Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My Q + A session with my friend, Artist Barb Kopeschny

Barb Kopeschny is a superb artist from Washego, Ontario., she has been to a few of my workshops, and we are good friends.  I enjoy her work immensely, and I am sure you will too... please have a look at her fantastic website here... Click!

BK: Isn't she beautiful! 

she is sooooooooooooooooooo beautiful.

BK: So how many yards away from her were you?...

About 25 yards, shorter than the length of your driveway.

 BK:  What was the average temperature?....

The hottest it got was about 82 F, high noon ... the sun was straight up., got a nice tan!  some places we stayed had heating, but no Air Conditioning!

BK: Did you feel safe or vulnerable?

Over all, Tanzania is safer, more pleasant, more secure, then you can imagine ., these people are very special.

 BK:  What time of day was this shot taken? ….

We saw her at the crack of dawn, about 1/2 km from our luxury tents., and followed her for about 2 hours, around 800 frames, our driver Nickey knew exactly how far we should be away from cheetahs, to allow her to go about her business.

BK: Was there any risk to her with poachers etc.?

Everything is now under control there, very little hunting, almost no poaching; all animals are on the rebound... Tanzania is dealing well with these issues, I was very impressed.

BK:  How many people were around you at the time?

Just our safari truck with 3 of us in there, and my other guests truck, with only 2 people.  I had 5 signed up, so there would have been 6 of us, but one guy had a family emergency, so we were 3 and 2., tons of room in there for all kinds of gear, water, food, etc... we were even charging batteries as we went along, and uploading to laptops, and doing back up.

BK:  Were you able to speak out loud amongst each other while photographing, or were you whispering or were you all completely quiet? …..

Talking voices, these cheetahs are very secure and unafraid of humans... also, the lions were the same... they were right on the road!!, so close we needed to back away.

BK: Amazing!  Pretty awesome eh? …..

You could not imagine how awesome this trip was, dream come true... times 10!!!

 I want to live there, bad!

BK: Did you find the week went by quickly?

Yes!.. I was gone for almost 2 weeks in total, and I did miss my family... while driving around I was wishing Daisy and Maria were there to enjoy the sights.

BK:  Your "luxury" tents, were they safe?

Very safe, Nas has 10 tents there, each tent is worth over $8,000.00 USD., they are as big as a hotel room!

BK:  Did the tents have washrooms or were they nearby? ……

Each tent has its own bathroom, and shower.

BK:  How was the food and was water drinkable or did you need bottled water?.....

Superb, bottle water everywhere, beer and drinks at the camp too!

BK:  Any McDonald's or fast foods nearby? ……

Only in my dreams... Our tour had only three nights at the camp, the rest of the time we were at fine lodges, and hotels, some really amazing accommodations.. My partner Nas wanted me to see it all.

BK: When not on the road in the truck, what did you do back at the luxury tents?

We left the camp / lodges at 6-7 am, Safari breakfast with the wildebeests’, shooting all day, back for lunch around 2pm, shower, then on the trail at 4 pm till dark., then dinner, and sleep.  I was the only one who got a mosquito bite!!

BK: After a day of shooting, dinner, socializing, what time were you able to get to sleep? ….

Between 8-9 pm, early nights... as we were always up so early in the morning.

BK:  Did you share tents or were they all to yourself? ……

My buddy from Toronto George Campbell shared rooms with me.

BK:  Did you forget to pack anything that you really needed? 

No, I had it all covered, brought my tripod, should have left it at home.. no need, I would have packed my laptop in my carry-on ... next time., as there was not much to do between flights in Amsterdam Airport.

BK: Too many questions, I know.  But I'm re- living your trip through your answers.  ;)

Some of your answers were comical..."only in my dreams" but was I amazed at learning that you ate well, had fine lodges & hotels and great accommodations.  The" luxury tents" you talked about earlier emails,  I thought you were perhaps joking as I imagined some thin, gauzy, pup tents.  I am really impressed.  Not at all what I imagined Africa adventure to be like.  Yet all the wildlife at your dispense, with technical accommodations on board for your laptops etc., and backups.  You are practically guaranteed good shots and no worries of being out for the day without backing up your memory cards.  My gosh, it doesn't get better than that! …..

Great trip of a lifetime! 

for sure!

Not sure if I told you this... Feb 18th was a special day, 2,400 shots, culled down to 1,200... My best day of keepers ever, culled down to 70 for edit, again a record number of edits, this day was really something.

I have 5 more days to sort out, and then the top 40 for the book to separate, and then I start preparing the book, should be interesting.

BK: That was a good day for sure!  Does that reflect on being more careful or selective about shots you take? …..


A good day like this reflects on the number of species I encounter, and the number of scenes I capture with each species., in Newfoundland, we shot gannets for a morning and afternoon shoot... about 10 hours in total... 3,200 shots, culled down to about 520 keepers, culled down to about 6 edited shots... you can see the difference., basically 2 species, and 5-6 scenes.

Lots of work!
Special thanks to Barb... I had no intention of posting this email string, but once we were done, I thought it would be a cool idea.

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