Like my other “home away from home” of Alaska, Tanzania brings me to the core of my being. I’ve found no other place on earth where life holds together so visibly with the unity I experience here. The land, the vegetation, the wildlife, the weather, my Tanzania family of friends and of course, its beautiful native cultures – all woven together in a gorgeous tapestry of life, almost a showplace of “what’s possible” for life on earth.
I’ve been coming here each year for over a decade and although no two trips are the same, all of my experiences here are inextricably significant in my life as I embrace ever moment of the golden savannahs, lush woodlands, semi-arid plains and pastoral lifestyle and culture of the Maasai. The blessing that come with being able to return to a place like this again and again is the realization each time that I can be open to feel, sense and see so much more deeply and beyond the wildlife and culture, but how it all connects.
With all the traveling I do challenging myself to see things differently and capture this in my images gives me a renewed energy with my passion of photography. So this year, I shared this challenge and endeavor with the two special groups of clients I had travel with me on this year’s photo safaris in June / July over my seven week pilgrimage in Tanzania. Yes, seven indelible weeks and No, I was still not ready to go home at the end.
Seeing Deeply – Looking Beyond: Each evening at dinner I gave each client a card with the following day’s theme to encourage an even deeper vision of what they could be enlightened to see as they photographed. At the end of each day over dinner I kept a journal of each client’s safari highlight of the day along with the photo they felt captured their ‘Seeing Deeply” theme. Our guides are also such incredible contributors to our days, I invite them to join us for dinners and share their highlight of the day to engage them even more deeply.
Encompassing Themes such as:
Texture: Focus on “feel” of things as well as the three dimensionality.
Mood: Mood is what we feel, not what you see…see if you can photograph the essence of the feeling.
Empty Space: We commonly photograph “positive” space; instead, try capturing “negative” or empty space.
Serengeti, Ndutu, Arusha, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro… the splendor always abound in these larger-than-life places, but seeing these places differently opens up boundless experiences and is one of the reasons I love sharing Tanzania with those who travel with me, with an even greater gratitude for those who have found their own passion and love for this land and have returned to travel with me on safari in Tanzania.
I hope you will enjoy some of your own “Seeing Deeply” moments in the images from Tanzania 2012, truly Africa’s Tapestry.