There is no typical day. Every day in the bush is wonderfully, remarkably different.
Having said this it usually begins early – about an hour before sunset – with a light tap on your door. Then everyone meets for coffee and a light breakfast at the campfire before heading out to find something interesting before the sun is up. Everyone in the vehicle is there to take great photographs so we are very clear about early starts. “You can have a holiday when you get home” we sometimes joke.
On a workshop we don’t rush from sighting to sighting. If we find something interesting we tend to stay with it to photograph animal behaviour and get the best possible angles. I will work closely with the driver to make sure we are in a great position for shooting and will often chat to the group about the settings that I am using, or interesting angles to consider.
There are quiet periods in the bush too. And, at times, we will look for interesting photographic opportunities that may be less obvious, such as a flower, a dung beetle, or an insect. These sessions are hugely creative and often where people learn the most about lighting, depth of field and composition techniques.
When we return to camp in the late morning, everyone is encouraged to process their images promptly and then present at least 10 images for viewing and assessment.
These daily evaluation sessions are conducted before and after brunch and they are invaluable as they give insights to different ways of seeing, workflow skills, images processing techniques, and also fuel critical analysis.
Everyone is encouraged to have a short siesta before afternoon tea and heading out for the shorter evening game drive. Usually we try to end off in a good spot for sunset landscape photography and for a well-mixed G&T. We return to camp with the spotlight and hoping to photograph some nocturnal cats, owls or nightjars.
Back at the camp, we shower, have dinner and sometimes show more photographs. Then we head for bed promptly mindful of the fact that we will be waking up early again the next day.