Watch the Video Replay of My Rocky Nook Webinar

Yesterday I did a webcast with Rocky Nook called 5 Things You Should Know About Your Fujifilm X Series Cameras. I’m proud to report that we had a record breaking audience with the highest viewership of any of Rocky Nook’s previous Continue reading →

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The Lowepro Flipside Trek AW Adventure Camera Packs

I’m definitely a camera pack nerd. I own a closet full of packs in different shapes and sizes, partly because I’ve always been searching for the perfect pack, and party because there is no such thing as the perfect pack. Continue reading →

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Tips for responsible giving while traveling in Africa

Tanzania Masai Children - Giving

Having a great time with the Masai kids on my Tanzania Photo Safari

When Giving, Give the Right Way

Travel gives birth to many life-changing experiences. It is truly a dynamic exchange between traveler and stranger. For this reason, it is not uncommon for individuals who travel to one place from another to feel impacted by the people they meet. And this impact, whether it comes from reasons of religion, philanthropy, or gratitude, is the meaning found in a moment with someone new, which inspires the desire to give. So, how do we make sure that we are giving in the right way?

Below is a list of do’s and don’ts for giving responsibly in Africa.

DO Consider the Impacts of Your Gift, DO NOT Give Blindly

When making a contribution, consider the positive and negative impacts of your gift to those who are receiving it. Different countries are composed of different cultures—and what you may see as a gift of kindness may be felt as an offensive gesture by another. This is why it is important give respectfully and consider responsibly.

DO Give to Organizations, DO NOT Give to Individuals

Sometimes, the most well-meaning acts can have negative consequences, as is the often case when well-intentioned tourists hand out sweets, used clothing, or books to children and local villages. Such acts of giving can encourage a dependence on begging in the community, especially among children.

When giving money or goods, it is much better to give directly to reputable local organizations that work to improve the social welfare of the communities, or to international groups that work with them.

Tanzania photo safari

DO Your Research, DO Not Assume All Recipients Are Righteous

There are many organizations that are doing good work, but not all that look good are doing great things. In urban settlements, also known as slums, slumlords may ask for money under the guise of a well-marketed organization. This should not deter you from giving, but compel you to consider the integrity of the recipient’s intentions.

DO Give Strategically and Locally, DO NOT Assume a One-Size-Fits-All Model

The key to donating items like clothes or books is to operate locally so you can 1. buy relevant items to donate and 2. Find the right organizations for your donations. What makes an item relevant? Well, don’t donate old computers to a region where there is a lack of electricity. Don’t donate books written in English to a school where English isn’t used. Instead, figure out what the urgent needs are in any given location. Ask if school uniforms are needed, or ask librarians what the most needed books are.

DO Follow Up, DO NOT Forget or Disappear

When a person or community makes such a profound impact on your life that you feel compelled to donate, you should follow up on that donation. You don’t necessarily have to donate again, but you can check in on the community through further research or visiting again.

“I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” 

―Maya Angelou

 

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Black and White or Color?

What do you prefer?

Leopard Tanzania color
Leopard Tanzania Black and white

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Yup, in the tradition of all time great philosophical debates to ponder such as Mac vs PC, Star Wars vs Star Trek, and of course Tastes Great vs Less Filling, I present to you…

Black & White Vs Color!

After an amazing time in Tanzania last year leading a photo safari I returned with close to 15,000 frames shot and there were even a few keepers. Shortly after returning home I sat down to edit my images. I’m still nowhere near done with culling the voluminous files but I have selected a few of my favorites and shared some of those in a recent blog post about my experience on safari.

This particular photo of a young leopard was a standout for me and it brought back some nice memories for me. Anyone who knows me knows that I have a certain affinity for floofy feline friends and this one was such a glorious example of the best of the best looking of them. Just to the left of this scene was mama leopard who was devouring an antelope and baby here had just had his/her fill and was walking away from the feast. This was one of the most astonishing scenes that I was able to witness on this tour but rest assured, there were so many more that it would take days and a much better memory to be able to share all of them with you. Hence the 15,000 frames shot on this trip. This one, in particular, with my trusty Fujifilm X-T2 and Fujinon XF 100-400mm lens.

“Choices are the hinges of destiny.”

~Edwin Markham

Getting back to the idea of Black and White or Color, I’m really curious to know what you prefer and why. So, if you’d be kind enough, please leave a comment with your choice and a brief note as to what makes you prefer either the Color or Black and White.

For me, I preferred the way it looked in black and white from the moment I started to work on the photo but after starting all over again and re-editing the color, I really liked that one too. Very wishy-washy of me for sure but if I had to choose one, I’d go back to the monochrome of the black and white with a slight sepia tint.

Tanzania Photo Safari

Time to choose!

I had to make a choice since recently I decided to get this photograph printed as a huge 40″ x 60″ or 101 cm x 152 cm. I was approached by canvasdiscount to have one of my photos printed. I’ll be honest. My first reaction was to decline as I didn’t think that I’d want any of my work printed on canvas. What I had seen printed on canvas in the past was less than impressive but that was many years ago. I guess that the technology has improved a great deal because after saying yes and getting the print sent to me, I was very impressed with just how good it looked.

This also should dispel whatever doubts anyone has regarding printing large format while using a cropped sensor camera like the Fujifilm X-T2. The results are awesome.

I now have this piece hanging on my living room wall and it looks great. The photo of me with the print looks good but trust me, the print looks even better in person. The kicker on this is the price. It costs a lot to print large format images as a rule but my cost on this mounted print including shipping was only $160. Color me impressed. Hmmm color… I wonder. 😉

“It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decisions.” 

~Jim Rohn
canvas print - Black and white vs color

40×60 inch canvas print

Ok, now I’m curious to hear what you have to say. Leave a note in the comments with your choice.

Thanks!

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