28 February 2011

Back from Japan

We have just returned from Japan. It was one of our best visits ever. Not only because we had such a wonderful group, but also because of the weather conditions. There was so much snow everywhere that the views were even more spectacular this time. We got falling snow at the snow monkeys, which was tough for the lenses (why does the wind always blow in the opposite direction that you're shooting in?) but great for photos. We also got hoar frost at the swans and the cranes, something I hope for every year but doesn't happen often. The ice conditions were a little bit too good - there was so much ice that we had trouble leaving the harbor with our boat. Not that we needed to go very far, because there was a lot of raptor activity and we all got great white tailed eagle and Steller's sea eagle shots.

Our next White & Wild Japan tour will be from 13 to 25 February 2012. For more information, please have a look at the Photo Tours section on our website.

11 February 2011

Squiver earns Five Star rating on Photo Travel Review Magazine

We are proud to announce that the online magazine Photo Travel Review has rated Squiver Photo Tours with their highest rating: five stars!

Photo Travel Review is run by photographers who have traveled extensively throughout the world. Each of them is recognized widely in the photographic community for the quality of their photographic skills. In addition, they each bring a wealth of experience from their occupations and professions. Their interest is to provide information of value to people who want the perfect photographic adventure.

From their website:
'The PTR Team knows the world photographic community very well. We have attended seminars, conducted our own, and we know the work of most well-recognized nature photographers. Marsel and Daniella offer something very special to the traveling photographer — vast experience and recognition for their work, a variety of places to go, reasonable costs, and expert instruction. In sum, the best combination of all attributes that make up a successful photographic holiday.
Photo Travel Review Magazine highly recommends Squiver Tours. The offerings are among the best in the world — Squiver has earned PTR’s five star rating.
We are tempted to add a “+” to the rating because their tours are among the most reasonably priced that we have encountered.'

Of course we knew this already, but it's always nice to hear it from someone else. ;-)

If you would like to be part of the Squiver experience, please have a look at our website for tours currently on offer. Our trips are for all experience levels and you don't need expensive gear to return with great results.

We are working hard on two new trips, and we will introduce them here later this month.

05 February 2011

Naturescapes Image of the Year

I am proud to announce that my star trail image 'In the Dead of the Night' was awarded Image of the Year in the Landscape category of the 2010 Naturescapes Images of the Year Awards.

The image was shot on last year's Namibia Untamed photo tour.

Namibia is not only the least densely populated country of the world; it is also one of the driest. The clear desert air is perfect for shooting stars and star trails, so that's one of the things we always try on each year's Namibia tour.

We had planned the trip to coincide with new moon, so that we would have pitch-dark nights with lots of stars. For this shot of a dead camelthorn tree in Deadvlei I made a 58 second exposure for the master image, during which I painted the tree and the foreground with a small torch and a warm-up gel. There was still some afterglow on the dunes in the background. During the night the camera took little over 80 shots, each four minutes long.

As I was shooting with a D3X, I converted the star shots to jpeg after raw conversion before stacking them in PS, to keep the file size manageable.

Equipment Used: Nikon D3X, AF-S 14-24/2.8 at 14mm, 58 seconds, f/5.6, 80x4min at f/5.6, ISO 100, Gitzo tripod, Nikon programmable cable release.

Our next Namibia Untamed tour will be in May, and we're already looking forward to shooting star trails there again. If you would like to join us, have a look at the Namibia Untamed photo tour page for more information. Don't forget to check out the video of this spectacular trip on our website www.squiver.com!


02 February 2011

Desert Expedition 2010/2011

We've just returned from our two month desert expedition in Northern Africa. It was intense, but incredibly beautiful. We still have to sort all the images and footage we shot there and we're already leaving for Japan in a few days, so we hope to be able to share some of the results when we get back home again.