Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Lake Natron and Ol Doinyo Lengai from the air

In 2012 I decided I wanted to do a photo mission to an out of the way place in Africa. It turned out that Ol Doinyo Lengai was that mission. An active volcano in the heart of the remote rift valley situated in very harsh and tough country, the name means “Mountain of God” to the Masai and is feared and revered in equal quantities. I got my Masai friend Pilot Naurori to guide me there and between us we climbed the volcano to be thwarted at the top by an evening of rain and gale force winds. The word adventure springs to mind when I think back, but when on the top of that very exposed crater rim it felt more like a very stupid thing that we were doing.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Iconic east Africa

I have traveled across east Africa many times over the last 12 years and visited all of the major highlights it offers. However, this was the first time I had traveled to all of the most iconic places in one safari. Together with Iconic Images International and my company C4 Images and Safaris, I co-hosted a safari that turned out to be more magnificent than one could ever imagine. The simple reason being that each of the destinations are so closely linked to each others ecosystem and one only gets to appreciate this when you connect all the dots in one safari. "read more".

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Svalbard Magic

There are more stories written about the isles of Svalbard or Spitsbergen, whichever way you want to pronounce it, than I can care to even remember. When I first set eyes upon these islands I was struck by the extreme beauty, but almost as immediate, I was also struck by the harsh weather that is borne within it. I learnt very quickly that there is no such thing as bad weather in Svalbard, only bad clothing.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Shem Compion -Keynote Speaker at Three Workshops in Australia - May 2014

Shem will be presenting the following one-day workshops in May 2014,with Dennis Glennon in following areas in Australia.
  • SYDNEY - Saturday 3 May 2014 at the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts (SMSA), 280 Pitt Street.
  • MELBOURNE -  Saturday 10 May 2014 at The Backlot Studios, 65 Haig St, Southbank.
  • PERTH - Saturday 17 May 2014 at the WA State Library Theatre, 25 Francis Street.
For any further details of information please read on or follow this link...

Africa Geographic reports Shem Compion as “one of the top three nature and wildlife photographers in Southern Africa”.

Shem is an adventurer, nature photographer, successful author and photography hide designer who’s passion is to share his love and experience of the natural world with others. His full time occupation is wildlife and nature photography. His creative photography explores every aspect of the natural world, making him one of the most diverse and celebrated natural history photographers in the Southern Hemisphere, whose work has been awarded and published worldwide. For an overview of the books he has published, Shem’s Books.

Born in Africa, Shem travels internationally to share his photography, his knowledge and his natural history expertise with photographers of kindred spirit. To view some of his award winning images, go to Shem's Images

Friday, 23 August 2013

Interview with Nature and Wildlife Photographer Shem Compion

Originally on Discover Africa.com

Have a look at our featured interview with celebrated nature and wildlife photographer Shem Compion. He tells us about his passion for wildlife photography, where he draws his inspiration from and some of the challenges he's faced as a professional nature and wildlife photographer.

Above: A hornet flies past two very mesmerised meercats in the Kalahari.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

The urge to climb, a volcano

We arrive near the top, just in time for sunset. The whole place stinks, sulphur steaming from the side vents and the light is beautiful. I ask our group to stop. I’m exhausted but we are almost at the top. I grab the camera and try take a few images. Anywhere off the path is fresh ash, I’m creating new tracks in brand new earth which no person has walked on, quite a sensation. The light is amazing but I’m totally exhausted and we’re on a spur that has some serious drops on either side. Red flags are going off in my head- being tired and on top of a windy spur at 2800m is not a good place to be. I grab a few images and feel the wind pick up. “Hmmm not safe at all” I surmise. “Lets keep moving up to the crater rim.” 20 minutes later we crest the rim and the wind almost blows us off our feet. We are immediately bent down onto all fours. Pilot, my Masai friend hears the earth rumble- normal volcanic activity and proclaims he will never look into the crater again, something about man not supposed to look at the home of God. He averts his gaze to the dark horizon and straight into the howling wind. We need to find shelter, and fast.

Monday, 3 December 2012

The magic of Svalbard and its polar bears

It is hard to describe a place that is just so foreign to any other place on earth. I have travelled to cold environments before. I did 3 winters in -20 C Switzerland and 21 days in northern Japan where the thermometer dropped down to -25 one morning, so it was not really about the cold. The main difference is that the other cold places I had visited were quite populated and near cities. Svalbard though, is something quite different. It is the northern most landmass on earth. North of it is nothing but ocean and ice- all the way to the North pole. So landing on Svalbard in golden sunlight at midnight is a sensation akin to landing on an expedition to a place that only scientists, hunters, trappers and wildlife photographers go to… In other words; crazy people that love the wild frontiers of this earth. Which is exactly what it is.
(Click on images to view in lightbox)

Friday, 23 November 2012

At the whim of the Masai Mara: 10 years on.

This year was my ten-year anniversary in the Masai Mara. In 2002, together with AndrĂ© Cloete, I was on a 7-month self-drive safari through Africa. We were on a mission to see Africa for ourselves and visit and photograph all the great game parks of Africa. It was the most wonderful times of my life and as we entered the gates of the Mara with another friend Michael Collins in the Landrover, the three of us immediately opened up a Tusker beer to celebrate. It was exactly as we had imagined- wide-open grass plains, more biomass than you could point a stick at, predators around every corner and lots of mud. 

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Namibia Photo Tour Video

Through C4 Images and Iconic Images I was involved in this project. As you will see it is a brilliantly put together video of a Photo Safari I arranged together with Iconic Images in Namibia, July 2012. Sit back, relax and enjoy the brilliant editing, visuals and soundtrack of this Namibian Tour summary. The creative artist behind the video and visuals is good friend Abraham Joffe from Untitled Films. You can see another of his films about our Mashatu elephant hide here. I am looking forward to working with Abraham on more video projects in the future. 


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

The Travelling Photographer

There is one universal truth I have found when travelling on aeroplanes: It is a tiring business. A long day of flight connections, queues, endlessly lifting and putting down camera bags, being exposed to high (-er than normal) levels of radiation and the accumulative effect of being at an equivalent of 4000m above sea level all add to make long travel day one that your body remembers long after your arrival time. (In the theme of travel, all images hon this post, except the snow monkey, are taken with my travel camera, the iPhone)

Trust me, you do not want to be looking like this after a long flight