July 2015 Kenyan Photo Safari

photographers on safari in KenyaI have been away from Kenya for over a year now, and the yearning to return is growing steadily. I had always planned to spend two years getting my photography business established here in Canada before starting to offer photo safaris. The first trip is now in the works. The dates are tentatively set for July 20th to 27th, 2015. I am looking for 6-8 photographers to accompany me for an unforgettable week in the Mara! Here are the details:

Monday, July 20

  • land in Nairobi late evening and transfer to Nairobi hotel

Tuesday, July 21

  • breakfast at the hotel
  • transfer to Wilson Airport in Nairobi for flight to the Masai Mara
  • land in the Mara and transfer to camp in time for lunch on the banks of the Talek River
  • get settled into tents and rest up for afternoon game drive
  • 3:30 afternoon tea
  • 4:00 the adventure is on! Head out on afternoon game drive, returning in time for hot showers and dinner at 7:30.
  • relax around campfire until you are ready for bed

Wednesday, July 22 – Sunday, July 26

  • 5:30 breakfast
  • 6:00 morning game drive
  • 11:00 return to camp and rest until lunch
  • 1:00 lunch
  • 2:00 – 3:30 Lightroom editing instruction and image critique
  • 4:00 Head out on afternoon game drive, returning in time for hot showers and dinner at 7:30.
  • relax around campfire until you are ready for bed

Monday, July 27

  • 5:30 breakfast
  • 6:00 morning game drive
  • 10:00 return to camp and pack until lunch
  • 11:00 transfer to airstrip
  • flight to Nairobi
  • Giraffe visiting centre and shopping
  • Dinner at Carnivore Restaurant
  • Transfer to airport for evening flight home

$4,900 Canadian

  • includes accommodation, meals, park fees, game drives, airport transfers, Nairobi – Masai Mara – Nairobi flights, taxes
  • photography instruction and guidance by a seasoned safari photographer and editing instruction by an Adobe certified expert
  • excludes international airfare (approximately $1200 – $1900CAD), visa ($50US), tips

Use the contact form to request more information.

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Northumberland Photo Club Presentation

kenya photo safari presentation

I am so excited to be invited to present at the Northumberland Photo Club in Cobourg tonight. I will be sharing highlights from over 70 photo safaris. The presentation starts at 7:00 p.m. at the Salvation Army Church Gymnasium, 59 Ballantine Rd., Cobourg, Ontario.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for coffee.

Karibu sana! (You are most welcome!)

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Trent Hills Gallery Hop

This Saturday and Sunday 25 pieces of my African Photo Art will be on display at Early Bird Studio as part of the Trent Hills Gallery Hop. Don’t worry about the rain in the forecast, there is a huge tent set up, and lots of great art to see. Hours are 10:00am to 5:00pm.

spirit of the hills gallery hop poster

Spirit of the Hills at the Trent Hills Gallery Hop October 4th and 5th.

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Art Up Front

fine art african wildlife photos on display in Trenton Ontario

African artwork on display at Riverfront Square in Trenton, Ontario.

Arts Quinte West sponsored an art show for local artists as part of Trenton’s Festival by the Bay. With lots of help from my wife, mother, and a couple good friends I was able to set up a nice display of my work that would stand up to the wind coming off the bay. Twenty pieces were hung. Doing little shows like this is great motivation to get some more of my work printed, framed and on display. It was also fun to be be able to to chat with lots of folks about my experiences photographing wildlife in Kenya and my passion for African wildlife photography.

Just as we were about to start tearing down and packing up, David Gibb from Quinte West News dropped in and interviewed me for the newspaper. It was fun to see my picture in the paper and read the great article he wrote about me.  Here is a link the the article on the newspaper’s website:

http://www.insidebelleville.com/news-story/4648690-out-of-africa-and-back-in-trenton/

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Magical Africa

Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 10.30.38 AM

I am thrilled to have my biography and African fine art images published on the website of an Italian art college. The article is written in Italian, but the way they have presented the images is beautiful. Pop over and check it out!

www.cultor.org

 

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New Gallery of all Artwork from My Nairobi Exhibition

After the almost complete sell-out at my fine art exhibit in Nairobi last month I have received numerous requests for additional prints. To make it easier to choose which images you want printed, just click on the link below to go directly to a gallery collection of all the images that I had on display at the exhibit.

Nairobi Fine Art Exhibition Image Gallery

I have also incorporated a secure shopping site where you can purchase these images in a variety of formats. FineArtAmerica.com is an innovative company that provides a wide range of photographic products and services. They offer a variety of frames and matts, metal and canvas prints, and greetings cards. Their products are superb quality. They have a 30 day money back guarantee and world-wide shipping.

Here is a link to go directly to my secure shopping site.

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Nairobi Show a Huge Success

art show visitors

Thanks so much to all who helped make my show and sale in Nairobi this weekend a huge success. On Thursday we hung 99 framed images. By closing on Sunday afternoon only five had not been sold. This exceeded my wildest expectations! I had my printer there and people also bought dozens of prints. I was able to cover all of my costs and donate 200,000 Kenyan schillings ($2,400) to our designated charity Care of Creation.

Here is a link to an album of candid pictures of the exhibition at the Sarit Centre in Nairobi, Kenya:
Nairobi exhibition candids album

And this link shows how the framed artwork was displayed in the Expo Hall:
Nairobi exhibition artwork displays album

 

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My Artist’s Statement

The world is charged with the grandeur of God. My goal as an artist is to seek out the beauty that has been packed in to the natural world and draw attention to it.

Mike at art exhibitYears of study and training have instilled in me a visual awareness of the world around me. Quality and direction of light, highlights and shadows, lines, forms, and textures, subjects and backgrounds.  These are the fundamental elements of composition and design. I notice these things in my surroundings – constantly.

Experience on over 80 photo safaris in Kenya over the past 15 years has refined my photographic vision and technique. Tack sharp, beautifully lit animal portraits are no longer enough for me. I now endeavour to capture intimate interactions between animals, a striking posture, a gesture, direct eye contact. This adds emotional impact to any image.

An animal’s environment is a critical part of who they are, but I choose to minimize the distracting elements of the African bush and include just enough of an animal’s surroundings to suggest where it is. I often desaturate colours and blur backgrounds in order emphasize the subjects in my compositions.

The marvels of modern photographic equipment make it possible to record huge amounts of image data. As a technician I strive to capture as much raw data as possible while in the field. As an artist I decide which data to keep and which to eliminate. Photography is not like most other visual arts. In drawing or painting the artist adds the medium to a blank canvas until the artwork is finished. In photography the artist starts with everything and is tasked with removing elements until all that remains is his artwork.

cool cheetahI take great artistic liberties with my photo art images. I will manipulate pixels, add graphic elements, enhance textures, paint in tonalities, clone out distractions, and gradually craft the image I want to share with my audience. I want to show them wildlife in a way they have never seen it before. In doing so I hope to draw people’s attention to the amazing intricacies God has imbued in His creation. And maybe even inspire them to take better care of it. The proceeds of this show will be donated to Care of Creation, an organization dedicated to preserving nature, and teaching people how to take better care of it.

I believe my purpose on earth is doxological. For me, praising God means noticing something beautiful, interesting, or cool, and then drawing attention to it so that others can see it too. To the praise of His glory.

Michael James Gaudaur

Kijabe, Kenya

April 8th, 2013

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Photo Art Exhibition and Sale

photo art show poster

I am excited to announce my first public photo art exhibition and sale. The event will be held at the Sarit Centre exhibition hall in Nairobi, Kenya on April 12th to the 14th. Admission is free and proceeds from the sale will go to support the ministries of Care of Creation an organization dedicated to teaching people how to take better care of their environment. I would love to have you drop by.

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Chill Cheetah Texture Blend

Cheetahs are my favourite animal. They always appear so chill and relaxed. This mother was poised on a termite mound, casually scanning the savannah for her next meal. There was some gentle back light, and the background was nice and soft due to a 500mm lens. This resulted in a pretty pleasing image right out of the camera. Here is a view of the unadjusted RAW file.

Chill Cheetah

Chill Cheetah

 

These images are created by combining a colour and a black and white version of the cheetah image using the overlay blending mode. Then a detailed mask is made to reveal a a image of a textured old concrete wall on the background layer. A burn and dodge layer was used to tone down some distracting highlights and add depth to some shadows. Finally, a vignette layer was used to tone down the edges and keep the eye in the centre of the image.

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