Shoot to Thrill: Photographing the Masai Mara

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During my recent two-week visit to the Masai Mara of Kenya, I took over 3,700 photographs. While several of the individual photographs are among my favorite that I’ve taken, I discovered, quite by accident, that the photographs could be combined into a video to achieve a cinematic effect.

This filmic quality is produced by the high frame rate of my camera (~8 fps), as well as my tendency to take way too many images of particular things (like hyenas and sleeping lions).  What’s most interesting to me is that, to my mind, the most beautiful parts of the film are often not the ones that contain the best photographs. I suspect that this is because each still image must carry the entire story of its corresponding moment, while the video format allows each story to play out over a few moments.

For more information about the hyenas in this video, please check out Queens of the Masai Mara, published in the Winter 2012 issue of Amherst Magazine.

Geoffrey Giller

Geoffrey Giller is a writer and photographer whose work has appeared in Audubon, Amherst Magazine, and elsewhere. He is a former Editor-in-Chief of SAGE and he has a Master's of Environmental Science degree from Yale FES. See some of his other work here and follow him on Twitter @geoffsjg.

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  1. Hi Geoff,
    That was absolutely gorgeous. As Nathan and I were watching it, we said… that MUST be at Fisi camp! Then we looked at your name and realized that we hung out with you in Kenya with Tracy M. Beautiful video- it made us miss the hyenas!
    Enjoy your second year at FES!

  2. Hey Jordan! Awesome that you guys recognized it 🙂
    And I miss the hyenas every time I watch it, though probably not as much as you guys do. Hope to go back someday!


  3. Tahria Sheather says:

    Great editing Geoff, fun stuff.

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