February 10, 2012


Almost every wildlife enthusiast has fretted about ‘the one that got away’, about ‘losing that perfect moment’ and “I wish I…” That is capturing a scene from the natural world that will still, long after the actual moment has passed; live on in a photo album, or nowadays a digital file somewhere.

If you want to enhance your capabilities of taking that shot, then join EcoTraining on a wildlife photography workshop in April with co-owner Lex Hes.

A naturalist and wildlife photographer, Lex has been involved in the world of wildlife for almost three decades. He is author and nature photographer with five books to his credit, including the highly acclaimed “Leopards of Londolozi”.  His photographs have been published in numerous publications around the world and have been used in advertising campaigns.

Apart from being co-owner of EcoTraining, Lex is also a popular freelance nature guide and the easy-going and friendly manner in which he imparts his wealth of knowledge of Africa's ecosystems, is sure to make for a memorable five days.

Just listen to his diary excerpt from the wildlife photography workshop towards the end of last year:

“… Next morning, under an overcast sky, we left camp at 05:15 and a few minutes later Cecile spotted a large male African wild cat crouched in the grass. He slunk off to a nearby bush and settled down in front of the bush in clear view and proceeded to groom himself.

What followed was about 30 minutes of the best viewing that I have ever had of an African wild cat as he groomed himself, sat and looked around, stalked something and groomed himself again. He eventually casually moved off towards the south. The overcast conditions provided us with beautiful soft lightning and we all got great shots…”

Taking great wildlife photos is not as easy as it looks though. There is a lot of thought and time that goes into producing those great images that we see around us. The purpose of EcoTraining's wildlife photography workshop is to reveal some of these thoughts to budding wildlife photographers and at the same time to give photographers time and opportunity to put these thoughts into action in the field under the guidance of an experienced photographer.

We start the course with a discussion on the equipment needed to become a versatile nature photographer and then we go on to discuss the various elements that combine to make up a good nature photograph. Participants will spend mornings and afternoons in the bush looking for photographic opportunities followed by a lecture each day and constructive criticism of any digital photos taken during each activity.

A typical daily programme at the camp follows a routine of rising early, usually before sunrise, enjoying hot coffee and biscuits while you listen to the bush waking up and then leaving the camp for the morning drive and photography session in the wilderness.

You will get back to the camp at about 11:00, ready for a hearty brunch, where after Lex will present a lecture on the topic of the day. Then you will be free to have an afternoon siesta; practice your newly learnt knowledge and techniques or simply relax and absorb the nature around you.

At about 15:00 afternoon tea and eats are served before you head out on the afternoon drive for another photo workshop session in the wilderness. After dinner, there will be time around the camp fire for informal discussions on the day’s photographic events.

Put this unique wildlife photography workshop on your to-do list for 2012! Book your place by contacting enquiries@ecotraining.co.za for more information.


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