Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania By Byron Christie

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

By Byron Christie

Dear Brandon and Steve,

I’ve been visiting your site now for several years and it has been the source of a great deal of pleasure and I thank you sincerely for your efforts. Thanks also to the many talented photographers who are so inspiring.

I am very basic in my photographic understanding and capabilities and I don’t pretend to be a talent but I take great satisfaction making photographs. I admittedly suffer from addiction to fine gear and am fortunate to have been able to cobble together a nice stable of gear over the years. With my ill gotten gain, I recently packed up and went to Tanzania for a safari with my wife and another couple. We spent two great nights at the Ngorongoro Crater before relocating elsewhere. Most unhappily, ALL of my gear was then stolen and I was reduced to iPhone photography for the rest of the trip! I am well aware that, in the hands of many people, the iPhone is capable of producing fabulous images. However, it was a bummer to lose my Leica M typ 240, 35/1.4, 21/3.4, 135/3.4, Oly EM1 and Oly 150mm/2.0! If you come across just such a setup while in Arusha, please bear me in mind! I would like to mention that Ken Hansen (email: [email protected])has helped me replace my Leica gear and I greatly appreciate how easy it is to work with him.

The photos below were taken just before I lost all. Most fortunately for me, I downloaded my cards on leaving the Crater Lodge. No matter how sophomoric they are I would’ve regretted the loss of my photos more than the equipment. I do recommend the trip for sure. The Masai are wonderful and proud and I loved seeing the sights. Feel free to bust me on these! I hope to continue to learn from you all.

Best Regards,

1st photo. King of the Beasts. Olympus OMD EM-1 Olympus 150mm f/2.0 ED @ ISO 200, f/10, 1/500th second.


2nd photo. Sleepless in Tanzania! Milky Way over the Crater with jet lag insomnia. EM-1 with Oly 12mm @ ISO 1600, f/2, 41 seconds.


3rd photo. Morning Sunburst in the Crater. Leica M typ 240 with 21mm f/3.4 @ ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/60th second.


4th photo. Masai making fire. Leica M with 35/1.4 @ ISO 200, f/4.8, 1/1000th second.


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  1. Envy you your recent time in the crater. I have amazing memories of Tanzania but not such amazing pix. You rock, Byron!

  2. That m4/3rd sensor can pump out some nice images. 🙂 And I feel you’ve got the perfect setup with the Leica and Oly…perfect for travel photography.

  3. I love the photo with the lion. i have a question for you, how well (fast and accurate) is the autofocus of the 150mm with the em-1 and adapter? can it follow action, say, an animal running at you? the autofocus of that lens was not great with the E5, but maybe now it has improved? thanks.

    • Hi Lenny. I found the AF to be very good. I never did shoot any sports with it though. In my wildlife efforts including some tiny birds I had no issues with it at all. I love the lens and I’m going to replace it at some stage. Thanks for your kind comment!

  4. I had $400 dollars stolen from my bag whilst staying at a small lodge on the Zambezi near to Victoria Falls.

    As you say , It is an unusual occurrence.

  5. Thanks much Adam. I don’t know yet about insurance but the safari company is an old and venerable company. So far they are acting financially responsible. I’ve been to Africa a number of times and it is in my blood for sure and this is an entirely unusual occurrence. It’s a constant source of amazement to me that it’s not more common among these people with so little but in general they are extremely reliable and the staff don’t have light fingers. I’m pretty sure this was an inside job as it occurred at night inside our tent with us inside and they only took our carry on bags and they must’ve known which to take. We didn’t wake up which isn’t surprising as it’s actually noisy in a tent with a breeze blowing.
    Go to Tanzania!!

  6. Hi. Sorry to hear of your misfortune. Can you claim on insurance. You have some lovely images. I love Africa AND it’s true what they say – It gets into the blood. I have travelled to Kenya, Botswana, SA and Zambia. Tanzania is on my wish list.

    Thanks for sharing.


  7. Wonderful images -sorry to hear about your kit been stolen ! They cannot steal yout talent !

    • Thanks so much Fergus! I will get over it. The worst part was not having it for the remainder of the trip.

  8. All very good pictures, like nr. 4 best, execellent “eye” for taking this pic.

  9. Excellent images, hard to choose which I like the ‘best’, but I am wondering, is atmospheric haze or an overdose of UV had an impact on these? If so, how does one prep for this eventuality, in advance?

    • Hi Sam. I think it was all the haze/dust in the air. There was a lot of wind and pretty much ceaseless dust devils all over the place. The dusty earth needs to be seen to be believed and even a person walking stirs up a cloud in certain areas. Don’t start me lying on how to deal with it because I don’t know! Thanks. Byron.

      • It’s only the first shot that mystifies me: the upper background doesn’t look like sky to me at all — it almost looks like the mother of all mountains is entirely blocking the sky!

        But you’re saying that that’s just dust in the sky?? Looks like gi-friggin’-gantic blue/grey rock face, from the horizon up.

        • Hey pbass! That is a gi-friggin-gantic wall in the background but it is hazy looking in the background of many of my photographs. The crater is a long way across and that is the crater wall which is very steep and tall. Apparently it was a volcano taller than Kilimanjaro a couple million years ago and it collapsed leaving the world’s largest non-flooded crater. There are 20,000 game animal in it at certain times and it really is somewhat of a Garden of Eden. I advise a trip when you can.

          • Thanks for clearing that up for me, Byron.
            Man, the scale of that crater wall defies the imagination.

    • Hey Brian, I recognize the Coffee Lodge big time. Your photos are great and well worth the look! Thanks for the link.

  10. Wow!! God’s Grace on that Sunburst image–that is what Chasing the Light offers to the persistent mind, eye and lens. Thank you Byron, Brandon and Steve.

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