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The trip, though short and focused, was amazing in all aspects. What made it so special was Kirsten, who is so creative and passionate about photography. We discussed what I hoped to achieve from this trip when we first met up and he patiently revised the basics of photography with me, as I only use the camera when I have time to take a break from work. Throughout this trip, Kirsten always allowed me time and space to explore and make mistakes, so that learning would be more effective.
The waterhole at Mashatu was magical and it was a wonderful change in pace when we could just sit at the hide and wait for different groups of birds and animals to come in turn to drink. When it became hot, the elephants started frolicking in the water, throwing caution to the wind, as they splashed themselves with wild abandon.
On our final morning, we arrived at the hide before dawn only to find 5 lions climbing on top of the hide, peering and investigating the camera and equipment which Kirsten had left around the hide overnight. It was so thrilling, only to be summed up by my exclamation, “On my goodness!” And the lions returned shortly after to drink from the waterhole when we were actually in the hide, barely meters away, allowing us to photograph them almost with cameras right in their faces! It was surreal.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined taking such animated photos of wild life, star trails or videos, as I did on this trip. Kirsten is just an awesome teacher. Being a teacher myself, I know how special he is in that he understands the fears and challenges his students encounter, explains the solutions in a clear and methodical way, and helps the student achieve his aims. His youthful vigour was inspiring, as the days from the start to the end, were packed and filled with so much interest and enjoyment! In his presence, I couldn’t help feeling young at heart again! This experience at Mashatu has been priceless and I am ever so grateful to have travelled with Kirsten!
My wife and I spent three mornings in the blind and an afternoon session with Kirsten at Mashatu Game Reserve. We want to let you know how informative it was. Kirsten's advice and instruction tremendously improved my photography. He is caring and a very good teacher. We highly recommend and endorse Kirsten. We look forward to meeting up with Kirsten the next time we go on Safari.
Kirsten, thank you very much for your help over the last four days. I have learnt so much about all things photography in a short amount of time. You are incredibly generous with your knowledge and time. All the best with your future ventures - I am confident that you will continue to be very successful!
Kirsten, thank you very much for your help over the last four days. I have learnt so much about all things photography in a short amount of time. You are incredibly generous with your knowledge and time. All the best with your future ventures – I am confident that you will continue to be very successful!
My wife and I spent three mornings in the blind and an afternoon session with Kirsten at Mashatu Game Reserve. We want to let you know how informative it was. Kirsten’s advice and instruction tremendously improved my photography. He is caring and a very good teacher. We highly recommend and endorse Kirsten. We look forward to meeting up with Kirsten the next time we go on Safari.
I had a wonderful time, fascinating and full of learning not only the photography, but with new colleagues and about a way of life, like the Himbas of Namibia, that could be made extinct, in time.
I believe the team supporting Kirsten did an outstanding job, September the chef, the drivers and the others who went about securing us and assisting us with baggage, cameras etc. Well done! I would particularly like to mention Bray who quietly and efficiently ensured that resources were available to us and that the subjects for photography were in place. The camp was well appointed and comfortable.
And of Kirsten…well in his own right he is an outstanding photographer. He also is a good teacher and I endeavoured to put into practice his advice. He was extremely patient. It was one of the trips where I returned feeling I had more understanding of the camera and the art of photography. He deserves my full thanks!
I have been on many tours around the world and yours was the best!
Kirsten, whom I understand has just joined Oryx, is so very creative and has such undeniable natural talent – he has a wonderful eye for photographing wildlife and people from different and unusual angles. I was constantly amazed at the photographs which he took! Although I was relatively new to photography, he was wonderfully patient with me regarding the technical details with the use of the camera and his explanations were simple and easy to understand. He is so humble even though he is so knowledgeable, and has a quiet, sweet and unobtrusive manner, mingling so well with the local Malagasi people and children. By putting them at ease, he was able to take very candid photographs which would often relate a story. He is also a very observant and caring individual – we shared many light hearted moments throughout the tour. It was so easy for me to open up to him with the many questions I had on photography and despite all this, he was always polite and patient. Time and time again throughout the tour, whenever I had trouble with my camera in optimising the settings, he would instinctively come up to me to help me, without even waiting for me to ask for assistance. I am so grateful for his kindness and generosity in sharing his expertise with me, including taking time off during the down time period after lunch in the sweltering heat of mid-day to go through the basics of processing images. At such a tender age, Kirsten has so much potential as a photographic guide – I am really excited to see what the future holds for him. At the end of the tour when I reached Johannesburg airport, I took quite a while to come out of customs as they threatened to detain me at the clinic, having just come from Madagascar which was experiencing an outbreak of plague. When I eventually emerged from the customs counters, I realised that both Dale and Kirsten had kindly collected my luggage and were patiently waiting for me at the luggage belt. I was ever so thankful for their kindness. I have not seen this level of professionalism before with any other tour group and they have my highest respect. They have been so very inspirational.
I just wanted to thank Oryx for organising the Madagascar tour for 2017 which was led by Dale Morris and Kirsten Frost. Both were exceptional and exemplary guides who really demonstrated a passion for teaching photography and for being totally committed to ensuring the best possible experience for all the tour participants. It was my first tour with Oryx and certainly my best tour ever. I was so very impressed with the high level of professionalism and integrity which both of them demonstrated.
Dale patiently taught me how to use my macro lens and flash and this introduction opened up a whole new and exciting world for me! I never knew that macro-photography was so interesting and it is only just the beginning! He was constantly trying to find the best angles for all the tour participants to photograph the lemurs. He taught me how to use my wide angle lens to take the lemurs from a low angle with a sunburst effect! He taught me how to get down and dirty on the ground to obtain wonderfully low angles for photographing the narrow ring tailed mongoose and the nightjar. He taught me how to pan fast moving subjects. He taught me to take note of the background when taking photos. He even set up a mini studio in the forest for photographing the colourful frogs and magnificent chameleons. Everyday brought a new learning experience!! I was so grateful for some of the images which I obtained – something I never dreamt I would ever achieve. Dale even introduced me to fine art photography and night photography of the majestic baobab trees, and suddenly, the artistic potential of photography became so exciting! Dale has my highest respect as a guide. He was able to control the pace of the tour, ensuring that all participants were well taken care of. He has the innate ability to anticipate problems and, in fact, overcame all the problems with the internal flights in Madagascar, remaining calm, unflustered and in complete control throughout. He even anticipated that the final internal departure flight might be a problem (it was eventually cancelled) and, in so doing, he averted a disaster by alerting Oryx, which then chartered a flight for our group. This speaks volumes for the entire Oryx team led by Marius, who must be a visionary leader to have hand-picked such a good team.
In summary, it really has been a singular honor and a privilege for me to have travelled with both Dale and Kirsten. I hope to do so many more times in the near future. Thank you once again for making one of my childhood dreams to visit Madagascar come true. I praise God from whom all blessings flow.
The trip was really excellent and ORYX has some really great guides with Dale and Kirsten. They kept an eye on all the logistics and worked nonstop to get up early and get us on location. If there’s a good photo shot to be had, they both always made sure we had plenty of opportunity to get the pictures we want and many helpful suggestions for making better shots, weather it’s an alternative angle or tweaks to the camera. Some tour guides tend to get caught up in the moment and shot a lot of pictures themselves but they never shot photos themselves unless to test the lighting or if we were all done and I appreciate this because it’s hard to resist in such a location. The local guide was also excellent and I peppered him with questions about the people, the language and the culture and learned a lot. Would I do another trip with them and Oryx? Definitely!
Kirsten was great! For someone so young to be so skilled at leading a tour it is highly impressive. He is fun, friendly, warm, inquisitive, encouraging and enthusiastic in teaching new techniques and skills. I hope to travel with him again one day, he is going to go far!