A few words about the photographer:
My name is Helmut Weiss, and I was born in 1969 in Bavaria, Germany where I am still living. I have been travelling the world since my university days, spending time in Asia, Australia, USA and — most important to me - Africa. Sri Lanka is great, India is fascinating, the Thai people are the friendliest on earth, Alaska’s nature is amazing, Egypt’s ancient buildings are awesome - but nothing can beat the African savanna and its wildlife. My photographic equipment is my constant companion wherever I make my journeys.
It is important to me that I do not have to depend on my photographic work for income. This means that there is no need for me to chase up at least 100 photos with commercial potential, which allows me to go to off-the-beaten-track places, and just wait for whatever that comes along. It may be nothing, or it may be a wonder nobody has ever seen before. The thrill and excitement lie in not knowing what to expect.
I started photographing in the mid-1980s with a Chinese 6x6 camera (a 2-eyed Rolleiflex replica), set up a darkroom with a b/w and color enlarger, and processing Ilfochrome paper. Thanks to Photoshop, there is little need to handle poisonous chemicals any longer. Today I use whichever equipment is most suitable, mostly 36mm slide films or digital cameras.
My mission is to photograph animals in their natural habitat.
This is relative, since for example, the whole Etosha Pan
in Namibia is is nothing but a big zoo that is fenced up.
Even so, I consider Etosha “wild”, as I do with Serengeti,
Ngorongoro, Okavango delta, Kalahari or the Zambian National
Parks. We know how easy it is to take pictures of a roaring
lion when there is a fence in between. Of course I have captured
pictures of animals in sanctuaries, but they are clearly marked
in my collection.
Every week I get at least 2 e-mails from people enquiring
about the camera I use. I consider this questions irrelevant,
because every modern camera equipment can do the job, regardless
of whether it is from Canon, Nikon, Minolta or whichever camera
company. And if you need a 2,8/400 lens you will have to invest
a lot of money, irrespective of the brand. A time ago
I decided to buy Canon, simply because in those days they
where the first which offered a reliable fast and silent autofocus
system, image stabilizer and lightweight large lenses. Today
Nikon and others can offer the same features. To be more specific,
the EOS 3 is my current favorite analog body, while I use
the D10 and 1Ds for digital pictures. The 17mm to 400mm lenses
are all from Canon, and they can be extended via a teleconverter
to 600 and 800mm.