Rwanda Day 2 – 4 January 2014

Clear skies, 54 degrees F

The rooster crowed at 5am, we ate breakfast at 6am, then we were out the door at 6:30am to the National Park Headquarters to receive our trekking assignment and our guide. As we were leaving the lodge, we were treated to a beautiful sunrise over the several of the volcanic mountains.

Sunrise from Gorilla View Lodge
Nikon D4, 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 35mm, ISO 800, 1/400 sec at f/7.1

One of the 7 volcanoes that make up the National Park Areas of Uganda, Rwanda, and the Congo.  This image was taken here.
Nikon D4, 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 34mm, ISO 250, 1/640 sec at f/8.0

Our Gorilla Group for today – the Hirwa Group. I spent two days trekking with them last year with great success so I was excited to visit them again. The Hirwa Group is one of only two groups that has successfully raised twins. The group also has a four-month old baby which proved a challenge to photograph due to the baby’s rapid movements.

Four month old baby gorilla of the Hirwa Group.  This image was taken here.
Nikon D4, 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 150mm, ISO 800, 1/200 sec at f/4.5

The skies were clear which pushed lots of direct sunshine into the brush and undercover. This light penetration made shooting difficult at best. We found that a starting setting of EV-0.3 would get us close, preserving details across the bright bridge of the gorilla’s nose and at the same time maintaining good exposure on the gorilla’s black hair.

The hour we spent with the gorillas was magical and most certainly rewarding. We are jazzed up and looking forward to our next several days with different groups.

Cheers and happy photo’ing

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