest rainfall in years, last summer.  This summer, they are surpassed what fell last year so I think it is going to be a wet one.  Weather here can change in just a matter of minutes so I am banking for light breaks to photograph this wonderful place.

20140727_190758-1

Iceland Air Natura Hotel, Samsung Note 2

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I took off from Seattle Saturday afternoon on Icelandic Air for a 6.5 hour non-stop to Reykjavik.  The seats on the 757 seems a bit more roomy than on most economy seats.  Like most flights these days, the flight was packed full making staying in my window seat for the entire flight, a sure thing.  Funny thing for me was the fact that we were chasing daylight the entire length of the flight – no sleep for these beat eyes.   I met Daniel at the airport and found arrived at the hotel some 45 minutes later where I crashed for a deep sleep.

20140726_164858-EditSamsung Note 2

Late afternoon, I found myself roaming around the hotel lobby, taking in everything that there was to offer.  The hotel is directly adjacent to the Kef airport so the sights and sounds of airport operations at a small regional airfield were a treat for former military pilot.  Then there were these funny looking guys carved out of wood looking at your just about everywhere.  Carved to look like they were fresh out of ice, I just had to take a snap.

20140727_194652-editSamsung Note 2

Cheers and happy photo’ing

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A last minute cancellation on my September photo safari to Tanzania has created an opening for a couple or two singles sharing. You can read about this safari here: http://randyhannaphotography.com/safari_sep_2014.htm

Contact Andrew at Thomson Safaris (1-800-235-0289) if you are interested in joining me on a killer memory making adventure.

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Cheers and happy photo’ing

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June Safari Update – Day 9 and 10
June 9 and 10, 2014

After an incredible day in the crater we left our camp on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater and headed for Gibbs Farm for our last night in Tanzania.  A lengthy tour through the organic farms and a wonderful presentation by a Maasai Healer who spoke of the traditional medicine ways that are still in use today, made for ending the safari on a very high note.  On the morning of the 10th we made our way to the Cultural Heritage and to the Shanga River House for our farewell lunch.

Before I close out this trip posting, I wanted to share with you a quick video from one of my safari clients, Jeff Paradiso.  Jeff and I had communicated a great deal before our safari and at the end of the day, we both said – what the heck…bring it.  What he brought was a quad copter drone mounted with a Hero camera.  Throughout the safari, we obtained some wonderful aerial imagery, so stay tuned for more from Jeff.

So if you have ever wondered what it looks like from above the canopy at the Ngorongoro Crater camp, have a look below as Jeff expertly pilots this aerial platform though a very narrow opening between two Acacia trees.  Thanks for a great look Jeff.

Cheers and all my best to all of my safari clients that joined me on this wonderful adventure to Tanzania.

Happy Photo’ing

June Safari Update – Day 8
June 8, 2014

Today was our full day in the Ngorongoro Crater. An early rise greeted us with heavy cloud and a misty decent into the floor of the crater. Not more than 10 minutes into the trip, we found four huge male lions and four females and an added bonus of a pair of young cubs. Although they were playing just out of camera range, it was a great sight to see. We continued along our way photographing the landscapes of the crater, as well as flamingos, zebras, jackals (golden and silver back), and Cape Buffalos. We worked hard to locate the rhinos however, they would not cooperate so we returned to camp for wonderful African dinner and an evening around the campfire. As a highlight, the kitchen staff baked a birthday cake for Jeff. What a surprised look he had on his face when he figured out what was going on.

_RWH1153-EditEarly morning storm in the Ngorongoro Crater.  Nikon D800, 24-70 @ 24mm

 

_DSC0821Nikon D4, 200-400mm f/4, @ 330mm; ISO 200, 1/250 sec at f/7.1.   B&W conversion in NIK Software.

Tomorrow, we are off the Gibbs Farm to end our safari on a very high note. With lots of activities planed for Gibbs, it will be a full day.

Cheers and happy photo’ing

Live Blogging from the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater made possible by XCOM GLOBAL International.

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June Safari Update – Day 7
June7, 2014

We broke camp today just as the sun started coming through the clouds. Our home for four nights, Robanda Camp and the wonderful staff, coupled with an incredible location and stunning views, was simply hard to leave.  Bidding our farewells to the staff, we were off to the Ngorongoro Crater and our next chapter of our safari.  Driving through the Serengeti, the Wildebeest population exploded all around us. With three days of heavy rains, we saw first hand, the explosion of fresh green grass shoots. Following a very dry spring, this was just what the animals needed.  We stopped briefly at Nobi Gate to take in a killer view of the endless plains of the Serengeti.  As we said so long to the Serengeti, we headed for an educational stop at Oldupai Gorge where we learned all about the archeological significance of this site.  After lunch we were off the the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater.  On the way to our camp, we paused at a local Maasai Village for a bit of an education on how the Maasai live.  At the end of the village visit, I gathered up several of the Maasai warriors as models for some instructions on field portraits.  Lessons that we covered at this location included how to keep the distant horizons from going directly through the head and or necks of the warriors as well as how to balance your exposures between the sky and the dark skin color of the warriors.

419C3022Randy giving Don some recommendations on framing the photograph.  Photo by Jeff Paradiso

After a wonderful meal at our campsite located on the rim of the crater, it was time for bed in prep for an early rise tomorrow as we explore the Ngorongoro Crater for the entire day.

Cheers and happy photo’ing

Live Blogging from the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater made possible by XCOM GLOBAL International.

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June Safari Update – Day 6
June 6, 2014

Having weathered two days of rain and two nights of heavy storms, the weather gave us a wonderful break today. Departing the camp, it was a wonderful sunrise with wildebeests everywhere. As we made our way to the Ikoma Gate, the animals were on the move to the areas that were freshly burnt (controlled burning) in hunt of fresh green growth that the rains will bring.

The clouds were simply incredible as we drove toward the central Serengeti. I borrowed an IR camera from Jeff and took a few landscapes along the way. Our treats today included more lions, another Cheetah, and on the way back to camp, two of the rigs photographed a number of lions with 12 cubs, all out in the open playing and having a great time.  At this point, we have given up counting our cat sightings -  too many to count.

I returned back to camp early so Jeff and I could use the drone to do some camp fly-bys and some overhead wildebeest shots for use in a future movie. More to follow on this effort, so keep an eye out.

Tomorrow it is a bit of a road trip as we head to the Ngorongoro Crater.

IMG_9991Canon EOS 50D (converted to IR), 24mm, ISO 400, 1/800 at f/8.0

Cheers and happy photo’ing

Live Blogging from the Serengeti made possible by XCOM GLOBAL International.

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June Safari Udpate – Day 5
June 5, 2014

Last night was filled with all of the sounds of Africa as Wildebeests, Zebra, Reed Bucks, Lions, and made their crazy noises all thru the night. I woke up about 0300 and made a quick audio recording of the racket. To top things off, we had one heck of a rain storm all through the night. The much needed rain and the wildebeests on the move made for an eventful night.  Give the file below a listen to get an idea of what we have been sleeping with…….I love it!

Soon after the sunrise, I did a quick primer on motion panning and we were off to photograph the running wildebeests just outside the camp. Jeff Paradiso took a great panning shot of a running wildebeest.

419C2060Shortly thereafter, we arrived at the Retemi Hippo Pool for some hippo shots. Funny thing, you just never know who you will meet at the hippo pool. Don ran into some folks from Gig Harbor and Fox Island, both not far from my home in Puyallup.

Following lunch we returned to camp for a discussion on digital assess management and Lightroom processing.

With another African rain storm heading our way, It will be getting a great night’s sleep.

Cheers and happy photo’ing.

Live Blogging from the Serengeti made possible by XCOM GLOBAL International.

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