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Worldwide Photography Workshops and Safaris

Digital Photography safari Cheetahs in Africa Digital African Safari Elephant safari image

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Safari Description

• The trip visits Southern Africa's top wildlife destinations in three countries.
• Visit South Africa's Sabi Sand and Botswana's Tuli, Okavango and Chobe River.
• Optional Extension to Zambia's Lower Zambezi for more wildlife.
• Jack and Rikki Swenson are renowned wildlife photographers with expertise in this region and others worldwide.
• Limited to 14 participants.


Summary of our trips
These specialist safaris combine a rich learning environment for photographers interested in learning the techniques of digital photography with the luxurious safari settings and wildlife of Southern Africa.  A safari in Africa, combining wildlife photo opportunities with expert, personalized photographic instruction is, for most avid photographers, a dream trip.  Because these trips are exclusive, even by high-end Botswana standards, availability is limited and demand is high. These are uniquely designed safaris that will be forever etched in your memory, on the tip of your tongue at every gathering with friends and family, and with a little adventurous spirit, documented on film or digital media forever. These trips are the safari of a lifetime.

Each safari is specialist-guided by a Photography Expert, with digital photography techniques as the focus and premier wildlife locations in Southern Africa as the classroom.  We have combined a high degree of quality, luxury and education into a personalized travel adventure and photographic education for discerning travelers.  By staying longer in each camp and concentrating on camps known for their wildlife, these trips combine a premier wilderness experience with a top-quality digital photography education without compromising on the participants’ African adventure. Each safari also includes a specialist safari guide, who accompanies the group throughout to add expertise on the environment.

The safaris are designed for anyone interested in learning the art and technique of digital photography while experiencing a premier-level African wildlife safari.

Please read our Safari Code of Ethics and Conduct.

Photography Experts / Trip Leaders

Grant Atkinson
Grant AtkinsonGrant Atkinson is a freelance guide, wildlife photographer and writer. He lives with his wife Helena in Cape Town. He was born in the Eastern Cape, in 1968. Twelve years spent living and working as a guide in the wildest regions of northern Botswana helped enrich his enthusiasm and knowledge of wildlife and animal behaviour. He first began taking photographs as a means of recording interesting wildlife behaviour, but his passion for photography soon intensified.

Grant enjoys all forms of nature photography, from mammals and birds to landscapes and macro shooting. Some of his favoured subjects are African wild dogs, and big cats, marine mammals and birds of all kinds. He believes that the more you know about your subject and it’s behaviour, the easier it becomes to get good results. This applies to cameras too, and Grant looks to make the most of what modern camera tech offers.

His images have been on the cover of both Africa Geographic and the US National Geographic Kids magazine. He is a regular contributor of text and images to Africa Geographic, Africa Birds and Birding and Pix magazine.

He writes about wildlife as well as photography and photo gear. Grant also regularly conducts talks about wildlife and photography. He also trains people in the use of photo processing programs.

He spends several months each year leading photographic safaris to wild places all over the world with small groups of travellers. You can view his work at grantatkinson.com.


Helena Atkinson
Helena AtkinsonHelena Atkinson leads and co-leads photographic safaris, together with her husband Grant. With qualifications in Conservation Ecology (B.Sc and M.Sc) specialising in National Parks and community conservation, Helena combines a deep knowledge of animal behaviour and habitat with strong photographic skills. She is also passionate about social ecology and enjoys photographing people and their culture.

This love was deepened after spending 6 years in northern Botswana running a very successful social responsibility program for one of Africa's foremost safari operators, Wilderness Safaris. When Grant and Helena are not traveling to wild places, Helena is involved in conservation projects. Helena shoots with Canon gear, and processes her images in Adobe Lightroom.

Her images have been published in Africa Birds and Birding magazine.


Randy Hanna
Randy HannaRandy Hanna, a former Artillery Officer and an Army Aviator, is an enthusiastic outdoor photographer whose passion for nature and its beauty has taken him to the four corners of the globe. He has traveled extensively to photograph wildlife and culture in remote locations, including the South Pacific, Middle East, and Africa. Following in his father’s footsteps, he grew up with a camera in hand. After being assigned to Fort Lewis, WA, Randy soon fell in love with underwater photography and began teaching. After writing the PADI instruction manual and course syllabus, which are still in use today, he began leading underwater photography trips around the world. Returning from deployment to Iraq in 2005, Randy treated himself to a photo safari with Andy Biggs. Randy was immediately drawn to the many sights, sounds and aromas of Africa, a place that he says “stirs his soul and warms his heart,” and compels him to share the beauty and adventure of Africa with anyone who will listen. Currently, Randy leads numerous photography safaris to Africa and other locations around the globe. For a listing of his current safaris, be sure to check out his web site www.randyhannaphotography.com.

An accomplished and published photographer, Randy readily shares his craft with others who are interested in learning. He has a knack for translating the most complex technical aspects of photography into simple language and concepts that are easy to understand. Randy uses his engineering background and skills, coupled with an artistic eye and years of teaching and lecturing, to help both experienced and novice photographers improve their skills. In his photography, Randy tries to draw the viewer into the image in an attempt to share with them the excitement of being on location and taking the photograph.

Randy has mentored students from the Seattle Art Institute, frequently hosts studio and outdoor lighting classes in the greater Seattle area, and has lectured at a variety of photography workshops. He is very knowledgeable in wildlife behavior and is an expert in staging panorama scenes using multiple images to complete a single photograph. He also is very adept and a skilled artist in Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop and is an expert in Nikon camera systems.

In 2009 Randy was a semi-finalist for the British Broadcasting Corporation’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year. His photographs have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Northwest Magazine and other northwest area publications. He was selected as Editor’s Choice for Outdoor Photography – Colors of the World in 2008, and his photographs can be found gracing the walls of corporate boardrooms across the Pacific Northwest.

Learn about Randy and his photography on his website at randyhannaphotography.com.


Jack & Rikki Swenson
Jack and Rikki SwensonJack Swenson
Jack’s career as a guide and professional photographer spans more than 40 years, from early work in Wyoming’s Rocky Mountains to expedition travel on all the oceans of the world. Jack began with Lindblad Expeditions in 1988, and for the past 30 years has worked as a naturalist, Expedition Leader, and Director of Field Operations. He was a founding member of their renown Photo Expedition program that has been the Lindblad-National Geographic Expedition Photography program since 2004.

Trained as a wildlife biologist, Jack has worked on research projects studying elephant seals, seabirds, endangered shorebirds, and for ten years was part of a U.S. National Marine Mammal Laboratory team studying killer whales throughout Alaskan waters. In 1996, he and his partner, Rikki, spent a month exploring Namibia by Land Rover, thus beginning a long-term love affair with each other and Africa.

His life’s work has revolved around seeking out wildlife and wild places and sharing these wonders with others. His images have been published widely in magazines, newspapers and books including publications by BBC, Smithsonian, Audubon, and National Geographic. He has co-authored a photographic book on Baja California, and a photo-identification guide to the killer whales of Southeast Alaska. A film shooter for 25 years, Jack was an early adopter of digital cameras, quickly recognizing the technology’s advantages in teaching photography and spurring creativity in himself and others.

Alongside his wife, Rikki, he leads Photo Expeditions and Photo Safaris, guiding others to the world’s most remarkable wildlife destinations. Jack uses his skills as a photo instructor along with his knowledge of wildlife behavior to help you to better understand your camera, and how to use it to create your own outstanding images of the natural world.

Rikki Swenson
For 14 years, Rikki has been creating and leading African photo safaris with her husband, Jack - in Kenya & Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana & Zambia, as well as Namibia and gorilla trekking in Rwanda. Passionate about African animals, she loves to linger with wildlife, to observe and photograph behaviors, and capture special moments. A professional photographer and an inspiring photography instructor, she loves those “Ah Ha!” moments when her travellers get the shot.

Rikki has been working in the Photo Expedition field as a photo expert on Lindblad Expedition voyages since 2001, in alliance with National Geographic since 2004. She has been a photo guide on expedition ships in wild places ranging from the high Arctic to the Antarctic Peninsula, the length of coastal West Africa, Papua New Guinea across the South Pacific to Easter Island, and Galápagos, Baja California, and Alaska.

Rikki’s first career was 20 years in marketing communications, as creative director, photo editor, and copywriter. Her vast experience both creatively and technically (having worked with photo editing software since the earliest days of Adobe Photoshop) helps travellers enhance their photographic point of view. Skilled with handling a broad variety of camera makes and models, and a natural teacher, she uses her expertise to provide one-on-one photo instruction for all skill levels. And, she and Jack have a knack to make safaris a lot of fun.

Learn more about Jack and Rikki and their photography at expeditiongallery.com.


James Weis
James Weis with a meerkat friend in BotswanaJames in Savuti Camps' woodpile hide, BotswanaJames is an extremely keen and experienced photographer who spends 2-3 months per year in traveling the world and visiting its best wildlife destinations. He has been going on safaris since the early 1990's and his love and passion for the bush have brought him back every year since.

James grew up in the northern suburbs of Chicago and gained his love of animals from his father, who was a landscape architect designing zoos and outdoor wildlife parks throughout the USA.

James' keen enthusiasm over so many years in the bush have given him a guide's knowledge of animal behavior and bush facts, serving him well in his pursuit of special images.

His favorite animals to observe and photograph include leopards, wild dogs and elephants.  James is also an avid birder, with a special affection for raptors and the neo-tropics.

He has been leading and co-leading photographic workshops in Africa and around the globe for many years and is always eagerly anticipating his next safari.


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