In the fall of 2012 I spent a life changing day at Out of Africa Wildlife Park in Camp Verde, Arizona. At Tiger Splash, I was amazed and intrigued to see 12 photographers standing behind the first fence with their long lenses sticking through holes in the fence. I immediately exclaimed, “I want to do that!” I learned that these people were part of the very first wildlife photography workshop at Out of Africa Park taught by Kathleen Reeder.
Before I left the park that day I signed up for the next available workshop. I have been back six times! In addition to fantastic photographic instruction and opportunities, spending a day with the animals of Out of Africa Wildlife Park and the staff that care for them is a fun, joyful, and life enriching experience. Come share in the wonder with award winning, international wildlife photographer Kathleen Reeder! You’ll be glad you did! Here’s why…
Lots of Time in the Park Before the Public Arrives – Arriving at the park when it is still dark outside is very magical. The sounds of the lions, wolves, and birds is other worldly. Having the gate opened by an Out of Africa staff person and being motioned into the park, hours before it is open to the public, is very special. Arriving at the first habitat in time to photograph the lions, backlit by the rising sun is spectacular. It is just us and the Out of Africa Park staff for several hours before the park is officially open.
Every Workshop is Different – At one class we gathered in a tight circle and photographed a Gaboon Viper within inches of her fangs. Another class was greeted with several inches of snow, the most they had ever seen in Camp Verde. Photographing the tigers in snow was unusual and spectacular. One time a baby zebra was born days before our class and we were able to photograph her.
Opportunity for Best Light and Positioning of Animals to Capture Award Winning Photographs – When we visit Out of Africa Park on our own, we never know what the conditions will be. We may not even be able to see our favorite animal due to their location in the habitat or they may be sleeping. Not so at a Wildlife Photography Workshop with Kathleen Reeder! Kathleen works with the Out of Africa staff to ensure the animals are positioned in the best light with the best background all day long. In addition, Kathleen quickly determines the best place for us to be and the staff safely and expertly facilitate this even if it is out of bounds for the general public.
Expert Instruction and Guidance – At each habitat location Kathleen reviews camera settings and other tips. She watches the animal and even cues the participants when exactly to take a photo. She is always open to questions and I learn new things at each workshop. Kathleen has a unique ability to capture the soul of an animal in her photographs. At the workshop she gives us insight in to how she accomplishes that.
The BEST Seat in the House for Tiger Splash – Visitors to Tiger Splash sit in elevated bleachers well away from the two fences that separate the action from the crowd. We are at ground level behind just one fence with a fence cut out for each photographer to place their lens. Nothing prepares you for that thrill of a tiger charging the fence right where you are standing. And our cameras are posed for the non-stop action of tigers jumping in the air and splashing in the pool.
About Jackie Klieger
“I became serious and passionate about photography when I moved to Sedona in 2009. The beauty of Sedona called my soul to express the blossoming joy and creativity I felt inside, providing an inspired entrance into the new world of photography. I am passionate about both wildlife and landscape photography. Wildlife photography allows me to silently be with the creatures I love. As they allow me glimpses into their world, I observe and learn from them. Landscape photography provides a meaningful way for me to document and honor nature’s changing moods and cycles. I consider all of nature sacred. I am honored when I can utilize my photography to support conservation and cultural causes. I am enjoying all the places that photography takes me both inside myself and out in the world. It is my intention to inspire others to connect with their true nature.”
See more of Jackie’s beautiful photographs at www.JackieKliegerPhotography.com and give her a “like” on Facebook! She is a wonderful human being and talented photographer, and I am thankful for our friendship. Jackie will be assisting me with the January 6-7, 2017 Out of Africa Wildlife Park Photo Workshop.