wildlife photography

Naomi & Dave Estment of OV&P

2017 Home Run!

Wow, time flies! Here we are again, well into December, which means that holidays and New Year celebrations are right around the corner. How has your year been? We hope you’ve had a good one, and lined things up for an even better 2018. Life has been as exciting as ever here at Outdoor Video & Photographic. Big shout out and THANK YOU to every one of our special clients, associates, suppliers, freelancers, family and friends for contributing so much value to what is wrapping up to be a great 2017!

As always, it’s been our privilege and pleasure to provide leading-edge ground and aerial photography and videography to fulfill a host of exceptional requirements for our clients, such as major construction projects for the Barrow Group, FWJK and Fortress Income Fund, innovative corporate and commercial initiatives for the likes of Excellerate, Old Mutual Property, Nedbank, Mercantile Bank, JSE, Autobax and Tetra4, as well as epic events like the launch of the phenomenal BMG World facility and this week’s vibrant Yamaha SA cocktail party and unforgettable track day at Kyalami with international MotoGP star Maverick Vinales.

Yamaha also recently hosted our filming of instrumental gospel pianist Ntokozo Ndlovu and his band, in order to create music videos for his latest CD. Two of the tracks feature beautiful nature and wildlife footage that we shot locally and combined with highlights that we’ve captured during our 20+ years of travels in the African bush. This remains close to our hearts, so it was a treat to get away to the Kruger Park mid-year, and catch up on some wildlife filming and photography while we were there.

Our studio has also been buzzing this year, with personal branding photography and videography to help entrepreneurs, executives as well as talented models and actors to shine on camera and promote their companies or careers. This brings us to the SA Blog Awards, since it’s voting season again. You may be aware that this company website of ours www.ovpimaging.com was voted SA Best Photographic Blog winner in 2014 and runner-up in 2015 and 2016, for which we’re sincerely grateful.

This year, Dave and I agreed in January to apply ourselves more fully to the practical business of our corporate and commercial shoots here at OV&P, with less emphasis on blogging about it. At the same time, I’ve been expanding the online aspect of my personal branding photography and videography business at Naomi Estment International. With this in mind, my blogging energy has been more focused on my signature website, sharing loads of tips and techniques to make the most of your personal photo and video shoots. Hence we’re not submitting this OV&P website to the SA Blog Awards, but my site www.naomiestment.com instead.

SA Blog Awards 2017If you feel it’s deserving to continue flying the flag for us and to win the SA Best Photographic Blog award, please click on this badge to cast your vote. Also, if you have any questions about photography or videography in general, or any suggestions for future topics that may be most helpful to you, please leave a comment below. We’d love to connect with you. THANK YOU.

In the meantime, we wish you and yours a blessed festive season and a brilliant New Year, filled with health, happiness and abundant success. Enjoy!

Ntokozo Ndlovu - Gospel Artist - Playing at Yamaha SA

Inspiration for Thousands of Souls

Sometimes a chance meeting blossoms into a strong connection and friendship between folk from diverse backgrounds. I had the privilege of experiencing this recently after we were approached to film and edit an instrumental DVD for a gospel artist. By the time we had met, planned, shot and edited the first two videos, a part of my soul that I’d somehow lost touch with, was re-awakened.

Ntokozo Ndlovu is a talented gospel pianist who has earned a wide-spread audience around the world through his inspired interpretations of popular worship songs, which he and his supporting musicians play with passion and a deep sense of sincere faith.

When we first met, Ntokozo shared with me that he had been told about my and Naomi’s exploits into the African bush and that he loved the sample of work displayed here on our OV&P website. Our galleries include just a taste of the photos and videos that we’ve had the pleasure of capturing over the last 20+ years at unforgettable destinations like the Masai Mara in Kenya, the Okovango Swamps and Kalahari Desert in Botswana, as well as too many local wildlife getaways to list here.

What Ntokozo had in mind was firstly for us to create a nature-based video depicting the beauty and splendour of God’s creation, so we shot the footage at some pristine locations along the Crocodile River and in the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens. Then we choreographed and timed the various scenes to fit in with the melody of “We Glorify Your Name”, played by Ntokozo:

The second video that Ntokozo requested was wildlife-based. For this one we compiled some of the footage that we’ve gathered on our adventures into Africa, combined with scenes we shot of him driving around at a local game reserve during a visit that was arranged by my good friend and highly respected game guide, Brian Colling.

It was special to see how the experience of actual wildlife encounters and viewing our African Wildlife footage in our studio inspired Ntokozo, who chose to play a beautiful rendition of “Our God is an Awesome God” as the music track for this video. It is accompanied by powerful visuals of the awe-inspiring Big Five and enchanting footage of creatures as small as meerkats teasing some rhino, as well as dung beetles doing their thing on the ground. Take a look for a moving experience of your own:

In addition to creating these two videos, we filmed and edited 15 instrumental gospel tracks featuring Ntokozo and his band members performing at Yamaha South Africa’s world-class theatre facility. Our valued clients and associates at Yamaha generously provided all the high-tech Audio Visual (AV) equipment, musical instruments and moody lighting required to record the tracks and create a top quality production. To give you a sneak peek, the pic at the top of this post was taken during shooting.

A unique feature on some of these videos is that Ntokozo introduces a lovely young lady signing the words of the songs for deaf audiences who cannot hear the music but can appreciate the visuals, enhanced by her sharing the lyrics with them.

The feedback we’ve received from Ntokozo and his team has been truly heart-warming. We’re proud to have been instrumental in creating a unique set of videos that convey Ntokozo’s vision to inspire thousands of his followers to live wholesome lives and to develop their individual centres of influence into peace-loving and happy communities, wherever they may find themselves. We wish them all the very best and are grateful to have had the opportunity to contribute our expertise towards this worthy endeavour.

Playing at Kruger Park

What do you like to do with overseas visitors? We love to enjoy African wildlife together. So when our Swiss cousin Kevin recently popped out to SA with his family for a holiday, Naomi and I arranged a trip to Ngwenya Lodge at the Kruger National Park.

I deliberately took along only the essentials to take a couple of pics and probably no video. Yeah, right 😉 Kevin’s wife Anne had earned a reputation for finding big cats on her first trip to SA, when we saw 4 different Leopard sightings in 3 days! That was also at Kruger, many years ago, and if you know anything about the bush, you’ll know it’s incredibly rare. 2017 was right up there.

Anne was on form, and the family saw the Big Five in no time at all, including leopard. As we relaxed and shifted from Joburg mode into Bush mode, the trigger finger started itching and I really enjoyed shooting the wildlife we came across. A highlight was two Tawny Eagles (pictured above) battling it out in the sky overhead, which is tricky to capture because everything happens so fast.

I made the beginners mistake of not checking that I had spare batteries with me, assuming they would be in the camera bag. Wrong! They had been left behind on the desk in my studio. Plan B. Battery flat, great shots in the bag, so I capitulated and took one of our video cameras on the last evening/night drive just in case we saw anything special. Wow, we were spoilt for choice.

A pack of hyena hunting, hyena cubs in and around their den and lions mating right next to the game vehicles got our full attention. It was fun to see the reactions of the children and some Spanish folk we had met. They could barely believe their luck, but then I pointed out that we had “Annie find the Predators” with us, which contributed to much laughter and animated story telling.

To see some more photos, view our FB album: Kruger Park – July 2017, and here’s a short video of exciting highlights:

Early the next morning Naomi and I hit the road back to the ‘Big Smoke’ to do a shoot that we’d scheduled, leaving our cousins to enjoy a few more days in the bush. In true style, Anne spotted a leopard which posed proudly, allowing Kevin a chance to get some lovely pics of this magnificent, elusive predator for their holiday album. Pity we missed it, but there’s always a next time.

This trip reminded me of how important it is to get away sometimes with family and friends to places that feed the soul and allow us to truly relax and appreciate nature. I hope you feel inspired to take a trip somewhere special with your loved ones and recharge your batteries. Oh, on that note, don’t forget to take spare batteries for your cameras 😉