My fascination with photography started when I was a small child growing up in the remoteness of Papua New Guinea during the 60’s and 70’s. My Father was stationed in PNG and during this time his hobby was shell collecting and he went on to write and illustrate three scientific shell books. As a 6 year old I was his “assistant” (he probably had another name for it!). He took all the photographic plates for the books himself using natural light, an aged Bronica 4 ¼ square camera, an even older light meter and a tripod that appeared to me to weigh half a ton! As a reward for my “help” he gave me his old Nikormat 35 mm camera and I experimented with it for years. It was a manual camera and F11 at 1/125th was his rule of thumb and therefore it became mine as well!
This was a major part of my early years and his explanations about the importance of light and speed of film stayed with me, embedded in my mind somewhere, only to emerge when I purchased my first DSLR and found World Photo Adventures in 2011.
My first trip with Darran and Julia was to the Galapagos Islands. This trip was a life changing event for me – combining my three passions: Wildlife, Travel and Photography. I started the trip as a complete beginner and by the end Darran had me tracking birds with the rest of them. He taught me step by step, always keeping to his motto of KIS (Keep It Simple!). One of the awe inspiring moments was sitting near the cliffs watching the beautiful waved Albatross feeding their ¾ grown chicks when one adult bird walked within touching distance right past me, stepped off the cliff edge and at the same time spread its magnificent wings and glided upward with the air currents!
Walking with Brown Bears in Alaska at Silver Salmon Creek was my next WPAdventure in 2012 – again an amazing experience! Africa followed – the Okavango Delta and Chobe in Botswana. African wildlife is spectacular and I definitely got the yearning for Africa and returned there with WPA in 2013. We explored Tanzania in the green season (March), visiting the amazing Ngorongoro Crater and the famous Serengeti! The Ndutu Plains at this time was the gathering grounds for the massive herds of wildebeest and zebra before they started on their epic migration north. My favourite animal is the cheetah and at Ndutu they were in abundance – to look into the eyes of a wild cheetah at point blank range was an absolute privilege! Next stop was Namibia and the enormous red sand dunes of Sossusvlei and the hauntingly eerie tree skeletons of Deadvlei at sunrise. A visit to the Himba people concluded a truly memorable trip. The Himba ladies were beautiful with perfect skin and huge smiles and eyes that sparkled! They live a very simple semi-nomadic life – a stark contrast to our over complicated lives!
World Photo Adventures are well organized but at the same time relaxing and friendly! Great travelling companions with similar interests and always arriving at the right place at the right time! Darran teaches throughout the tour, on the ground and also back at camp so everyone can maximize their photographic opportunities. His advice and encouragement does not end with the tours. He is happy to answer questions about all things photographic at any time and I regard Darran, Julia, Pearce and Frazer as truly good friends! I am saving madly for my next WPA event!
Sally Hinton Website: www.sallyephotos.com