Travel With Dee Ann : Testimonials
Dee Ann runs a high-quality, well-planned trip. Her attention to detail is amazing – from buying all the necessities for a picnic lunch to making sure every participant ends up with a map of where he’s been and the location of each photo shoot. The choices of routes, guest houses, and locations for photos are all top notch. Her planning includes getting to places at the best time of day for each location’s preferred lighting and crowd avoidance.
Dee Ann’s suggestions on what to pack and how to prepare for the variations in weather were very thorough. If you enjoy waterfalls, glaciers, icebergs, puffins, or stupendous scenery, this trip is certain to please. All of Dee Ann’s little personal touches make this a trip that we will always remember as special.
Using Haukur and Hadda as her Icelandic hosts gives the group access to some preferred photo locations and some wonderful food. They make you feel at home and welcome in their country – a far better experience than one could ever get on a tour bus or traveling solo. The group size on this tour is ideal – one van’s worth of people.
- RC & Donna P. (Iceland 2014)
Before signing up for this trip I knew very little about Iceland-but the images I had seen were both unusual and beautiful! So I wanted to see for myself. Having traveled with Dee Ann before I knew that I would have the opportunity to be in the right place at the right time to see this incredible country.
Dee Ann did not disappoint as she has assembled an amazing trip with all kinds of great photographic opportunities! In fact, Dee Ann works with a great local guide enabling us to experience several locations that were not on the ‘usual’ photographic tours of Iceland. Likewise, Dee Ann has a wonderful gift of ‘sweating the small stuff’! From the pre-trip information packets thru the final dinner, the attention to detail is terrific. This allows the participant to focus on photography and not worry about the next meal or accommodation. All in all a fantastic trip! Thank you!
- Ginny C. (Iceland 2014)
Bob and I loved the Iceland trip. We were surrounded by spectacular landscapes everywhere we went. It seemed that at all of our photo stops there was never enough time to capture all the photo opportunities. Dee Ann has created a truly remarkable itinerary of very special places. Being fond of animals, I especially enjoyed our 2 evenings with the puffins. After travelling to both Tanzania and Iceland with Dee Ann, I can say that I have never seen more carefully planned and executed trips. Dee Ann provided lots of information and helpful aids in advance of the trips so that I was fully prepared with everything I needed for both trips. It was easy to relax and enjoy the trip because Dee Ann took care of all the details of transportation, lodging and food. All we had to do was show up and have fun taking photos. I came home with a large number of amazing photos that I will treasure. I would highly recommend this trip to others.
- Bob and Lori H. (Iceland 2014)
I had the pleasure of participating in Dee Ann’s 2014 Tanzania photo safari. This trip was terrific! Dee Ann is meticulously organized and a relentlessly thoughtful (!) host. The guides were knowledgeable, friendly and a pleasure to be with. And, of course, there were lots of excellent photographic opportunities. I was delighted to experience a quite different slice of Africa than in my August trip to Kenya trip a couple years ago; the landscape was quite different due to the time of year; in key areas, especially in the Ngorongoro Crater, the land formations helped to create captivating backgrounds. Another huge difference from my Kenya trip: thanks to committed focus from Dee Ann and (especially) one of the guides, I succeeded in capturing excellent leopard images, which I had failed to do on that earlier trip.
The organization of this trip and the itinerary were top notch; Dee Ann’s many years of leading Tanzania trips and her strong commitment to sweating the details on our behalf was obvious and much appreciated. The advanced planning information and communication before trip were absolutely outstanding; the quality and volume of information provided in advance (with even more maps and brochures on our hotel beds during the trip!) was very welcome as well. Dee Ann was patient and thorough in responding to my pre-trip questions. Finally, I’ll note that I had the opportunity to shake the hand of the President of Tanzania at one of the camps; this was an unexpected and welcome bonus, but I doubt that Dee Ann can arrange for it to happen routinely!!
- Mark O. (Tanzania 2014)
This was a wonderful trip for us. It was our first trip to Iceland and Dee Ann's outstanding organization and attention to detail left us free to concentrate on photography. We were able to see many locations that were off the beaten track that we would never have been able to find traveling on our own. Whenever unforeseen circumstances interfered with the planned itinerary, as often happens when traveling, Dee Ann always had an alternative plan that allowed us to make the most of our time in Iceland. Since Dee Ann limits her groups to a small number, it was easy to be flexible and get to know the other participants. We thoroughly enjoyed our introduction to this spectacular country.
- Carol G. and Patrick P. (Iceland 2013)
I have taken dozens of trips in the last 30 years and I can’t recall a single trip that was as well organized and as well run as the Windows of Nature trip this past June/July 2013. Dee Ann Pederson left nothing to chance. She thought of everything and I mean everything. Her photo trips are limited to a small group and she always has a plan 'B' depending on the weather. Her Iceland trip will always bring fond memories, not to mention hundreds of great pictures.
- Gordon K. (Iceland 2013)
Mary and I have just returned from our second safari with Dee Ann, which turned out to be totally different from our 2011 safari in Tanzania. Why so different? We accompanied her on a magnificent photo tour of Iceland. It was a strenuous itinerary for us, as we are in our early seventies, but we persevered and thrived on the rugged landscape of the little island nation spawned from volcanic activity. Dee Ann’s attention to details, choices of guest houses, incomparable itinerary, and sensitivity to the comfort of the participants are all second to none.
For Dee Ann every challenge had a solution. Iceland’s weather can make photography difficult, but our preparation package, from Dee Ann, had all the answers: windproof rain suits for us, raincoats for our cameras and many other details too numerous to give here. Experiencing the Land of the Midnight Sun was thrilling, photographically rewarding, and culturally enriching. Nothing will top viewing the sun setting at 12:30 AM providing a glow across the landscape and illuminating a tiny white church, with a red roof, against the rugged seaside landscape. Wow!
But maybe the church wasn't the best photo opportunity. Maybe it was the waterfalls, the rhyolite mountains and thermal areas, the puffins, the icebergs calving into the bay, or the ice formations on the black sand beaches. Dee Ann continues to provide exceptional quality and value. Thanks again Dee Ann.
- Bill & Mary L. (Iceland 2013)
"This trip to Tanzania was nothing short of magical for me. Dee Ann clearly delights in sharing her passion for this country. She managed to organize everything beautifully to maximize our time to photograph and enjoy the splendors of this magnificent country. My experience was especially enhanced by Dee Ann's knowledge of the amazing and varied birdlife in Tanzania as I am an avid birder. She patiently addressed my need to identify and photograph many of the gorgeous birds we encountered. I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful tour."
"The variety and beauty of the birds in Northern Tanzania was one of the pleasant surprises of our safari, and our guides were very adept in spotting and identifying them for viewing and photography."
"Our safari experience was memorable and we long to return to Northern Tanzania --- vast and beautiful vistas, intimate landscapes of colorful grasses and wildflowers, an enticing variety of both elusive and abundant animals, both prey and predator in action and in repose, educational encounters with the Maasai people, and with ample opportunity to enjoy and photograph it all."
- Larry and Jeanie R.
"Trip of a lifetime-an often used phrase. But I can attest that traveling with Dee Ann to Tanzania was the trip of a lifetime! We experienced multiple highlights everyday! The abundance of animals, the lush parks, fantastic guides that were happy to share their incredible knowledge and skills with us, Dee Ann’s attention to detail and wonderful preparations allowed us to immerse ourselves in the magic of Tanzania. It was not only a trip of a lifetime-it was a gift! Thank you!"
- Ginny C. (Tanzania 2012)
"They say the 'devil is in the details'. Not true. The 'angel is in the details'. Dee Ann was the angel and this was the trip from heaven. It was my graduation gift to my daughter, and what a gift it was! Everything was perfect beginning to end. I was never concerned for my, or my daughter’s safety or well being. I have traveled a lot and have never experienced a trip as perfectly orchestrated as this one was. I will have a very hard time traveling with any other group after this experience. I will also have a hard time turning down any trip that Dee Ann sponsors. I learned more about photography on this trip than I have learned through many courses and over many years. Dee Ann was more than willing to help through every phase of photographic learning. Our guide, Nickson, had binocular eyes. It was amazing what he could spot, so we were able to see animals that most visitors never got to see. We experienced every animal we hoped to see and then some! He was also amazing in dealing with the local people, so we were able to photograph Maasai, local vendors and other people that most are shunned from photographing. My advice to anyone taking a journey with Windows of Nature: Bring everything on the packing list!"
- Debbie C. - Brick, New Jersey (Tanzania 2012)
"Sign me up for a return trip! Iceland was a photographer's dream where puffins posed high on a cliff, icebergs resisted the battering of waves, whales played hide and seek with an observation boat, and moss on ancient lava simply glowed with uncountable of shades of green. Icelandic horses with their long, flowing manes galloped gracefully in their journey from one green, grassy field to another as their alpha leader led them beside rural roads and melting glacier water-filled streams. Iceland goats and sheep laden with full coats of wool were abundant and sometimes posed reluctantly in grassy fields.
A golden plover posed, proudly sitting high on a rock, calling back and forth to an unseen mate. Arctic Terns hovered behind a ferry, keenly watching for fish to snatch. Great Skuas dive bombed a group of people in an attempt to drive them away from their offspring. Grey and white Fulmars caught the draft of the ferry and soared alongside with hardly a wing moving. A raucous Oystercatcher protested our invasion of its space by loudly calling out and flying over us. Gannets, the largest bird in Iceland flew at a safe distance from the whale watching boats, only briefly coming near enough to photograph them.
Numerous gulls were observed and photographed. Smaller birds made appearances from time to time. A snow bunting came close enough for me to get a photo of it for identification purposes. White Wagtails were abundant at the Hrifunes guesthouse where we stayed. The sparrow sized birds made a habit of showing up outside the picture window of the den just when I didn’t have my camera ready. Their nervous tail bobbing and shaking certainly gave inspiration to whoever named them. I was able to add some 21 birds to my life list.
Dee Ann Pederson was a sparkplug of energy and her drive for photographing scenes was infectious. I must admit she could stand driving wind and slight rain much better than I. She was patient with us non-professionals and easily let us choose just how and where we wanted to photograph.
Haukur, our native guide and professional photographer, took us to a number of locations where tourists rarely visit and we were visually rewarded with vistas of green, red, brown and black where ancient (and some fairly recent) volcanic eruptions, lava flows, and ash deposits having teamed up with wind and erosion shaped the landscape and where tall, lofty waterfalls cascaded from one pool to the next. There were a few places where we could have spent a whole day photographing in just one location.
Gifted with a great sense of humor, Haukur was the epitome of guide, van driver, photographic set-up artist and general ramrod of our outings. His heavy duty equipped van shook the daylights out of us a few times as we lumbered over rocky, pitted roads. There were a few times we crossed a swiftly flowing river and I think a few of us were wondering if we were going to end up pushed downstream and maybe having to wade back to civilization.
Our group was very diverse in age, photographic level, experience and background. The group number was ideal for such a tour. Even a couple more people would have made it harder to endure, though we would have accommodated any change as necessary."
- Paul & Carol G. (Iceland 2011)
"What a wonder-filled experience! Thank you Dee Ann and the 'fab four' guides for choreographing a truly magical dance, a dance rich in the beauty and wonder that is Tanzania. We reveled in the song of the earth with its landscapes and dance of light. We heard the symphony of the wildlife especially as we listened to their night melodies at the tent camp. Our hearts stirred with the music of Tanzania’s people and culture.
Everything was so well organized from transportation, to lodging, to meals, to a fantastic tent-camp experience, to day-to-day itineraries, to the freedom to 'go with the flow', to providing opportunities to share laughter, song and fun. The guides too were awesome in getting us to the happy surprises that filled each and every day.
Thank you Dee Ann for sharing your knowledge and passion for wildlife photography, for the land, for its people, and for their culture. You made this an unbelievably enriching, rewarding, fun and absolutely awesome magical dance."
- Kris M. (Tanzania 2012)
Windows of Nature and Dee Ann Pederson supplied a magnificent photo tour of Northern Tanzania. In fact there are not enough superlative adjectives to adequately describe even a single aspect of this trip. Mary and I agree that the itinerary was outstanding as was the attention to trip details, from baggage and transportation, to handling the little quirks that pop up almost daily. The food was excellent and all accommodations were totally beyond our expectations, especially the Serengeti Tent Camp. (Our family thought we were “roughing it.) The calendar timing of the safari was perfect, which enabled us to see and photograph all the major mammals singly and in groups. A completely unexpected pleasure, from a photographic point of view, was the abundance and variety of colorful birds. They weren’t always easy to photograph, but they were wonderful to see and observe. One of the great advantages of this type of safari was that we were with other photographers, which meant that everyone tolerated the waits for action. The unsung heroes of our group, our driver-naturalists, were able to see and locate animals and set us up for potential action. Then we waited and almost always were rewarded with excellent photo opportunities. Not only was this safari a series of terrific opportunities to photograph animals, but it was a very rich cultural experience too. We observed two very different African cultures, and spent time with each of them. One was largely Christian and centered around Arusha and some villages nearby. The other was the Maasai of the open savannah. This was a safari beyond our wildest expectations, and was more akin to a trip of a lifetime. We recommend this safari, and this trip organizer, Dee Ann Pederson, to anyone interested in experiencing the cultures and seeing the animals of Northern Tanzania. It is suitable for all levels of photographer, from point & shoot to professional. Wow, we want to do it again!
- Mary & Bill L.
We had the pleasure of being part of Dee Ann Pederson's 2011 Tanzania Photo Safari. As our first trip to Africa, it was more than we ever expected and we know that this is because of Dee Ann's many years of experience. She set up an itinerary that maximized photo opportunities and organized a group of superb guides that astonished us daily with their spotting skills and knowledge. Dee Ann's attention to detail was extraordinary making sure each guest's needs were addressed. Her selection of lodges and tent camp was also excellent assuring that we were comfortable throughout the trip. Outstanding!
- Ninette & Don - Hilo, Hawaii
Our 2010 trip was absolutely wonderful and Dee Ann took care of every detail even getting us hot water bottles in the tent camps. Dee Ann works closely with the safari guides getting us to the national parks, the game reserves, the Maasai Villages in great light. All the while we are being educated to the rich history, the impressive ethnic, racial and cultural diversity, and the stunning beauty that is Tanzania. I would not leave home without Dee Ann's skills, her enthusiasm, and her attention to anything that might make the trip beyond the ordinary and into the extraordinary.
- Nancy Rotenberg
"Beginning well over a year ago, meticulous planning on the part of Dee Ann Pederson, (Windows of Nature, wwwwindowsofnature.com), resulted in a tour designed for serious photographers. A seasoned African photographer, Dee Ann understood well what arrangements were necessary to make a successful and enjoyable photography trip. In any tour I always look first at the work of the photographer leading the trip-Dee Ann’s work is beautiful, intelligent and mature. She has work hanging in the Smithsonian and numerous publications. Her work with several Maasai Villages spoke to me of a photographer respectful of the culture and people she photographs. The fact that Dee Ann is generous, knowledgeable, funny, easy to be with and very kind would all come later."
- Pam L.
"The trip was absolutely fantastic! The best trip I have ever taken in my life. Every day was a new adventure and every moment was magical. The trip was so well thought out and so well run that all we had to do was focus on the photography."
- Nancy N.
"In February 2010, I had the pleasure of traveling to Tanzania with Dee Ann Pederson and Nancy Rotenberg for Nature's Dance I. What an experience! Each day was better than the last."
"We saw animals during what to us seemed incredible - things you see on Animal Planet- right before our eyes. Seeing animals do their thing was part of the reason for going on an African safari, but that aside, Dee Ann and Nancy made this a dream of a lifetime, truly a Nature's Dance. Their knowledge of the animals' behavior and suggestions on how to capture it in making an image were priceless."
"Oh, did I mention that each day, the only thing we had to think about was having fun while in the pursuit of yet another day's adventure? Dee Ann and Nancy had everything very well organized. I truly don't remembering having so much fun to the point of laughing out loud each day."
- Vita F.
"The experience of a private tent camp, complete in every detail from the book “Out of Africa”, was only the beginning of our incredible journey. To encounter the circle of life, beginning with the birth of a wildebeest and ending with the death of a baby wildebeest by cheetahs, in a land as vast, beautiful and at times equally as deadly, is a memory which will remain with me for life."
"Wonderful guides, bountiful birds (to say the least), the Serengeti filled with wildlife and our morning with the Maasai children and their families... what more could anyone ask? This Tanzania journey could not have been more perfect! Thank you Dee Ann for your exceptional ability to plan the details of trip as wonderful as this one was. I look forward to returning to Africa with you."
- Sylvia D.