It’s all about quality, not quantity

How is it possible that I took 244 photos at Out of Africa yesterday and came away with so few that I was really excited about?  After getting home so late last night and then having to go to work today, I’m just now getting around to reviewing yesterday’s shoot and doing a little editing.  Yes, I took 244 shots (that includes a few that I took at the rest stop on the way up to Camp Verde).  First of all, let me just say that I’m glad I had the new 8GB SD card (thanks, Andy, for the early Valentine’s Day gift!).  Secondly, I’ll just point out that my camera battery charge indicator never budged the entire day, while two other cameras in our group died from lack of juice.  So far I’m very pleased with the D5000’s power consumption.

Anyway, back to the photos.  There were several reasons why I came back with so many photos that weren’t acceptable to me:

  • Stupidity – Once again I forgot to check all the settings on the camera before I started out and I didn’t realize that I still had the auto-bracketing turned on.  I kept wondering why some of my shots looked so dark and some looked so bright…until my internal light bulb came on.  By then, I had missed some great shots in the Serengeti area of the park.
  • Chain-link fencing – I will give this park kudos for the little observation decks at many of the exhibits where you can get a decent shot of the animals without obstruction, but I couldn’t help wishing there were more of them.  Some of the exhibits did not have the decks at all, and on a brightly sunlit day like yesterday, the chain link is so shiny it’s hard to get a decent photo of the animals.
  • Little people – most adults will at least try to stay out of the way when they realize you’re aiming your camera at something, but kids have absolutely no sense of propriety when it comes to the photographer’s right-of-way.  They will run right in front of you and just stand there, waving their little arms in the air, jumping up and down, and making all kinds of noise while they do it.  Pardon me while I vent…

I did get some shots that I really liked, though, and I’ll post a few of them at a time as I go through them.  I’m editing them in Paintshop Pro, and I’m doing a little experimenting with different settings as I go, so I don’t want to rush the process.  Besides, I’m still extremely tired from lack of sleep, so I’m going to call it an early night tonight.

I’ve posted some new shots to Flickr, but here’s one of my favorites that I worked on tonight:

Sleepy Lioness

Visit my “Out of Africa” set on Flickr to see the others.




  1. I know how you feel about the ratio of shots taken to the shots that turn out well in the end. I think when we went to Out of Africa, Sarah and I took a combined total of over 350 photos. I ended up really, really liking only about 15 of them. Don’t get me wrong, we came away with a lot of great photos but only those 15 are the ones that really stood out.

    Just like you we also had issues with the chain link fence and that made for some really unspectacular photos. I guess that is just one of the caveats of going to the zoo! One of these days I’m going to go on a real safari in Africa and there won’t be any fences to worry about! 😀

  2. Hello again,
    I just visited your blog again. I have not been to Out of Africa but I can tell you I attended the Carnival in Nice with my family two days ago with its larger than life floats centered on the theme of Our Blue Planet. With all the pictures I took only 12 really turned out good (ie no pieces of people etc) I posted these on my website if you would like to take a peek


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