Last week, I was in Zimbabwe for work. The most perfect weather in the world happens during springtime in Southern Africa. It's dry and warm, with cool breezes in the evenings. You'd be crazy not to keep your windows open all day and night.
The best part? Jacarandas. My first photography blog was named after them, because I AM OBSESSED. Blinding purple, day after day, all through October.
Over the weekend, I drove just 90 minutes outside of Harare to a small nature reserve to see some animals.
Okay, work travel might be exhausting (and I always miss my family when I'm gone), but I get to see so many cool things. I was glad I brought my big camera all the way to Zimbabwe, even if I only had 2 lenses with me: the 85mm 1.8 and 24mm 1.4. A longer lens would have been nice on safari, but in a way, it forced me to get a bit more creative, and to wait patiently for shots I could actually get. When I saw the first giraffe (my favorite), I was snapping away until I realized it was just too far away to be an interesting shot (not to mention, the fact that it was standing in front of distracting tree branches--don't these animals understand the importance of the rules of composition?). The next time a giraffe appeared, I watched it walk towards us across the plain for about ten minutes before I lifted my camera.
It was the first time I'd been on a game drive with my professional camera. And, due to the lack of a longer lens, it was also the first time I relaxed, enjoyed and took fewer photos. Well, except for the moment I saw a zebra kick another zebra with his hind legs. I sat there with my camera to my face set to a fast shutter speed, ready for the next time he did it.
If you're fortunate enough to book a safari, I highly recommend limiting yourself to one lens for at least one of your game drives. Sitting there, enjoying nature, watching the animals without worrying about "getting every shot"--it was the most enjoyable safari I've ever had.