This Baobab Tree is One Thousand Years Old (give or take)

Baobab Tree by Anne McKinnell

I come from British Columbia, Canada, so that means it's pretty hard to impress me with big trees. People come from all over the world to be awestruck by the magnificent old growth forest I grew up with. But one tree I was impressed by is the incredible Baobab Tree in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania. It's not necessarily the size of the tree. There are taller trees, … [Read more...]

Wildlife Photography in Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Four Wildebeest by Anne Mckinnell

Glowing golden plains, with backdrop of dark hills, and layers of clouds that change from dark to light softening the sun’s rays that bathe the land - it was a place of incredible beauty, a landscape photographer’s dream. But I wasn’t there for the landscapes. I was there for the 25,000 large wild animals and countless smaller animals that occupy 100 square miles in the … [Read more...]

The Elephants of Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

Elephant Stare by Anne McKinnell

And the safari begins… After a lifetime of dreaming, months of planning and many dollars spent, I was finally on my way. As we drove through Arusha, the anticipation and excitement ramped up even more as I prepared myself for my first destination: Tarangire National Park (pronounced Taran-geery). It's about the water. The long dry season has left the land parched. … [Read more...]

My First Day in Africa: Arusha, Tanzania

Woman walking in Arusha by Anne McKinnell

I forgot it would be dark out when the plane landed. It was only 7:30pm, there would still be another hour of daylight at home, but the sun had already gone down in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. I couldn’t see the mountain at all. The make-up of passengers on the plane was about 75% folks older than me going on safari - mostly people in their 60’s. There were even a handful of … [Read more...]

It All Started at Lion Country …

Baby Elephants Playing by Anne McKinnell

It all started at Lion Country in California when I was six years old. I remember driving through the park, amazed by both the openness of the landscape and the variety of large creatures that lived there. The lions came very close to the car and they were more formidable than I imagined. Then there were the giraffes, so graceful with their slow steps that seemed to take … [Read more...]

Saguaros as Far as the Eye Can See

Distant Cactus by Anne McKinnell

Saguaro National Park, in Arizona, is a special place. The sheer density of the Saguaro Forest is captivating and I love how the cacti look against the red rock. Usually I photograph them from ground level, often from a low angle looking up to emphasize their immense size. But seen from above, you get a totally different feel for the place. To get a good vantage point, we … [Read more...]

How to Create a Good Composition in a Crowded Desert Scene

Saguaro Cactus in Quartzsite Arizona by Anne McKinnell

The Senoran Desert, in southern California and Arizona, is packed with all sorts of cacti and other plants. You never have to go far to find a good subject to photograph. In fact, deciding on which subject to photograph and isolating it from the rest of the plants is the most challenging part! Creating a good composition in a crowded desert scene is a matter of elimination, … [Read more...]

Desert Sunset at Joshua Tree National Park

Sunset at Joshua Tree National Park by Anne McKinnell

One of the reasons I like going down south in the winter (and there are many) is the incredible sunsets in the desert. It seems like every day is a clear blue sky day with no clouds and then, as the day goes on, the clouds move in just in time for sunset. There are stages to the sunset that we just don’t get on the coast. Or perhaps it doesn’t happen frequently enough … [Read more...]