The Lumix Diaries Kenya 1/10/2015

Posted Jan. 10th, 2015 by Daniel J. Cox

Whenever we come to Kenya we like to give our guests a day to acclimate from the jet lag we all experience when traveling many times zones from home. So today we spent time at the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and the Giraffe Center, both places just outside of Nairobi.

NE Explorers Sue, Alison and Lynn enjoy the up close and personal view of the orphaned elephants at the The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust elephant orphanage near Nairobi, Kenya

NE Explorers Sue, Alison, and Lynn enjoy the up close and personal view of the orphaned elephants at the The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust near Nairobi, Kenya. Lumix FZ1000

Most of the photography today will be of our Explorers having fun and enjoying their first day in the field. To do that, I planned to go very light and brought with me two cameras. One was the Lumix LX100, my new favorite go everywhere,  fit in my briefcase, point and shoot that gives me professional quality images. It has a Micro Four Thirds sensor with a non-interchangeable 24-75mm F/1.7-2.8 lens, a built-in EVF, and comes with a very small and capable external flash that runs off the camera’s battery.

Panasoinc's new Lumix LX100 with 24-75mm F/1.7-2.8 zoom. It has a Micro Four Thirds sensor and built in EVF.

Panasonic’s new Lumix LX100 with 24-75mm F/1.7-2.8 zoom. It has a Micro Four Thirds sensor and built-in EVF.

The second camera I brought was the FZ1000, the  relatively new compact all-in-one that has a 25-400mm F/2.8-4 lens. Once again the lens is non-interchangeable, but the range is incredible for almost all situations involving wildlife, nature, and all travel situations. Between these two cameras I was able to cover an amazing range of image opportunities.

The Lumix FZ1000 all in one compact also known as a Bridge Camera. It features a 1inch sensor and a Leica designed lens that ranges from 25-400mm F/1.7-2.8 lens.

The Lumix FZ1000 all-in-one compact also known as a Bridge Camera. It features a 1-inch sensor and a Leica designed lens that ranges from 25-400mm F/1.7-2.8 lens.

One of the fun opportunities at the Giraffe Center is to feed the Rothschild’s giraffes. It’s a very difficult situation to photograph since you are under the roof of the building, in the shadows, shooting out to bright sunlight in the background.

Allison McClure takes one for the team as she gets slimed while feeding a giraffe at the Giraffe Center near Nairobi, Kenya. Lumix LX100 with fill flash. Camera set to Program Mode with no compensation. Camera handled the exposure perfectly.

Alison McClure takes one for the team as she gets slimed while feeding a giraffe at the Giraffe Center near Nairobi, Kenya. Lumix LX100 with fill flash. Camera set to Program Mode with no compensation. Camera handled the exposure perfectly.

This is a perfect situation for adding fill flash to brighten the person and the giraffe in the foreground while at the same time getting a proper exposure in the background. Without flash the background is totally washed out or the foreground is way too dark. I added the super mini, external flash to my LX100, put the camera on Program Mode and shot one frame after another.

Another opportunity for photos at the Giraffe Center are several exhibits featuring the leopard tortoise. This is a situation where there is a high rock fence that could keep you from being able to get a low angle that an animal like this requires.

Leopard tortoise in the exhibit at the Giraffe Center near Nairobi, Kenya

Leopard tortoise in the exhibit at the Giraffe Center near Nairobi, Kenya. This image was shot at a low angle with the LCD popped out and tilted up. Getting the camera at virtually on the ground makes this a much more interesting image. Lumix FZ1000

The beauty of many of the new Lumix cameras is their swivel LCD that I used to get this low angle. Being able to see your image on the external LCD, pop the LCD out and angle it so you can lean down, but not have to  actually get on the ground is a huge benefit to these new cameras.

Another Leopard Tortoise shot at more of a distance from a kneeling position, shooting over the rock wall. compare this to the first photo above shot a a lower angle. The top photo is a much more interesting image.  FZ1000

Another leopard tortoise shot at more of a distance from a kneeling position, shooting over the rock wall. Compare this to the first photo above shot a a lower angle. The top photo is a much more interesting image. Lumix FZ1000

After the Giraffe Center we moved on to the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, a place where baby elephants who have lost their mother, most of the time due to poaching, are adopted. It’s an amazing place that allows visitors to get really close to these amazing animals. Many are returned to the wild, but it’s a sad situation to see so many orphaned babies.

For this situation the FZ1000 was perfect with its wide angle of 25mm for an overall view and then the 400mm range to get closeups of the baby elephants faces.

Orphaned elephants at the The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, elephant orphanage near Nairobi, Kenya

Orphaned elephants at the The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust near Nairobi, Kenya.

Orphaned baby elephants  at the The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust elephant Orphaned near Nairobi, Kenya

Orphaned baby elephants at the The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust near Nairobi, Kenya. Lumix FZ1000

Orphaned baby elephants being fed large bottles of milk at the The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust elephant Orphaned near Nairobi, Kenya

Orphaned baby elephants being fed large bottles of milk at the The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust near Nairobi, Kenya. Lumix FZ1000

It was a great first day. Tomorrow we head for Samburu.

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