The Scowl

Complete Namibia Tour 2018 Travelogue #5 (Podcast 625)

This week we conclude our 2018 Complete Namibia Tour travelogue series, with our Wildlife Extravaganza in the Etosha National Park, literally completing the photography of the main photography genres that Namibia offers visitors. When I put this epic trip together and called it the Complete Namibia Tour & Workshop,...

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Martin Bailey
Martin Bailey is a nature and wildlife photographer and educator based in Tokyo. He's a pioneering Podcaster and blogger, and an X-Rite Coloratti member.
  • Aaron Priest
    Posted at 21:51h, 16 July Reply

    Hi Martin! Your astrophotography readers might be interested in the NPF Rule, much more accurate than the 500 Rule today and takes into account pixel density and aperture where the 500 Rule was engineered for really grainy high ISO film. I worked with the developers of PhotoPills and qDslrDashboard to get it added to both those apps to make the calculation easy in the field (without a bunch of complicated formulas or spreadsheets, haha!). The 500 Rule is much simpler for quick figuring in your head of course, so it’s still useful, but it’s considerably off for large size prints. Here is more information and some screenshots of how to use it in PhotoPills:

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 00:22h, 17 July Reply

      Hi Aaron,

      Thanks so much for this. I’d not heard of NPR, but your post is great so I’m just about up to speed on it now. My shot above would have needed to be just 2 seconds with the NPR rule, and that seems a little short as my stars were almost round. I’ll be sure to give this a try though the next time I’m under a clear starry sky.

      Thanks again!


      • Aaron Priest
        Posted at 21:45h, 23 July Reply

        For the galactic center with a 5DS R, I’m not surprised. Although when I went to AR view and used the GPS coordinates of Etosha National Park, other areas of the sky hit 5-7 seconds. The first screen in PhotoPills is a simplified formula and the AR view is an extended formula with a real time estimate that includes GPS coordinates, compass heading, declination, etc. for the area of sky you are looking at. In the end, all photography “rules” are just guidelines anyway of course. A starting point and meant to be broken. ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Janet Webster
    Posted at 06:43h, 17 July Reply

    Hello Martin:
    Thanks yet again for another interesting post. I am not particularly into animal photography (don’t have a long enough lens and in any case, wouldn’t have the strength to lug it around) but really enjoyed looking at your images. Your lion images are spectacular! The focus (my bug bear) is superb. So glad you told us how you did it. I also love the grasses and think they add to the ambience of the shot.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 08:53h, 17 July Reply

      Hi Janet,

      Thanks for commenting and for the kind words. I completely agree about the grasses in the lion photo, and I’m glad you feel that way.

      Compared to five years ago, my kit for a trip like this has more than halved in weight, thanks to Canon releasing a Mark II version of the 100-400mm, and thanks to the 11-24mm lens, which replaced two of my old lenses. I now do trips like this with an 18L backpack instead of a 32L one, so it’s much easier to carry now. It’s easier to get on flights with now too! ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Tim L
    Posted at 06:12h, 31 October Reply

    Very interesting post, Martin. It would never have occurred to me to worry about the grass in front of the lion. I actually find that I quite like images of animals where they are partially obstructed by their environment, as long as you can see their eyes. My favorite image, though, is the zebras by the waterhole. That comp is a testimony to your ability to pick out a very pleasing arrangement of elements from what was no doubt chaos!

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 08:45h, 31 October Reply

      Hi Tim!

      It’s great to see your avatar up there. It probably isn’t, but it seems like it’s been a while.

      Thanks for the comment. I’m pleased that the grasses don’t bother you. I also really like that photo, and think the grasses work, and people that mention the grasses negatively are probably overthinking the photo based on what they’ve read etc. Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course, but it’s nice to hear from people that think the same as I do. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks for the kind words about the zebra shot too. That kind of image is pretty difficult to compose, but a lot of fun.


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