Kenya


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In my opinion, it might be one of the best pictures of my career. This photograph is extraordinary, not only because of the remarkable light and shadows but mostly because it was taken when a herd of hundreds of elephants started to run, pushed by their thirst. They sensed water remains in drained lake Amboseli, near Tanzania frontiers and immediately started to run for their lives.

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Wonderful Masai village at dusk. We can notice the livestock entering the door to protect themselves from the lions and hyenas. In fact, the entire community is circled by thorn bushes in order to prevent any kind of struggle between beasts and men. This photo has been executed with a 1DS Mark 2 Canon camera with 24mm F 2.8 lens.

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Two men greeting us during crossing at low height. This image shows how much irrigation works are vital for harvests in Kenya, a land of intense aridity. The friendliness of the residents is unpaired, they sent us plenty of welcoming messages through the sky. This time, I used a 300 mm. Canon F 2.8 lens.

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Overflying view of a zebra flock in Tsavo East’s National Park. Wonderful lighting from the fading sun that allows fantastic shading. These fearful animals don’t let people approach them that easily, which tended to add difficulty to the taking of the picture.

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Elegant giraffes in Kedong valley tundra, near Shampole. These animals are so peaceful that we were able to take at least a hundred pictures of them. The dawn light was a pledge of success; the orange like shadings helped establish the mood.

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Elementary school, in Tsavo village, with superb shading and light. The diagonal framing gives relief to the landscape. Capturing the magical moment with perfect light is a difficult task; you have to study the weather and carefully plan the take-off. It is always a matter of timing. The morning I took this photograph, I had to be in the plane at dawn and prepare the material to be able to fly at 7 am. Children had just arrived at school and were lining up outside. To capture this moment, I used a 300 mm. F2.8 lens and a 1DS Mark3 Canon camera.

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Another memorable moment of the expedition; overflying pink flamingos above lake Magadi mangrove swamp. Theses animals reproduce only in a few locations and this is one of them. Once again, the shading is astonishing and the light highlights the color of their feathering.

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Here is my plane’s shadow over heading natives of Masai taking a bath, near Amboseli. The challenge was to reach such a clearness with the 300 mm. lens. To do so, the minimal shutter speed must be of 1/500 sec., which is always a big challenge with this lens type. The result is still outstanding. Plus, the happiness in the herdsmen’s eyes is priceless.

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Hard work and dedication brings us great satisfaction. What a joy to land and touch the ground after 4 hours searching for treasures to capture with my camera. The plane was a superb AIRCAM offering us a wide view and a lot of flexibility for the aerial photography with the back wings and engines. To my left, my friend and co-pilot Alexis Pelletier, and the plane keeper to my right. What surprised me the most about this plane keeper was that, tied up to his belt, he had a good old cellphone.

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Pre-flight preparation for a photo expedition over heading Tsavo National Park. This park has been created to protect animals from poachers. I had to put my flight uniform, because of the cold in heights (the temperature lowers down by 2 degrees every 300 meters). And, because the cockpit isn’t closed, we need to wear special glasses like the vintage ones they used to wear at the beginning of aviation. Alexis will put on his gear soon too. Notice the back engines and the huge Toundra tires; it allows us to land everywhere in the bush.