The Lumix Diaries Kenya 1/10/2015
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It was a great first day. Tomorrow we head for Samburu.