Paul Harknett “Maasai Mara Photo Tour”  28th March 2024

Members were treated to a ‘safari’ through the Maasai Mara with club member Paul Harknett LRPS. 

Paul embarked on a thrilling adventure last August, a dream trip to witness the awe-inspiring wildlife of the Maasai Mara. This 12-night expedition was meticulously organized by a photographic tour company, the same one Paul had trusted for his previous journey to Madagascar. 

The small group began their day very early, with the party being ‘strictly’ out of camp by 6 am. Of course, as photographers, we know that early morning and late evening is when the golden hour light and more favourable temperatures provide the best light and viewing experience of wildlife (generally!). 

The sunrise images Paul showed us were just as brilliant as his images of the highly varied wildlife he photographed. And yes, he was fortunate to see and photograph the ‘big five’. 

Paul aimed to take portraits of the animals the group encountered and photograph them in their environment. 

This was his challenge, as Paul typically captures smaller beasts such as butterflies and lizards. He achieved his aim, and there were several candidates for competition entries. The audience asked questions throughout the presentation, which made the evening interactive and informative. 

One member was intrigued by the ‘shooting angle’ in Paul’s photographs, which seemed relatively low. Paul explained that he was fortunate to have the entire seat to himself, allowing him to lower the camera as much as possible through the open-sided vehicle and use the vari-screen on his camera to compose his shots—a technique that resulted in unique and captivating images. 

Paul also shared the camaraderie and teamwork that were crucial parts of the trip. The drivers, attuned to the photographers’ needs, would strategically park the trucks to allow for shooting into the light, creating breathtaking back-lit scenes. This collaborative environment enhanced the overall experience and the quality of the photographs. 

Paul also showed us the view outside his accommodation—a luxury tent complete with all the mod-cons. Paul’s one regret is that he didn’t take any video—he’ll just have to go back…….

Thank you, Paul, for such an excellent show of African wildlife, brilliantly photographed in the Maasai Mara environment.