This passed week it was my turn to take over the Discover Zambia Instagram feed. Discover Zambia (Go follow> @discoverzambia) is a page sharing photos of Zambia’s most beautiful and interesting locations as well as of luxury lodges in and around our national parks (and more). During the take-over a variety of photographers, both local and international, get to share their best photos from all over the country. It was a very diverse group this year, both in terms of background and style which resulted in an interesting few weeks (it’s still ongoing). If I was going for the likes I would have shared my photos from our trips to Kafue national park, Samfya beach and the bat migration in Kasanka national park for example. But I decided to go my own way and share a more messy and less pristine side of Zambia, showing the hustle and bustle on the streets of Kabwe. It was fun to have the opportunity to show my photos to a larger audience, I hope people appreciated seeing a less polished but just as authentic side of this amazing country!
I currently have a promotion running for family photos, just for clients in and around my home town Kabwe. As Zambia never went in to full lock down some businesses have been able to continue but nobody have been spared from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s been devastating for photographers and others in the event industry. Most weddings and bigger events have been postponed or even cancelled. With some going ahead in a scaled down version. So to keep myself in the loop I decided to aim for the local market, going for the family shoots as these can be carried out under current circumstances. Kabwe is in many ways a small town and I thought to use this promotion to make people aware of my existence. Here are a few samples of my most recent work:
My promotion is running until end of August, only K400 for 10 softcopies – book now on 0977554405
Last weekend we managed to get ourselves out on a three nights stay in the Kafue National Park, Zambia’s largest reserve and one of the largest in Africa. We had booked in at Mayukuyuku Camp site which sits right on the Kafue river about 8 km off the main road. The camp site is very basic and in need of a little TLC. You pay 20$ pppn (plus park fees) to have access to a flushing toilet and hot water in a grass walled ablution block. The site however is very beautifully situated on a rocky bend in the river. Once the tent was up the boys were quick to set their rods to have a go with fishing, we walked just a stone throw from the tent where my youngest spotted a crock a few metres away, sun basking on a rock. And at the spot the boys wanted to fish we found foot prints of lion! We sure were reminded that we are not on top of the food chain.
Day two we crossed over the river in to the main body of the park, we spent over three hours spotting the odd bush pig and warthog, water buck and too many impalas to count and elephants either in the distance or in the thicket. As we were starting to feel hungry and a little bored we made a few random turns and ended up facing a massive herd of buffaloes, possibly a thousand all waiting to get to the water (Shishamba river). Wedged between the buffalo and the water hole was a pride of lions lying in the shade, their mouths watering. This was such a treat to watch. We parked sort of between the buffaloes and the lions for almost an hour, the lions first kept in the shade but soon the two young male lions came out to stretch and warm up in the sun.
Much time was spent fishing from the side of the river (while watching out for crocs and hippos) and by the camp fire. On our last evening we had a close encounter with a mother hippo and her calf. The campsite next to us was now empty and so she saw the gap for her to pass. We heard a big splashing sound and as we shone the torch we saw that she had come up onto the bank below our tent. She proceeded to walk up towards our fire, calf in tow, through the narrow passage, max 5 m from our tent, the children quickly climbed the back of the car and when she gave a warning “snort” my husband and Albin also bolted. I was left under the grass thatch kitchen giving myself a couple of minutes to decide to either run och carry on cooking my flat bread on the gas cooker, I decided for the former and so we spent some time on the back of the car! After she had passed we came down to our fire again, except the two youngest, Emil and Nils, they had their supper on the back of the car!
On the day of packing and leaving we decided to visit some family that have a private camp site near the main road, they had come out just to pack up after having spent almost the whole term there homeschooling by the river. We were just popping by but ended up staying for brunch and the kids had so much fun fishing from the deck, Albin, my oldest, pulled out a big barbel (that he released again). And as elephants were spotted in the distance we were treated to a boat ride to get up close. We saw at least three or four groups of elephants and numerous pods of hippos, both on land and in water all in under an hour. Such a bonus and a great ending to a lovely getaway.
So let me get to the photo challenges for day 5-7 from the course (read part 1). As the week progressed I struggled to keep up with both the live classes (which I ended up watching the following days) and the challenges, but we were free to catch up on the weekend.
Day 5 Anthony Epes spoke about subject fixation and the importance of avoiding it. In short, it’s sometimes easy to get so focused on your subject that you miss what else is in the frame and you might only see it later. We were told to go out and put everything we had learned thus far in to one photo. This one had me scratching my head… I posted these two very different photos to the group:
On the sixth day it was time to talk composition, the favourite subject for many photographers. However, Anthony Epes emphasised all on the “why” and not the how. Why have eg leading lines or framing in this shot? Does it improve the final result? Does it help tell a story?
The final challenge was about telling a story and trying to focus on having one subject and two supporting elements. As work is always on going on the farm I decided to focus there, for me photography is all that more interesting with people infront of the lens!
The course has definitely fuelled my creativity and reminded me why and what I love about photography. If you fel stuck in a rut and dry on creative juice I can highly recommend attending an online course, the options are endless. Look up Anthony Epes to see what he has on offer or any other photographer that inspire you, or find a local workshop. Get inspired and get creative!
Update: almost forgot to share this photo; taken with my cellphone (remember your best camera is the one you’ve got with you!). Posted it under challenge 1 – light.