8-Day Wild Serengeti Adventure Photography Workshop in Tanzania!
If you would like to continue on to Kenya with us, click here.
Wild Serengeti Photography Workshop in Tanzania
Join Aperture Academy Professional Photographers Scott Donschikowski and Stephen Oachs as they invite you to explore and photograph within some of the best wildlife reserves and parks Tanzania has to offer, with special emphasis on Serengeti National Park. Aperture Academy has put together an ultimate wildlife photography and post-processing instruction workshop for photographers serious about getting the best possible wildlife images.
For the wildlife photographer, few places on the planet compare to Africa. And in Africa, the Serengeti ecosystem is perhaps the most famous wildlife sanctuary in the world. There's a reason for this well deserved fame. With its seemingly endless grass savannahs, acacia studded landscapes, well-developed park infra-structure, upscale accommodations and most importantly, the sheer abundance of wild animals found with relative ease, wildlife photographers are virtually guaranteed an amazing portfolio of images.
Written words do little to adequately describe the grandeur but suffice to say, Africa and its raw untamed beauty will stay with you long after you return home, and most likely inspire you to figure out when your next visit will occur. Just ask anyone who's been with us.
Tour Leaders and professional nature photographers Scott Donschikowski and Stephen Oachs have designed a comprehensive itinerary that allows extensive time in the field at two of their favorite wildlife parks in Tanzania. Each park has its own unique ecosystem and as a result, different landscapes and assemblages of animals. Most importantly, all the parks we visit provide unparalleled wildlife photography opportunities.
Whether you're an avid birder, a big cat lover looking for the perfect lion shot, or in search of the "Big 5," Tanzania and its world-class parks provide ample opportunities for the photographer with a taste for refined adventure.
Tanzania is a large and varied country. To get a good sense of this diversity, we will be visiting three of the most outstanding as well as our favorite wildlife parks. Each is unique and together help represent the amazing diversity found in Tanzania.
- Day 1 - Depart USA.
- Day 2 - Arrive JRO, (Kilimanjaro International Airport) meet and greet at the airport and transfer to Lake Duluti lodge for overnight.
- Day 3 - Drive to Tarangire with evening game drive and overnight at Ndovu Camp.
- Day 4 - Morning and evening game drives, with overnight at Ndovu Camp.
- Day 5 - Explore Tarangire with morning and evening game drives, with overnight at Ndovu Camp.
- Day 6 - Early morning game drive, and back to camp for a full breakfast/check-out. Proceed to Ngorongoro conservation area, arriving in time for lunch. We'll then visit the Maasai cultural village, with an overnight at Ngorongoro Serena Lodge.
- Day 7 - Morning and afternoon game drives, overnight at Ngorongoro Serena Lodge.
- Day 8 - Breakfast depart for Arusha. Day room Deluti Lodge. Airport transfer. (If you will be continuing on to Kenya with us, you will stay overnight at the Lake Duluti Lodge)
If you would like to continue on to Kenya with us, click here.
A Final Note.
We have personally put together an African Wildlife Photo Tour designed with the specific needs of the serious photographer in mind. Stephen and Scott are highly experienced wildlife photographers and tour leaders and are intimately familiar with the often-complex logistics associated with travel in Africa. Working in conjunction with trusted local operators and outstanding guides who have a proven history of success, we have assembled a cohesive team that we believe surpasses the other options that are available to the discerning client. Utilizing in-field shooting techniques and suggestions, and in-depth Photoshop and Lightroom discussion, tips and techniques, we seek to elevate your photography to the next level. Through personal service and attention to detail, our ultimate goal is to provide you with an experience that ensures not only a trip of a lifetime, but also one that allows you to capture the best wildlife images possible.
Travel and Lodging
For this wildlife photography safari, we have chosen to create a wonderful atmosphere reminiscent of Karen Blixen's "Out of Africa" days and the Golden Age of Exploration, long before large tourist lodges and hotels came upon the scene. For many, Africa is a once in a lifetime destination and we feel to truly experience life on the Serengeti, one must experience its sights, sounds, and smells at the grass level, literally. For this reason we will be staying almost exclusively in private upscale tented camps.
Our camps are chosen for a combination of their strategic and beautiful locations, extreme privacy, easy access to wildlife assemblages as well as for their luxurious standards. But fear not if you think camping in the bush might not be your cup of tea. Just because we are spending our time out in the bush doesn't mean we have to rough it. Far from it as Tanzania has taken bush camping to a high art form. Our sublime tented camps are first class and have a range of modern conveniences.
A word of clarification regarding the tent camps: these are not the standard tents you grew up with while on family vacations. Perhaps the only similarity is that they are made of canvas but that's where it stops. The interiors are impeccably clean and huge with plenty of room. Ceilings are over 7 feet in height. One sleeps in a large full-sized bed with fresh linens. Each tent has its own private bathroom with toilet and hot water shower, and solar charged lights.
A short walk to the main dining and social tent with its comfy couches, throw pillows, and tasty snacks provides a relaxing oasis to convene over a freshly prepared cocktail, glass of wine or any of drink of your choice. Gathering around the warm evening campfire sharing the day's events is a time-honored tradition. Scrumptious meals are prepared by expert chefs and served in a fine dining type atmosphere. Following a full day of shooting, within the confines of your luxury tent relaxing in a toasty warm bed while listening to the wild sounds of the savannah under a clear starlit night is an experience that comes close to true bliss.
As photographers, we cringe every time we see a photo safari vehicle loaded with multiple passengers per row attempting to get good shots of wildlife. Nothing could be more frustrating than sharing your row of seats with someone else while the action is happening on the other side of the vehicle. Either you have to routinely switch places with your seat mates to snap off a few shots or you sit and helplessly watch the action take place, unable to get in a position to get the image. Talk about a maddening exercise in frustration!
For this reason, we limit our client numbers to allow every shooter his or her own row of seating every time we go out to photograph. Not only does this allow ample room to spread out all your needed equipment for easy access but it allows you the freedom to quickly change positions should the action change position.
The vehicles we use are all stretch Land Cruisers with 7 window seats, but we will only be placing 3 participants per vehicle. They are rigorously maintained, inspected, cleaned, and tested before and after every safari. All vehicles are equipped with 2 spare tires, camera battery charging outlets, a First Aid kit, and a radio to communicate with each other, the main office, park rangers, base camp, Flying Doctors, and the Tanzanian police. They are spacious, comfortable vehicles capable of challenging off-road terrain while large enough to provide an ideal mobile photo platform.
What to Expect
A word of warning: This photo workshop is not for the person interested in frantically rushing around from spot to spot grabbing as many "happy snaps" of animals as they can, but rather, it is designed with the serious photographer in mind in search of award-winning images. This is a photo safari designed by photographers for photographers.
Along with Stephen and Scott, you will be guided by highly experienced local wildlife guides who know the parks and the animal behavior like the back of their hands. Working with them, our goal is to put you in the optimum spot for getting the perfect shot and this can often take time. You will also be among other like-minded photographers who are willing to patiently wait for those unique moments that make the difference between a mere snap-shot and a great image.
Great effort will be made to help ensure we are shooting our subject matter from the best angles with the best light possible. Patience and maximum time in the field is necessary. Of course, individuals will always have the option of bypassing the daily game drives, perhaps choosing to sleep in followed by a leisurely breakfast, or simply choosing to spend the afternoon reading a book or writing in their journal while viewing the sweeping African savannahs from the comfort of their well appointed tented camp. However, our primary goal is to get amazing images that you'll be proud to have in your portfolio, and that requires starting our days well before sunrise.
During mid-day sun when the animals tend to take their naps, we'll return to our base for a lunch break where you are free to choose a variety of options including siesta time, downloading of images, image review and critiques, Photoshop and Lightroom lecture and teaching sessions before continuing again with our afternoon game drives. We will stay out until sunset thus ensuring we are out during the best light of day. There will be ample freedom to deviate from this schedule if we come upon an event in the making while in the field, such as a cheetah or lion hunt in progress.
→ Group Size
We have designed this trip with superb comfort and quality in mind. For these reasons, we have purposely limited this trip to only 10 photographers and 2 instructors (3 persons per vehicle). Having a small group allows us to be highly efficient while ensuring personal attention and the ultimate intimate safari experience. An added benefit to having multiple vehicles is that it greatly increases our ability to locate and photograph elusive subject matter. These parks are huge and though the wildlife is abundant, it can also be spread out over large distances, especially the prime subject matter like hunting events. Our strategy will be to fan out thereby increasing our search radius but staying close enough to quickly respond to radio communication if one vehicle happens upon a special or rare event i.e., lion hunt or feeding, leopard sighting, cheetahs with cubs, etc. From experience, we know that having multiple vehicles spread out with numerous sets of eyes searching is far better than a single group closely clumped together. Afterall, this once in a lifetime trip is about getting amazing images!!
→ Price Per Person (based on double occupancy)
Photographer Price: $7,495
(Single Supplement Charge, add $1,800)
Price includes: Luxury Accommodations (single room supplement is an additional fee), all meals, all park fees, all game drives, water on the game drives, Photography, Photoshop and Lightroom Instruction, transportation costs while in-country, Serengeti charter flight back to Arusha, and all local guides and drivers.
Price does not include: International Airfare to/from Arusha (Kilimanjaro International Airport), optional activities such as local village photo excursions, alcoholic beverages, driver, local guide and instructor gratuities, additional days beyond trip dates, trip and medical evacuation insurance, and your Tanzania Visa.
Payment Schedule: To secure your spot, a non-refundable deposit of $2,000 is required.
→ Getting to Africa
A wide variety of national and international airlines are available that regularly fly into Arusha, TZ. Examples include: KLM, United Airlines, Continental Airlines, Lufthansa, British Airways, US Airways, Virgin America, Emirates Airlines, Swiss International and Iberia. It is best to compare the flights and pick one that best suits your individual preferences or if applicable, accepts your personal mileage credits if you're interested in cashing in frequent flyer miles.
Depending on how far in advance you purchase your tickets and which carrier, ticket prices from San Francisco are ranging from $2,000 on up (at the time of this posting (September 2015); always check for current prices).
Flight durations from the west coast of the US range from 20 hours on up depending on carriers plus connecting time so plan accordingly in order to arrive on the scheduled safari Arusha departure date.
Also of note, each airline tends to have specific baggage allowances. We personally like KLM Royal Dutch Airlines due to their relatively generous baggage allowance policy (as of this writing on September 9, 2015, 2 bags per person are included in the ticket price). Additionally, there is an approximate 8-hour layover in Amsterdam, which breaks up the flight nicely and allows a brief exploration of this fascinating city if you so choose. There are lockable storage lockers at the airport to secure your bags and gear while you explore, and a short train ride from the Amsterdam Airport drops you off in the city center from where walking and water ferries can get you to many places of interest.
→ Visa Requirements
Currently, for US citizens arriving in Tanzania, a travel Visa is required. As of this writing (September 9, 2015), a single Visa is $100. Visas currently can be purchased on arrival into Arusha or secured through the Tanzanian Embassy in Washington DC before trip departure. If securing your Visa before US departure, we would recommend doing so at least 2-3 months in advance to avoid any unforeseen delays. If not a US citizen, please contact the Tanzania Embassy to determine your specific requirements. For more information on Visa requirements, go to:
→ Vaccination and Medicine Recommendations
We recommend you contact your travel physician or health care provider for the most up to date recommendations. More information can be found at: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/tanzania.htm
Meet Our Workshop Master Instructors...
Meet our master instructors and learn what qualifies them to give you a great experience during your workshops! While you're joining us, you will receive comprehensive digital photography instruction and tutoring by our team of award-winning photographers.
→ Scott Donschikowski
Scott Donschikowski is a professional photographer, speaker and instructor of photographic arts and digital darkroom techniques. He is a master of the digital workflow, is an Adobe Certified Expert and has taught and lectured all over California about the benefits of becoming proficient in the digital darkroom.
Scott is a versatile photographer, specializing in architecture, lifestyle and landscapes but also having completed work in weddings, editorials, events and product photography. He has worked extensively covering events for the City of San Jose and has contracted his work out to a number of local businesses providing them with his own unique style of photographic imagery.
A tech geek at heart, when Scott is not out taking pictures in his native California, he spends his time writing for numerous blogs, maintaining several websites, reviewing photography gear, and refining his digital darkroom craft. He is also an avid astrophotographer and when the available light runs out, he brings out his telescope and captures images of the heavens above.
Note: In the event a scheduled instructor for a particular workshop is unavailable, a replacement instructor will be scheduled.
While we make every effort, there is no guarantee that the assigned instructors for a scheduled workshop will be present.
→ To get the most out of your images, a good quality DSLR or Mirrorless Camera is strongly encouraged. Simple point-and-shoot cameras will often result in frustration and disappointment.
What camera equipment should I bring?
To maximize your ability to get frame-filling wildlife images, a high magnification big lens is strongly recommended (400-600mm). If you do not own one, we can recommend companies such as www.borrowlenses.com that offer lens rentals at reasonable prices.
Mid range lenses (70-200mm) for close distance wildlife and wide angle (20-24mm) for landscapes and environmental portraits are also recommended as a wide variety of subject matter will be presented to us on a daily basis. Shooting will be done from safari vehicles so a tripod is not necissary. Multiple camera beanbags can be helpful as they can be strategically placed on the safari vehicle hard surfaces when shooting. They help provide a stable platform when shooting with a big lens, as well as protect both the lens and vehicle from scratches. A minimum of one beanbag is recommended.
Do not pack beans, as we will purchase beans once in Arusha for those that bring camera beanbags. Bring plenty of camera batteries - it's not uncommon to shoot 500 or more shots on a single game drive if the action is really good. Bring plenty of camera memory cards as you might be surprised how many images you shoot if a successful hunt is going down. We will typically bring a card wallet with about 75GB worth of cards for the day. Bring plenty of digital storage devices, because today's high-res cameras eat up memory.
If you are heavy on the trigger finger, have a high-resolution camera and shoot in RAW mode, a minimum 500GB external hard drive is not a bad idea. Better to have room left over than not enough storage. Bringing multiple storage units for backup is recommended. (Would hate to have a hard drive fail and lose a trip's worth of images!) Bring camera and sensor cleaning products. Things can get very dusty and dust on the lenses and sensors is common, especially if you are changing lenses out in the field. A strobe is not necessary, but feel free to bring it if you really want to. Bring the usual suspects, battery chargers, lens cleaning cloths, dust blowers, etc.
A laptop is critical if you wish to view, edit and process, not to mention take advantage of the Photoshop and Lightroom instruction offered.
Need Gear? Visit BorrowLenses for a special package designed specifically for Aperture Academy students for this workshop.
→ In Tanzania, any time of the day has potential, but in general, we will be waking and departing on daily game drives before sunrise, returning to base during the mid-day, and then heading out again in the late afternoon till sunset to take advantage of the prime viewing hours and best light. On some occasions, if we come upon a photo scenario that takes us into the mid-day hours, we will make vehicle arrangements for those who wish to stay and continue photographing and for those who wish to head back to camp. Ultimately, our goal is to put you in the best possible position to capture the best images, so some flexibility with the daily schedule is necessary and available.
When will we be shooting?
→ It's kind of a mix. We do expect you to be familiar with the basic settings of your camera because you don't want to be figuring out basic exposure while a lion pride is bringing down a zebra in front of you - that would probably not be the best situation for getting the "shot," nor for learning. Our instructors will be available in the field with suggestions about exposure, composition and technique; but in general, it's best to come with a working knowledge of your camera gear. If you're unsure, we highly recommend you sign up for one of our intro zoo wildlife workshops prior to taking this trip. Back at camp though, we have options that are more of a classroom format where we focus specifically on Photoshop and Lightroom post-processing techniques to bring out the most in your images.
Is this a tour or a workshop?
→ The food is plentiful, nutritious and delicious. Meals usually consist of a starter of home-made soup or salads, a main course of chicken, fish, beef or pork, and a desert. Fresh fruits and vegetables are abundant and safe to eat. There is a Swahili influence to many dishes as well as Indian and Asian influences. We require food preferences and allergies for each client so that we can adjust menus accordingly.
What kind of food will we be eating?
→ No, you don't. However, tour price is based on double occupancy, so we will place you with other solo travelers of the same sex. However, if you prefer your own room, we can make arrangements for single accommodations for a supplemental charge.
I plan on travelling alone. Do I need to bring someone?
→ All accommodations are beautiful, safe, luxury-oriented first class offerings. We will be staying at a combination of upscale safari lodges and luxury tented camps depending on which park we are at. All are located in gorgeous locations that minimize drive times and maximize wildlife viewing opportunities. All rooms (including tents) have private bathrooms with flush toilets and hot water showers, power outlets, solar-powered lights, and comfortable beds with fresh linens.
What kind of accommodations will we be staying at?
→ As photographers, we cringe every time we see a photo safari vehicle loaded with multiple passengers per row attempting to get good shots of wildlife. Nothing could be more frustrating than sharing your row of seats with someone else while the action is happening on the other side of the vehicle. Either you have to routinely switch places with your seat mates to snap off a few shots or you sit and helplessly watch the action take place, unable to get in a position to get the image. Talk about a maddening exercise in frustration! For this reason, we limit our client numbers to allow every shooter his or her own row of seating every time we go out to photograph. Not only does this allow ample room to spread out all your needed equipment for easy access, but it allows you the freedom to quickly change positions should the action change position. The vehicles we use are rugged and highly reliable late model Land Cruisers (no mini-buses) with an open air top to allow unconstrained shooting. They are rigorously maintained, inspected, cleaned, and tested before and after every safari. They are spacious, comfortable vehicles capable of challenging off-road terrain, while large enough to provide an ideal mobile photo platform.
What are the vehicles and seating arrangements like?
→ Yes. We've designed this trip for serious photographers. As part of that design, we ensure that each person signed up as a photographer has their own complete seat row (unless they want to share it with someone, like their spouse). Having a row all to yourself allows full freedom of movement when shooting and maximum space to lay out your equipment. For many on this tour, it's a trip of a lifetime. Sharing seat rows with other photographers can be very frustrating, not to mention detrimental when trying to get the "shot." Yes, the price does increase to have this bit of luxury, but once you have the freedom to quickly move from one side of the vehicle to the other without sacrificing your shooting or someone else's, it's an enthusiastically embraced benefit. For people that are mainly interested in joining the tour but not shooting, the front passenger seat in each Land Crusier is available. It's a very comfortable vantage point with great viewing out the front window and side window, but it is limited to the side passenger window as a photo spot, so not ideal if your main priority is photography.
I'm bringing a lot of camera gear. How much space is in the Land Cruiser for me and my gear? Do I get my own row?
→ The short answer is yes. Contact your travel physician for information regarding vaccinations and other health protocol. Plan well ahead for this, as vaccinations and some other protocols are ineffective if started the day before the trip.
Do I need vaccinations or medications when visiting Tanzania?
→ Yes, if you are a US citizen, you will need to apply for a tourist visa and have a valid US Passport. It is best to take care of this paperwork as soon as possible (at least three months prior to trip) to avoid any unforeseen delays. Please check your government's requirements if you are non-US citizen.
Do I need a Passport and Visa to visit Tanzania?
→ Plan on dressing in layers. Although we are in equatorial Africa, due to elevation and other factors, temperature swings are the norm. Mornings can be quite chilly (low to mid 50's) especially when driving with the top open in the pre-sunrise hours, so a jacket, long pants, cap and light gloves are recommended. Late morning, mid-day and afternoons can be very warm, so it's nice to be able to shed layers. Evenings are often pleasant and a perfect temperature to sit outside and enjoy a relaxing evening under the stars. Plan on bringing a hat and plenty of sunscreen to protect you from the equatorial sun. Without protection, you could find yourself with a very uncomfortable burn. There are chances for afternoon rain storms, so a light rain jacket is recommended. We typically continue shooting during the storms, as animal activity is often increased with the cooler temps an afternoon shower brings across the savannaas, and that coupled with dramatic stormy skies can lead to great photo opportunities.
What will the weather be like?
→ YES! We recommend purchasing travel insurance to cover any non-refundable registration fees, travel, lodging, equipment rental or any other related expenses.
Do you recommend trip insurance?
→ Always feel free to contact us here at the Studio. We'll do our best to answer all your questions.
I've got a bunch of little questions. Who should I contact?
Workshop Price and Deposit
The workshop fee is $7,495. A $2,000 non-refundable deposit is required to secure your space. On February 1st, 2018, 50% of the remaining balance will be due. The remaining balance is due in full on or before April 1st, 2018. Due to the exclusivity of this trip, and the limited number of seats available, refunds are as follows:
- 100% refundable: 150 days (five months) or greater (not including deposit)
- 50% refundable: 149-121 days (not including deposit)
- No refund within 120 days or less of the start date
- Seats are transferrable
Please Note: Returning student discounts are not applicable to Sojourn Series workshops.
What is/isn't included?
The workshop/tour price includes:
- Lodging single supplement, add $1,800
- All in-country transportation
- All in-country airport transfers
- Park fees
- Water on game drives
The workshop/tour price DOES NOT include:
- Transportation to/from Africa
- Soda and Alcoholic beverages
- Driver/local staff gratuities
- Instructor gratuities
- Travel insurance
- Tanzania Visa
- Additional/optional excursions such as cultural village visits, etc.
Photos and Comments from Past Africa Workshops
While on a photo workshop, one of the photographers shared some photos he had taken in Africa and it fueled my desire to go. I called Monique at Aperture Academy thinking I might go in 2019, but she said they had one spot still open for August 2018 and as it was a smaller group I decided to go. Little did I know that it would be truly the trip of a lifetime. One of the reasons was I knew the instructor, Scott Donschikowski, and you can count on Scott for the best one on one instruction when you need it and to have scouted out the very best places and times to get the perfect photos. For instance, I was having trouble getting sharp focused shots with my 150-600mm lens and Scott taught me something completely new to me that really saved the day. I guess it’s known as ISO priority, but I had never heard of it.
Another aspect of the trip to make it memorable was that the weather was fantastic! I was expecting hot muggy days with lots of bugs day and night. The days and nights were cool and dry and I didn’t see a mosquito the entire time.
Add to this, great accommodations and food and you get a 5 star workshop with thousands of incredible photos to take home.
The memories of this trip will last a lifetime and all I can say was it was worth every penny!
We had a wonderful experience on the Kenya safari and I came away with some terrific photos, which was my primary objective. Stephen and Scott went out of their way to insure that everyone felt welcome. The trip was extremely well organized, the accommodations were first rate and the group was compatible. The drivers (from Odyssey) were remarkable in their ability to find the animals. Having only one photographer per row is the only way to go; we felt sorry for some of the other groups with six or more crammed into one vehicle. I would recommend the trip to anyone interested in photographing African wildlife.
Hats off to Stephen and Ellie! I did the Costa Rica workshop with Aperture Academy last year so I knew I would be in good hands. The accommodations, the tour guides, and the game drives were all more than I expected. It was truly a blessing and an awesome experience for me. It is something that I would definitely like to do again.
The trip was an experiace of a lifetime. The trip was well organized and executed flawlessly by the ground crew and the Aperture Academy team. I am a fan and will deffinately do another trip in the future. Also, I was very impressed by how patient Ellie and Stephen were with the group. Their photography knowledge and guidance were greatly appreciated. Finally I made some great new friends during the trip, it was great getting to know each of you.
Stephen and Ellie, Such heartfelt thanks for the amazing time we had. The team you have for this sojourn is top notch.
The tips and tricks you taught, the experience of being in Africa. I appreciated that you had a relationship with the folks we visited at the lodges, shows the respect that they also have for you.
I would recommend this adventure to anyone in the future.
Ted and Nadine Said...
Whether you were an avid photographer or joining the group for the Safari alone, the trip was fantastic. Keeping the group size small for each vehicle was key to being able to move around and always have a great shot.
The drivers delivered fantastic viewing opportunities as well as answering many questions regarding the local wildlife and culture. In addition they all had a great sense of humor and were a lot of fun!
Stephen and Ellie kept the trip on schedule and moving along while helping all of us with various photography techniques and answering questions.
Moving to different locations not only offered great and diverse wildlife viewing opportunities but gave the traveler a taste of the different areas and accommodations. Each of the accommodations were excellent and had their own special ambience.
We rate this trip a 10/10 and recommend it without hesitation.
Stephen, Ellie, all the crew of Aperture Academy …Thank you for our wonderful adventure - Asante Sana!!!
Calling this workshop "the adventure of a lifetime" would be an understatement. I knew it was going to be a special vacation but the trip has far exceeded my expectations in my wildest dreams. It felt like I was hired by National Geographic or BBC to shoot a documentary. I could not believe how many different animals we have seen in so many different settings and environments. I learned so much about wild life photography as well as the animals of East Africa and the amazing people who live there.
I had an incredible time all thanks to you. I can't wait to go on many more trips like this with you in the future as well!
I have had the good fortune to travel to Africa on multiple occasions. As such I am aware of the many details that separate a great African experience from just a good one. When you treat yourself to the Aperture Academy African Workshop, you are treating yourself to an experience where every possible detail has been thoroughly planned through the eyes of a photographer. Best parks & the best camps with terrific wildlife opportunities. And while photography is what it is all about, great care has also been taken to make sure that accommodations are also distinctive and luxurious. Finally the greatest detail that makes this trip a must is the opportunity to shoot side by side with Stephen and Scott. Their guidance during the many game drives inspired me to capture images with great dimension that I am very proud of.
They say that a trip to Africa is a trip of a lifetime. I guarantee that when you treat yourself to the African Workshop, you will start planning your next African adventure as soon as your plane returns to the States.
From one with extreme expectations and who has filled her passport, my African Wildlife Photography Safari with Aperture Academy and Odyssey Safaris now ranks #1 as the best experience of my life. Biking the Pyrenees during Le Tour de France, driving 300+ head of cattle in Montana, sailing the BVI, or watching the sun rise at Machu Picchu have just been stripped of their greatness.
Let's be clear...you can sign up for extravagant and lavish safaris with many companies. However, luxury combined with learning and practicing simple to complex aspects of photography with professional photographers, creates the ultimate experience.
During our last official banquet (that would have bequeathed royalty), we were asked to explain our experiences. Dozens of compliments were given, yet after a pause, I said that I'd cried. I cried out of happiness...something I hadn't experienced for years. Thank you, Stephen and Scott, for organizing a trip that instrumentally changed my life.
Thank you Aperture Academy!
This workshop is going to be hard to top considering how perfect the whole operation was from start to finish, how full of adrenalin rush every day was from dawn to dusk and how amazing the group was from beginner to semi-pro. You guys changed the way I look at vacations and allowed me to grow in leaps and bounds in how I use my camera and express myself in pictures I take with it. A heartfelt thank you for your dedication and love of the art!
Astrid and Rory Said...
Aperture Academy did an outstanding job in making this trip truely a trip of a lifetime and I'm confident to say that everyone in the group feels that way. The choice of accomodation, the drivers, as well as the ability to adjust to each individuals need was impressive. With the help of Stephen's and Scott's patience and teaching skills, and combined with a lot of fun, everyone improved their photography skills independant of their starting level.
Tom and Nancy Said...
Nancy and I always wanted to visit Africa and photograph wildlife, but we were a little apprehensive in visiting a remote and strange country. Our experiences traveling with you and your team surpassed our every expectation. The accommodations were first class, the outfitters and guides were outstanding, the small group of other photographers were so much fun and I can't tell you how great it is traveling with a group of folks that all share the same passion for photography and nature. For me the outstanding part of the trip was the outcome, memorable images and photographic instruction and extensive one on one tutoring by two world-class photographers, Stephen and Scott.
Because of Aperture Academy's professionalism and attention to detail I was allowed to experience Africa in a way that most people can only dream of. Hands down the best vacation I have ever had. Every day our group said how can this trip get any better and to our amazement the next day it did.
Thank you again for such a wonderful experience! I look forward to more workshops in the future.