Have Camera Will Travel
Despite working behind the lens for 27 years in 25 countries, Dave Burns remains as passionate about photography as the day he started. “He has a youthful spirit and a great passion for African projects. He’s a great teacher and a good guy to go on a trip with,” says Tusker Founder Eddie Frank who met Dave on an Africa Tusker trip in 1997.
Focused and Ready
Dave Burns’ Tanzania Photo Workshop Safari is slated for October 4-14, 2016 and features the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire National Park. The trip’s first stop is lesser known Tarangire National Park, Tanzania’s fifth largest. That park’s elephants and baobab trees dominate the landscape and should provide ample photo ops. “There are also plenty of herd animals like zebra and wildebeest and that means predators are around – if we’re alert we may see some big cats. We’ll start our adventure with two nights in the park, allowing us to explore multiple areas,” Dave describes.
“In the Serengeti, we will stay in a mobile tented camp right in the middle of the action, leaving early in the morning for best light and following the game where we find it. During our five days of game drives in the southern and central Serengeti, we’ll see varied landscape: granite outcroppings called kopjes which frequently have lions photogenically perched and looking for prey, woodlands of acacia overflowing with bird life, and stands of trees that offer our best opportunity to spot leopards.”
Location, Location, Location
Burns was a computer major in college who took photo courses for fun, but it turned into his passion. He pulled all-nighters in the dark room and soon after college launched his photography career. A big part of being a good photographer is being in the right location and Burns likes to quote photojournalist icon Robert Capa, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough.”
He shoots everything digitally and will bring 35 pounds of camera gear with him to Africa compared to just eight pounds when he shoots European city scenes. Creativity is a big part of being a good photographer and he says he is most inspired when he is on the road. When he is home in Boston, you can often see him on the streets of the city with a camera slung over his neck..probably taking pictures .
Capping the Crater
A big part of the trip is being with other photographers who can also share their experience. Dave is big on workflow, equally focusing on the beginning and end process of getting a great shot. He is keen on Ngorongoro for its contrast of colorful animal life offset by its volcanic walls. “We’ll stay two nights on the crater rim and descend to the crater floor as early as possible in the morning. The Crater contains an incredible variety of wildlife that makes it difficult to know where to point your lens. Luckily, the animals are accustomed to vehicles so sometimes they come quite close.”
Getting close to people is also important and Dave has time planned for a visit to a Masai village where his previous experience there comes in handy allowing trip members to get portraits.
“Dave knows what to do and what not to do. He will get you maximum exposure to animals and people and is an expert at designing these trips,” Eddie concludes.