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Newsletter | Jul 17, 2010 | 0 Comments

Newsletter #104

Newsletter # 104


American Coati

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks






The Pantanal, Brazil
June 2010 Tour
Part II





My “Recon Tour”

After I bid my clients a
fond-farewell and safe trip back home, I began my ten-day “Recon Tour”.
I’m always hunting for, searching for & exploring new areas for new
adventures, new wildlife & new experiences to take my groups on IF I
what I see & think it is something my groups would enjoy.
On my ‘recon tours’ (to Africa, Madagascar, Ecuador, Brazil or even the
USA), I rely heavily on the advice of my hand-picked-by-me,
trained, experienced guides. This additional Brazilian ‘recon tour’ was
totally fabulous thanks to the wisdom, experience, knowledge &
expertise of my friend & guide.







I flew in a private Cessna
over the vast lands of the Pantanal, which was a breathtakingly beautiful
experience. It really gave me a far better understanding of this giant
wetland. I spent a few days flying from one private ranch/lodge to
another located deep within the center of these thousands and thousands
of hectors (acres) of ranchland & wetland. As their guest, I was
given the ‘red carpet treatment’ allowing me to see first hand what my
groups would experience. Spending time with the owners of these giant,
huge, enormous working ranches (most having been in their families for
generations) helped me learn & understand ranching, Brazilian-style,
raising & the type of cattle (Nelore cow), the Pantaneiro horse,
which is a breed found mainly in the Mato Grosso area of the Pantanal.





While driving along out in
the middle of one area of a huge ranch, we were taken totally off guard
when suddenly hundreds of Black-bellied Whistling ducks launched
themselves a few yards from the vehicle! The So. American Coati is
abundant in these areas, and I’m sure a fine meal for the many jaguars
roaming about. I learned a little bit about deforestation, and the
problems associated with that—both economically & politically. From
what I could glean, most everyone I talked with (I don’t speak
Portuguese—yet—but my guide speaks English beautifully & translated
in detail) seemed committed to the wildlife (tracking & protecting
jaguars for example and so much more.) Yes, they understand that the
wildlife can be economically an advantage to their lives, but I don’t
care what motivates people to protect it, as long as they do it!! It
isn’t a perfect world, which we all know first hand, especially these
days, but I discovered some wonderful places for future tours, and met
some outstanding people. I gained a better understanding about the
lifestyle of the people living in the Pantanal area of Brazil, and more
about Brazil itself. I am so excited about my experiences that
I’m flying back for a ‘deeper, more in-depth look-see & recon’ for 16
days in September right after I return from my African excursion August
31 st. That ought to tell you something about the new ‘treasures I found’
in the Pantanal!!


The Search for the
perfect “Beija-Flor” Hotspot:

I don’t think I know of any
wildlife & nature photographer that doesn’t love hummingbirds
(beija-flores) & who hasn’t almost lost their mind trying to get the
perfect shot! Before you can get the perfect shot, you have to find the
perfect spot (& I’m becoming convinced there is no such thing or that
they are few & far between), then you need the perfect angle, the
perfect perch, the perfect background, the perfect light & on and on
it goes…I, personally, am not interested in all the fancy setups that
many of my peers are into (with multiple flashes & lights, fake
backgrounds etc.) as I’m just too lazy to lug all that stuff around as
well as all my camera gear too. So, I’m in search of the Perfect natural
means of photographing the ‘beija-flores’ of Brazil, and I’ll probably go
to my grave trying. However, I have had some success (once or twice) so,
optimistically, I keep looking.


The latest quest took me to
some of the most beautiful scenics & little towns in and around an
area called the Atlantic Forest on the East Coast of the country. I am
told that the biodiversity of this forest is greater than any other area
on this earth! I am also informed that the area has the highest number of
species of hummingbirds in the Americas. These images here were
photographed with my Canon EOS 1D Mark 11n, 500mm IS lens, on a Gitzo
carbon-fiber tripod with the Wimberly ballhead, the 580 flash at -1 1/3







Just the driving alone is a
spectacular experience, as we wind our way through forests of Melaleuca
trees, plush green rolling hills of banana & coffee plantations
dotted with colorful roofs of the various homes, then on down to the
lowlands of miles & miles of sugar cane and corn fields. We continue
on in an easterly direction and finally land on the coastal area driving
along viewing quaint fishing boats &beautiful beaches. Suddenly a
small, colorful little village pops up. Brazilians love color!!

They also love their
‘football’ (or soccer games), as shown by this image of a group of fans
riding through their town of Santa Teresa dressed in their yellow &
green colors blaring music and cheers. During this year’s World Cup
soccer tournament, I learned not to plan on much of anything during the
time Brazil is on the field. The whole country comes to a standstill.
Banks, businesses, & shops all close down and the ‘party is on’!!
I became somewhat alarmed driving through the city of Campo Grande
(population approx. 800,000 or more) on the way to drop my clients at the
airport for their trip home. The streets were empty, not a vehicle was
moving except ours—it felt like I was part of H.G.Wells’ novel “War of
the Worlds—or that there had been some disastrous event announced and
everyone had fled-except us! I began to wonder if the planes would fly,
or if there were any pilots working. Two minutes after the games were
over (& Brazil had won), chaos prevailed!!!







This final image is of the
view from my room where I stayed in this quaint, quiet (except during
football), seaside village. The whole experience has me looking forward
to my return “Recon Mission ”. I will be scheduling at least one
tour—hopefully two, or maybe even three– for next year in and around the
May & June months (when the weather is the best, the wildlife
bountiful, & the tourist season hasn’t begun yet). Destinations will
be definitely the Pantanal area, with other areas announced at a later date.
As it stands right now, I have four individuals on the ‘definite list’.
Keep that in mind if you are even remotely interested.

Safe travels, happy
shooting & “Keep Your Aperture Your Priority”!!!





If you are interested in any of my tours, click on
their corresponding link below:



Researchers, Editors, and Publishers:

As stated in previous newsletters, at no
obligation to you, send me a “want list” of images you are looking for
that may coincide with a trip I’m about to take, or have recently taken,
and I’ll do my very best to seek out that subject and shoot it with your
request in mind. This may save you some expense, give me a specific
mission and possibly a sale of that image. It’s a ‘win, win situation’!

A quick reminder that my library of 35mm
original slides houses approximately 75,000 images, and my digital library
presently holds over 100,000 (and growing-hourly)!

My website holds an in-depth Stock Shop for your quick review:




The Better Beamer Flash Extender

For telephoto lenses from 300mm on up only $45.00 each

More Info





Specifications & Functions

  • Reduces
    battery drain
  • Weighs 2
    1/2 ounces
  • Easy to
  • Fits in
    your shirt pocket
  • Flash
    reaches greater distances (about 500 ft.) w/smaller aperture
  • Fresnel
    lens stays in place with sturdy side-arms

Your Aperture Your Priority”



Theresa on World Cup Day


Joanne Williams Photography Joanne Williams Gallery Photographer Forums

newsletter is (c) 2005 Joanne Williams Photography.
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