This trip will be the first photo shoot with my new Nikon D4! Of course it came two days before the trip so I was scrambling to get the right software updates and programs so I could actually see and convert the photos on the trip. After an easy set of flights and an overnight in South Africa I flew into Antananarivo, Madagascar.
The next morning was our first chance to photograph the wildlife of Madagascar. Our first stop was a reptile habitat where we could practice our macro and flash techniques with lots of different species in a controlled environment. Some highlights were the chameleon habitat, the fruit bats and the comet moths. We talked a lot about flash, exposure, and depth of field, getting ready for shooting in the rainforest.
Following the drive to Andasibe and our check in at the Vakona Lodge we took a “long lens” excursion to Lemur Island. Once again we were able to shoot amazing subjects in a rainforest environment with long lenses and flash in a controlled, high reward location. The highlights from the afternoon included bamboo lemurs, black and white ruffed lemurs hanging upside down, and red-fronted brown lemurs jumping on a photographer’s shoulders for a free ride.
Tonight was our first night walk in the rainforest. Armed with flashlights, macro lenses and flashes we photographed tiny chameleons, a walking stick with raspberry-colored spines, and a young Madagascar tree boa. The scales were dark orange and black with white highlights and an iridescent rainbow colored sheen. Following our practice at the reptile farm everyone got great photographic results in very difficult situations.