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MxM's solo photographic and birding tour. KTP, Oct/Nov. '13

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Tobieo
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Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour

Unread postby Tobieo » Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:33 pm

John, this is such an interesting read, thank you.

You will probably still get there but I am interested to see what you use in the car, Gimbal on Badger car mount, just bean bag or what.

To get back to you lens selection, very nice. I would not take the Bigma 50-500mm as I think you will never use it. In my Canon days I had the 1DIV paired with 500mm f4 (sometimes with 1.4lll) and 7D with 70-200mm f2.8 ll. I did not have third body but my trusty 24-105mm was never too far. I later had the 300mm F2.8 which was a fantastic lens.

I personally would not be able to take 500mm on morning walk as I could not hand hold for long and to also carry a monopod was insane. So for me 70-200mm plus 1.4 (and 2.0 in backpack) was all I could handle (with all the water, pace maker batteries, energy drinks and bars)

With the black stuff it is now D4 and 600mm plus 1.4 and D800 with 70-200 f2.8 and for walks probably swop the pairing. My 24-70mm f2.8 then within reach.

Enjoy your Sunday!
June 2015 KNP and Sabie Sands
Sept 2015 Masai Mara
Oct 2015 Mana Pools
Nov 2015 Addo, KNP and Mokala

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MxM
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Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour

Unread postby MxM » Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:26 pm

3.3. Other photographic kit selection

There are always some other things that need to go along, and this just for the pictures (not even at the food or medikit or spare tyre yet):

3.3.1. Support:

    - Tripod (have a carbon fibre Giottos – can only handle 8 kg and thus will be used for the smaller camera combinations, but really nice to use for landscapes and other setups where you are not in the mood to lug heavy equipment around),
    - Monopod (still to buy, must be able to support the 1D4+500 combination),
    - Gimbal head (have the Benro version),
    - Badger groundpod (can mount the Gimbal on this little genius),
    - Badger beanbag for a door,
    - Old engineering textbooks to use as spacers at hides,

3.3.2. Light alteration:

    - Canon 430 flash (fine, not the strongest, but pretty decent),
    - Flash extender (under purchase consideration)
    - LED Lenser P7 torch,
    - Camping LED light array (can be set to give really nice big area of constant white light),
    - CPL filter (will stick on my 24-105 most of time I imagine),
    - UV filter (only on my macro lens, never know when something will jump),

3.3.3. Cleaning kit:

    - Air blower (got the booger remover from a chemist – way cheaper than the official camera version, same function, equally effective, just cheaper),
    - Specsavers lens cleaning fluid (again, cheaper than the camera version but equally effective – and it squirts nicely),
    - Dirty cloth (not really dirty, but used while liquid is on lens),
    - Clean cloth (only used one lens is dry and already mostly clean – this is thus a polishing step in my cleaning process),

3.3.4. Other:

    - Spare batteries (1 spare for 1D4, 1 common spare for 60D and 6D, flash set of 4 AA),
    - Chargers for all batteries,
    - HDD space (I copy all images from my SD cards to my laptop’s D drive, then I copy that folder to my working folder on my C drive and then also back it up on an external Western Digital 1 TB HDD; I will also be carrying a spare laptop – just in case something goes wrong with the main one, how else do you download 20 GB per day?). I will have 2x 16 GB and 2x 32 GB Extreme Pro SD cards.
    - Walkabout over the shoulder bag (always nice to carry some other camera/lens option as well as goodies you may need while walking around),
    - Main kit bag (more for transport than anything else),
    - Camera strap (still to buy, but allows the weight of the big boy to lie on my hip and the weight carried there and on my shoulders rather than by my arms and back),
    - Pillows (for the cameras to lie on in the car),
    - Towel (to throw over the big canon, pun intended, to protect from dust and sun),
    - Shoe boxes (to put the smaller setups while driving around to protect from dust),
    - Plug sharer and 2 prong adapters,
    - Remote release (for night time shots and landscape work), and
    - Pentax 16x50 binoculars (tested them again this weekend, had not used them in years, really nice optics and large field of view – why under the photo section? It is much quicker and less strenuous to check what that thing way over there or little bird in this tree is with this guy than it is to get the long glass out – this way I am less tired at the end of the day keeping me eager for the 0430 alarm the following morning). Also, I found that they can rest between my steering wheel and instrument panel making it really quick to access (would not want to use too much time and end up missing some spectacular moment).

I plan on shooting with the groundpod + Gimbal under the heavy glass while in a hide.

On the road I usually use the beanbag as is – I will likely use the grounpod + Gimbal setup on top of the beanbag from the car, especially once set up and sitting at a waterhole. It is somewhat cumbersome to move the whole shebang in the car so getting that fleeting moment may be missed, will have to see.

While sitting at Grootkolk and Urikaruus I plan on steeing up the table with the Gimbal + grounpod with the longest setup. The tripod will be used for the medium setup until evening where the tripod will get the wide setup for some scenic panoramas (hope).

Hehe, so that is all my picture making kit. Seems quite a lot now looking at it. But hey, this is a moments in photography capturing trip...
Moments by Mullineux Photography
Photographer, nature lover, birder

Follow my solo KTP photographic and birding TRAVEL TALE

Photograph all moments of beauty not to forget, but treasure them in your heart to remember

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MxM
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Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour

Unread postby MxM » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:06 pm

Son godin, you think you are joking, but I am planning on packing my running shoes. :naughty: Not to be confused with my general running shoes, my real running shoes are only for running (not playing cricket, walking on rocks when at the sea or garden work, ONLY running), and I am packing them. So I indeed plan on running in camp. I remember doing so when I was 12 on my only previous visit to KTP, I ran laps around Nossob. :dance:

In that vein, having worked 72 h weeks for the past 5 weeks (with the last one being mostly report writing) I have not had much time for exercise. But Friday past I started my gym routine again (usually 4-5 times per week, 20 min serious cardio and 30 min weights) and have been 3 times now.

The thing is, handholding a 500 f4 is not for marshmallows. I, out of frustration of not taking any shots for the 5 weeks, went to a local dam for 30 min. Wow, how sore was my shoulder for the next 2 days, so I had no choice but to revisit the gym.

Also, I have restarted going to the steam room, preparation for 45 oC afternoons...

53 days to go now...

John
Moments by Mullineux Photography
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Follow my solo KTP photographic and birding TRAVEL TALE

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MxM
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Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour

Unread postby MxM » Tue Oct 01, 2013 2:10 pm

Although I still need to find this for myself, I am sure that the scenery and excitement of the amazing KTP and the photo opportunties and birding and general quiet and stars at night will make up for any discomfort from corrugations.

I am anyhow going in a CRV which is really good at evening out such uneven ground. A spare cushion underneath me will also take away from the knocks (as others for the camera gear will do).

However, I am still a little concerned about the VZR stretch of road. The allure of the road Rober Frost would take seems to outway my concerns. Will, although still under consideration, be trying to make it to Kuruman on the first day, then I have lots of time to go road less travelled along the border to 2R.
Moments by Mullineux Photography
Photographer, nature lover, birder

Follow my solo KTP photographic and birding TRAVEL TALE

Photograph all moments of beauty not to forget, but treasure them in your heart to remember

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MxM
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Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour

Unread postby MxM » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:33 pm

51 days to go :dance:

I have started thinking about the crucial items to pack: 2nd spare tyre, can opener, squeegee, cloth for cleaning the inside of the windows, biltong knife, ziplock bags for putting my shoes in at night, cap (me thinks the morning walks will already require some protection), goon show CD, tyre pressure gauge... so many odd things! Will need to make a proper list (and share it)...
:think:
Moments by Mullineux Photography
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Follow my solo KTP photographic and birding TRAVEL TALE

Photograph all moments of beauty not to forget, but treasure them in your heart to remember

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MxM
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Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour

Unread postby MxM » Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:40 pm

Ok, so here is a random section (with no official chapter number). I have been obsessed lately with the bird list of KTP (and Augrabies where I will be going too).

What I have decided is that I MUST see the following (over and above all others that I will be glad to either spot or get reference shots of to upgrade my life list folder):
- Pygmy falcon: not much chance of seeing them at the wetlands I frequent on weekends plus they are so adorable
- Giant eagle-owl (I know it has a proper new name, but this is the name I first knew it by and will thus continue to call it, except in ID challenges I guess): just a glaring omission from my list
- Namaqua sandgrouse: not much chance of seeing them at the wetlands I frequent on weekends
- Burchell's sandgrouse: not much chance of seeing them at the wetlands I frequent on weekends either
- Barn owl: gorgeous birds and I have only seen on in a zoo; been fascinated by their faces since a wee lad
- Rufous-cheeked nightjar: have no nightjars on my list yet and would really like at least one
- Swallow-tailed bee-eater: finishes my SA BE list
- Eurasian golden oriole: have you seen it, the book shows it to be real stunner!
- Sociable weaver: they are interesting, and I like brown birds I can ID
- Great sparrow: being the biggest, it must be the best of the sparrows?
- Violet-eared waxbill: my #1 must see birdie - I have a thing for pretty birds, and this guy belongs on a ramp in Milan in the morning and NY in the evening with a Concord flying him between gigs
- Shaft-tailed whydah: as a kid I started fancying any bird with an interesting tail.

Ones that I have seen that I would like to see again include:
- Rufous-eared warbler (colour + tail + lbj I can ID - a real Kallis)
- Martial eagle.

I have seen 124 of the species on offer and in total there are 33 that I hope/want to get. Not sure about the white stork or lappet-faced vulture or black-chested snake-eagle or a new pipit/lark or rosy-faced lovebird (more hope in Augrabies I understand) or striped kingfisher (my fascination with birds started with the paradise flycatcher, lilac-breasted roller and malachite kingfisher, so now I like ALL kingfishers - and I don't have a striped), but hey, birding is part planning part luck part persistence.

I have the persistence (some call it less flattering names), will coax some luck, so if anyone can help with planning on getting some of these (I know Grootkolk has a barn owl and VEW and TR has a the eagle-owl) please share in the thread or by pm?

Have a sparkling evening

John
Moments by Mullineux Photography
Photographer, nature lover, birder

Follow my solo KTP photographic and birding TRAVEL TALE

Photograph all moments of beauty not to forget, but treasure them in your heart to remember

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MxM
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Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour

Unread postby MxM » Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:13 pm

I will be far up north most of the time, so perhaps I can get some of the more challenging ones, like the sparrow. Thanks for the tip around the owls, also need the white-faced et al. anyway.

Thanks for the offer of notes, Caracal, will greatly appreciate and help with finding something new. Am hoping for at least 20 new birdies before I return (and 38 will get me to 400! but that is a stretch perhaps, time will tell).
Moments by Mullineux Photography
Photographer, nature lover, birder

Follow my solo KTP photographic and birding TRAVEL TALE

Photograph all moments of beauty not to forget, but treasure them in your heart to remember

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MxM
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Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour

Unread postby MxM » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:09 pm

Have just completed the first draft of my packing list, and yes, it does include a 4 lb hammer and hacksaw - you always need a big hammer and the hacksaw doubles as my spare can opener. The official list will follow soon.

37 sleeps to go...
Moments by Mullineux Photography
Photographer, nature lover, birder

Follow my solo KTP photographic and birding TRAVEL TALE

Photograph all moments of beauty not to forget, but treasure them in your heart to remember

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MxM
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Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour

Unread postby MxM » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:39 pm

4. PACKING PLANNING

As the lists are long, I will post in sections: basics, clothes, food, utensils, medikit, car extras, camera stuff (just a checklist, not description again) and sundries.

4.1. Basics – purple folder
• Wallet (garage card, drivers)
• Phone - to keep the family up to date while on the road; will need to contact SO to book overnight stay depending on how far I get before the sun sets in the Northern Cape (do not like driving in the dark there)
• Phone car charger (for the trip back)
• KTP bookings and payment confirmation (printed out)
• Augrabies bookings and payment confirmation (printed out)
• Wild card (printed out)
• Wild card invoice and proof of payment (printed out)
• ID (something I am extremely likely to forget, woe be me not getting into the parks as I forgot a simple document!)
• Spare car keys (you never know)
• En route accommodation list (I will nominate the town as I see the sun setting and SO will call until she has the first place available - list will be of all available/appropriate accommodation in order from cheapest to most expensive that she can just start at the top and phone downwards)
• GPS (you never know, I prefer using a hard map and memorising what town/road to ain for next)
• AA map (the one and only legend)
• Planned route with road numbers and towns (with reference to the aforementioned legend)
• Planned daily route itinerary for inside KTP (I will publish the actual list when I get back, but I like to have planned routes that I know what I can fit in how and what I will be giving up if I decide to swap a long drive with a sitting at waterhole day; the long and short driving days have ben set up such that I even out the load but still do all the routes and waterhole sits I would like. This is also useful for morning walk and night drive planning)
• Dark glasses (cannot live without my polarised prescription shades)
• Normal glasses (guess I need to see at night too).

So, there it is. This is the basic stuff that will either be in one of those neat A4 folders in the front of the car or in the middlemannetjie cubby hole.

35 days until I leave... and counting...
Moments by Mullineux Photography
Photographer, nature lover, birder

Follow my solo KTP photographic and birding TRAVEL TALE

Photograph all moments of beauty not to forget, but treasure them in your heart to remember

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MxM
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Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour

Unread postby MxM » Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:44 pm

4.2. Clothes – 1 bag
• 15 handkerchiefs
• 2 T-shirts
• 5 Golf shirts (collar - keep that naughty sun away)
• 7 Dress shirts (can roll up sleeves when not needed but can keep sun off arms while driving)
• 1 Jacket (hostel waterproof windbreaker)
• 5 Shorts
• 1 Jean
• 15 Socks
• 2 Shoes (Adidas trail; Asics old)
• 1 Cap
• 1 Swimming costume
• 1 Towel
• Toiletry bag

Thinking that it will not get that cold at night so can get away without lots of wamr clothing?
Moments by Mullineux Photography
Photographer, nature lover, birder

Follow my solo KTP photographic and birding TRAVEL TALE

Photograph all moments of beauty not to forget, but treasure them in your heart to remember

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MxM
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Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour

Unread postby MxM » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:02 am

Btw, this is already post 100 on this forum for me, liking this place!

Yesterday I combined my GO! Kalahari edition with the maps off SANParks website, 11 map copies, and drew out my route for each day. The full route per day is now known taking into account which days/camps I will use for morning walks and night drives, leveling out days of long driving and days of long sitting/waiting, which waterholes are best visited in morning/noon/afternoon, how good each waterhole is (based on amount and type of sightings, distance from camps, shade at parking, distance from the road et al.), where the picnic sites are and one vital fact: I plan to vist ALL waterholes accessible to non-4x4 vehicles as well as ALL picnic sites and catalogue them. The point hereof is for me, on future trips, to better remember where I want to drive/sit but also to share with others planning a trip to know what camps and what drives they would like knowing what to expect from the various waterholes. I would like to have a set of data not only on the overall view (captured in pictures) but also on the experience at each (not limited to what to see but also placement and overall feel of the waterhole).

28 days to go :whistle:

Here follows more notes on my packing.

4.3. Food – 1 large Coleman
• Noodles
• Tins
• Oats
• Nougat
• Mother’s care parcel
• Chips
• Water (in 25 l holder)
• Powerade concentrate
• Cedar concentrate
• Sweets
• Mixed nuts and dried fruit mix

4.4. Utensils – 1 box
• Ice tray
• Stanley flask
• Small water bottles
• Tongs
• Braai grid
• Charcoal
• Fork
• Spoon
• Bowl (green plastic)
• Black knife
• Plate (blue plastic)
• 6-pack coolbox
• Green @Home lunch boxes
• Drinking glass
• Tin opener
Moments by Mullineux Photography
Photographer, nature lover, birder

Follow my solo KTP photographic and birding TRAVEL TALE

Photograph all moments of beauty not to forget, but treasure them in your heart to remember

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MxM
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Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour

Unread postby MxM » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:23 pm

4.5. Medikit – 1 official kit bag, 1 lunch box
• Plasters
• Citrasoda
• Rehydrates
• Immodium
• Voltaren (pills and gel)
• Mybulin
• Wrist guard
• Antisinus pills
• Advil CS
• Drixine
• Tweezers
• Needle
• Strepsils

4.6. Car extras
• Squeegee
• 2 spare tyres, pumped
• Tyre compressor pump
• Puncture repair kit
• Inside window cleaning cloth
• Extra cushion to sit on
• Jumper cables
• Tow-rope
• Spare battery
• Spare key
• Pressure gauge
• Note on how to override low tyre pressure warning on dash
• Check car jack and spanners
Moments by Mullineux Photography
Photographer, nature lover, birder

Follow my solo KTP photographic and birding TRAVEL TALE

Photograph all moments of beauty not to forget, but treasure them in your heart to remember

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MxM
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Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour

Unread postby MxM » Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:31 pm

Well, I have just finished my ranking system for the 2 towns where I may sleep over (depends on the light conditions, road conditions and traffic to where I can get before needing to rest for the night). So happy. Have ordered all places from favourite to least with notes on cost, address, ease of finding (will not have my trusty navigator, the SO), CC facilities, whether food can be prepared for supper by the guest house, safe parking, etc. Yeay. Now I can just say which of the 2 stops I will use and the SO will start phoning from the top to book the best place of that town.

23 days people, planning is everything!

4.8. Other – in with the rest or loose
• Pillow
• Toilet paper
• Head lamp
• Small bowl for water for birdies
• Stuff for charity drive
o Clothes
o Magazines
o Other? Still trying to get info on what else is desired???
• 4 lb hammer
• Duct tape
• Crow bar
• Hacksaw
• Pliers
• Biltong knife
• Plug sharer
• 2 prong adapter
• Blitz
• Matches
• PnP packets
• Ziplock bags for shoes
• Tabard
• Sunscreen
• Aftersun
• Getaway/GO!/Wild magazines
• Pig that wants to be eaten
• Crosswords/sudoku/puzzles
• Pens
• 2x bird books
• Sleeping bag
Moments by Mullineux Photography
Photographer, nature lover, birder

Follow my solo KTP photographic and birding TRAVEL TALE

Photograph all moments of beauty not to forget, but treasure them in your heart to remember

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MxM
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Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour

Unread postby MxM » Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:18 pm

I just noted the large pile of special nougat my mother bought for me earlier the year, it made me think, what else am I looking forward too:
Nougat on the road (yes, I really like this nougat)
Stopping for a leg stretch on a long road at a decent petrol stop with a view - will need to buy an ice-cream.
Sitting at cubitjie quab waiting for the jackals to chase the birdies
Spotting a real Kalahari lion
Seeing the extent of the falls in Augrabies (especially after the rain the last week up here)
Watching a sunset at Grootkolk
Watching birds around a small bowl of water at Grootkolk
Going on a night drive at Nossob
Going on a morning walk at TR
Spotting a fawn-coloured lark, gian eagle-owl, pygmy falcon and sociable weavers (easy in KNP, but I don't have them)
ID'ing my bird pics each evening
Game biltong
A meal at a SANParks restaurant
Sitting at the Nossob hide - of for nothing else, it will make viewing the webcams later more fun

I am less looking forward to:
mosquitos
bees
lonely drive back from Augrabies to Secunda, in one day, it is seriously FAR
Moments by Mullineux Photography
Photographer, nature lover, birder

Follow my solo KTP photographic and birding TRAVEL TALE

Photograph all moments of beauty not to forget, but treasure them in your heart to remember

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MxM
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Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour

Unread postby MxM » Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:30 am

Got the monopod I was looking for, spare SD cards (nice 600x ones, nice special this weekend!). O, and the 6d - yeay. Now I have the equipment I need for the trip. Testing the 6D this afternoon.

20 days people, time must now go. Carefully reading the trip reports of others that have been there recently.
Moments by Mullineux Photography
Photographer, nature lover, birder

Follow my solo KTP photographic and birding TRAVEL TALE

Photograph all moments of beauty not to forget, but treasure them in your heart to remember


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