The Londolozi Creative Hub is exactly what the name suggests; it is at the centre of all creativity at the reserve. It offers guests a unique addition to their safari experience where they can enjoy learning about the photographic editing process, as well as ask any of their burning questions related to camera gear. The Hub is divided into a working space where the online media team generate content but it is primarily a Photographic Studio, a creative space where guests can book a complimentary photo editing session in the time between their morning and evening game drives. This is a chance to work on your photographs, edit and ask for technical camera advice, and with our three canvas machines, you have the opportunity to purchase canvas prints chosen from your edited safari images. An ideal opportunity to take home a memento of the incredible wildlife sightings you have had.
I’ve recently joined the Londolozi Creative Hub and the Studio Team and I am thoroughly enjoying taking photo editing sessions with guests. It’s always wonderful to live vicariously through the beautiful photos that guests bring in, and being able to work on them together is incredibly rewarding.
One thing that I’ve noticed in the short time that I’ve been working in the Londolozi Creative Hub is that there seem to be two trains of thought when a guest walks in, the first is “enhance my photos but keep them natural” and the other is “blow me away by showing me what can be done”. As with any art form, editing allows for the freedom to express ourselves and show off our photographic style. Some guests visit the studio with a very specific idea of the image that they want to leave with and others are really just looking for input and advice, both of which we always try and make happen. My advice is to caution people on over-editing wildlife photographs and reiterate the value in subtly enhancing what is there, to retain the integrity of the memory.
There’s so much to be said for a beautiful, natural looking wildlife photograph, with vivid colours and textures that jump through the screen or off the canvas at you. Below you can see an image that’s been edited to bring out the natural colours. This is an example of a subtle edit where the main goal is to simply add depth, clarity and warmth to the photo.
Having said this, on the other end of the spectrum, stripping an image down to an almost unrecognisable state and then building up the layers again really gives you an in-depth understanding of all the different components of the picture and how they relate to each other. Below I’ve taken the same photo, removed the background and changed the image to black and white. This is a more artistic take on a wildlife photo and the dramatic impact that it can have on the subject is very different to a natural version of the same image. Again, each person will have their own preference but often experimenting with a new look can surprise you, and you may not have even considered this style before your visit to us.
Either way, no matter how you edit your photos, you are creating a beautiful piece of artwork that may ultimately end up in your home. From our perspective, it’s important that the image you take home with you at the end of your session is something that you love, and something that will always bring back fond memories of your Londolozi safari. At the end of the day, whether you want an image that perfectly replicates the experience that you had or something slightly more abstract, the versatility in photo editing allows you to be creative and transform your pictures into art that fits perfectly into your home.
If you’re interested in learning a little more about Lightroom, the editing program that we use at Londolozi, and how to edit your wildlife images, take a look at the following tutorials by our talented Studio Manager, Amanda Ritchie:
We hope to see you in the Photographic Studio on your next visit to Londolozi.
Written and Photographed by Alice Brewer, Londolozi Creative Hub Photography Assistant