I’m A Brand Ambassador!
About a year ago I was approached by Tudortech, who are the importing agents for some very cool photographic brands in SA (Olympus, Leica, Sigma, Velbon, SanDisk & Belkin) to become one of the local brand ambassadors for Olympus products. At that stage I had been shooting with Olympus for over a year and had absolutely embraced the brand since my photography had evolved from event work into more travel and lifestyle oriented subject matter where big and heavy DSLR’s simply weren’t practical anymore. It’s a great honour for me to have been chosen as an ambassador for Olympus and I am becoming more and more enamoured with the company as they bring out killer product after killer product.
One of the things I want to do in my role as ambassador is to teach ordinary non-photographers who would like to learn more about photography and how Olympus cameras can be used to take their visual creativity to a whole new level. I want to start with a series on how they can improve their wildlife photography. With the backing of Olympus SA I have come up with a concept that I am very excited about: taking people on wilderness trails in local game reserves where we get out into the field with the cameras and lenses and not only immerse ourselves in the beauty of our own country, but learn something about making better photographs with Olympus too. I’ve been looking into the iMfolozi Wilderness Trails and I am planning a first trip there for either March or April of 2015.
The iMfolozi Wilderness Trail
If you don’t know anything about the iMfolozi Wilderness Trail you should check out Scott Ramsay’s Year In The Wild blog where he has written a wonderful series of posts about the trail he did there a couple of years ago. Basically you set off on foot from Mpila camp together with a guide and a ranger and you spend a few nights in this awesome, unspoilt wilderness, absorbing the beauty of the place on foot. No tents, no vehicles, no roads, no buildings, no radio towers, no other people, no contact with the outside world at all. Just you, your group of trailists and mother nature. And of course an Olympus camera supplied by Tudortech too.
Olympus SA are fully behind me on this adventure and they are going to provide loaner OM-D E-M5 cameras for any people who would like to do the inaugural shorter weekend trail with me either in March or April next year. Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife provide everything else on this excursion, so literally all you have to do is get to Mpila Camp (some 4 hours from Durban by road) with only your toothbrush and the clothing you need for 2 nights in the bush and 3 days of hiking. The price for this initial trail is set at R2,950 excluding the gate iMfolozi entry fee of R75. There are a maximum of 8 and a minimum of 4 trailists required for this to happen. It starts on a Friday at around 11am and ends on a Sunday at about the same time. All meals are included in the price too.
Obviously you will need to be reasonably walking fit (we cover between 7 and 15 km per day in wild terrain) and also ready to forego all the trappings and creature comforts for the duration of the trail, but if the stories I have read are anything to go by you will not experience anything quite like this anywhere else in the world. iMfolozi is a Big 5 park, so there’s a good chance that we will encounter many of these animals on the trail, which in itself presents very unique photographic opportunities because animals behave very differently to humans on foot than they do to humans in cars.
Does this excite you? If so and you’d like to join me on this wilderness trail please get in touch with me either by phone or email and I will give you all the preliminary details. I hope to have the booking finalised by the middle of January.