Shooting Dook, Shooting Angama

5 March 2019 | Inside Angama |

Reading Time: 5 MINUTES

Angama Mara is a photographer’s paradise. If you don’t have a state-of-the-art camera, shoot away on your iPhone, but whatever you do, don’t miss the magic

The view from Angama Mara, located high above Africa’s Great Rift Valley and overlooking the Maasai Mara, is the same view that Karen Blixen and Denys Finch Hatton enjoyed when they flew over in a yellow Gypsy Moth bi-plane. The picnic spot, where Meryl Streep and Robert Redford played out their love affair in front of the Out of Africa film crew, is magical and still frequented by lovers today. In fact, the views from anywhere at the lodge – your bed, the pool, the shower or even in the mirror while brushing your teeth – are breathtakingly beautiful and well worth capturing on camera.

Deck view

Denys Finch Hatton found hunting safaris with professionals and royalty appalling. Instead, he turned these excursions into photographic safaris – something that Angama has taken to a worldwide audience – creating a love for and understanding of wildlife.

Askari with vehicle and view

Photographer Dook Clunies Ross and I do not always get time to “shoot” animals, we are up from before sunrise and work well after sunset in an attempt to capture the magic of Angama Mara’s architecture, living spaces, design and people.

Guests who saw us around the lodge would never have guessed that the man behind the Nikon camera in handout T-shirts is a true master of capturing the magic of African lodges.

Watch him shoot!

Dook Veni Vedi Vici

Dook arriving at the Olkurruk Mara airstrip. – I came, I saw, I conquered.

“Veni, vidi, vici” ( “I came; I saw; I conquered” ) is a Latin phrase popularly attributed to Julius Caesar. The phrase is used to refer to a swift, conclusive victory. Wikipedia

Dook on deck tripod

Dook on Deck vith view

Dook on roof

Come rain or shine, sunrise or sunset – Dook will capture what he considers to be the iconic shot – over and over again, from all angles, until he is completely satisfied.

Dook red umbrella

Dook Koppie

Photographing the Angama staff is one of Dook’s all-time favourite things to do between breakfast and lunch. While he sometimes guides them on how to move and pose, more often he prefers to shift his angle and keep them steady.

Dook Shamba

Sometimes though, he will strike the strangest of balancing acts that we are yet to figure out.

Dook chapel

Dook Boma

Dook is always trying for the most unlikely but striking of portraits.

Dook Sunrise Maasai

Never compromising, Dook treats the sunrise colour palette as a collection of backdrops, image after image. His subjects never tire of performing for him, and those not in front of the camera, cash in on the magic with their own phones.

Now see the end results …

Dook red umbrella final

Dook askari sunrise final

Dook Chapel Final

Dook Koppie Final

AUTHOR: Annemarie Meintjes

Annemarie is Chanel-red lips and black Chinese suits. She is also the best storyteller alive. Annemarie is rooted in both South Africa and the soil of the nations she has explored on her travels. Annemarie was born to be in media: TV training at the early days of the SABC, followed by a stint in fashion for popular local magazines. She then joined fellow media genius Karen Roos and together they spear-headed a brand new magazine that made a deep impression on the SA fashion scene, namely RED. In her whirlwind of creativity Annemarie published a number of books and her current life is filled with the style bible – VISI magazine, SA’s design wunderkind and one which holds its own beside the finest global décor magazines.

March 6, 2019

It’s fascinating to look under the bonnet of this photographic icon. Thanks for sharing some of his process Annemarie

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