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Off the Beaten Track – A Behind the Scenes Visit to the Masai Mara

By Hanssie on August 6th 2015

Unless you’ve been living under a rock these last few weeks, you’ll have heard about the killing of beloved Cecil, the male Southwest African lion who primarily lived in a protected national park in Zimbabwe. The subsequent media firestorm and outrage from the world at the American dentist who hunted and killed him is still making headlines today.

Every day in Africa, “5 lions a day, 5 elephants an hour, and 1 rhino every 7 hours,” are lost to poaching. Travel photographer Chris Schmid is hoping to draw attention to not only this epidemic, but to show people the world and cultures through his work in the hopes that viewers will be compelled to take better care of the environment.

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Chris is a self-taught 30 year old photographer based out of Switzerland. In his new series, Off the Beaten Track, Chris journeys around the world to “encourage other people to travel and see something different to where they live.” In this second episode in his series, Chris travels to Masai Mara and photographs the people and animals in the land of the Maasai.

As an official Sony Global Imaging Ambassador, it’s not surprising that Chris uses all Sony gear and his kit is as follows:

CS-060715-masai_mara-034_original CS-080715-chris_schmid-001-2 As if traveling to remote parts of the world isn’t challenging enough, Chris faces a few challenges when it comes to shooting. Because he is producing both a video series and creating still images, sometimes it comes down to making the choice, “Do I record or do I take pictures?” Settings for video and stills are very different as is the need for different tools, such as an ND filter during the day to photograph wildlife. But Chris says, “You may lose some precious moments but at the end, if you’ve the patience of waiting you can do both without compromising the quality of the footage or still images.

All the footage you see below and for the video are handheld, with most of the videos made with the a7s with the FE 70-200mm in crop mode.

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Watch the video below to see episode 2 of Off the Beaten Track and check out Chris’ website to see more of his work. You can follow him on Social Media as well:

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Check out Episode 1 of Off the Beaten Track, which highlights Switzerland, here.

CREDITS: Photographs by Chris Schmid are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, this does not impact accuracy or integrity of our content.

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    I really like the last photo.

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  2. jozef povazan

    Thanks for the explanation Hanssie. If I was too harsh on you it was not meant to be and after your explanation I can see how you actually create and run these articles and why the similarity happens form time to time. Thank you for bringing more light into this, and wish you a nice weekend as well.

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  3. jozef povazan

    Hi Hanssie, I could just replied you with the exact same answer I just posted on Fstoppers yet I feel you do not really deserve that answer, because Chelsey Rogers from FS played straight cards with me in her reply. I get that you get contacted by photographers who offer you their pieces. That is great. I just do not believe what you just said -” we really don’t have any idea what other organizations are going to be publishing.” Please do not try to tell me that during the last year of being a subscriber to both of these platforms I repeatedly see within a day the same looking articles on both platforms. Are you trying to tell me that these sources you are getting articles from are also contacting FS at the same time and then that both of you release your articles almost at the same time? I like to come to both of these sites and guess what, after I click on either of these first and then I go and check the other one and see the same articles all over again, I simply leave! It gets kind of boring to see that repeatedly IMO. Both great sites and unique appeal is in the mist suddenly after watching this for a while. I know Pye and Lee are friends, that is cool, just if they read this piece, I simply point out that by doing this you are wasting a great opportunity to share more new staff. For example if you just announced the already published article somewhere else with a credit and link to it, moved on and published a fresh new staff, which was not here a day ago. Yes if it is a major announcement from e.g. Nikon and Nikonrumors has it first, then yes I see you do this often and I get it, hot new gear gets lot’s of new clicks, but an article from an artist which could be published without any rush couple weeks later once you see your friends from FS and vice versa had it already covered :)… Hanssie, this is my view on this topic as a regular reader of both platforms, and it is getting to the point that I simply turn off by just looking at the titles at both of your sites and seeing them repeating themselves again and again. The action is I simply leave. Not mentioning I do not even get to look at your affiliate links where you actually could make money. I hope I made my point, love to read news from both SLR and FS just this is was my latest feeling about this. Everyone is different so my opinion will be different from others and I get, so peace to both FS and SLR, keep doing a great work yet there is always a room for improvement :) Cheers.

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    • Hanssie

      Hi Jozef,

      I’m sorry that it is of your opinion that I am not being straightforward with you. I can assure I don’t know any other publication schedule of any other photography sites. If we see a cool article on Fstoppers or any other site, we make sure we get the artist permission to feature their work and then we source the place we saw the article at the end of the article. In this particular instance, Chris emailed us directly with his video and permission to use his images.

      Again, photographers will share their work directly with us and we try to post is as soon as we get it, within a 24 hour period. Because sometimes, these things go viral, we want to remain relevant in the community. If you see an article on another site and a month and a half later, you see the same photographer being featured on our site or vice versa, it makes the site who posted it late, irrelevant. Plus, you would’ve seen it already on the other site.

      Personally, I write my articles at least a day before and then publish it the next day or sometimes days after, as the publication schedule allows. So, if we happen to post things on the same day, it’s because 1) we are sourcing from the same places 2) someone has sent it to multiple sites for consideration 3) it’s coincidental.

      Of course, each writer has their own style so what may be the same topic, may not have the exact same content either.

      In either case, I’m sorry that you get bored but both sites do offer a lot of different and original content (aside from the articles that are trending at the moment) that we hope you can enjoy. Thank you for the feedback and I hope you have a pleasant weekend.

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  4. jozef povazan

    I like new articles, yet this Fstoppers – SLR Lounge copying of the same ones vice versa on daily bases takes from the uniqueness..? Does not it?

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    • Hanssie

      Many times photographers send the same work to be featured to multiple sites and we really don’t have any idea what other organizations are going to be publishing. Unless we force photographers to only allow us exclusive feature rights, there will be times where the same project is featured. Rest assured, we do have pletny of articles that differ from other sites as well.

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  5. Kyle Stauffer

    Awesome images!!

    One thing I believe is a mistake though…. “lion who was killed in Zimbabwe in a protected national park”. The lion was killed 2.5 miles outside of the park.

    I would also like to point out that legal hunting is one of the biggest contributions to conservation/preservation and also the largest threat to poaching.

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  6. Brandon Dewey

    I love all of the photos but I really like elephant B&W photo.

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  7. Peter Nord

    The buffalo covered with mud – wonderful example of ‘show me a photo I haven’t seen before.’
    And doesn’t he look a bit edgy.

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  8. Budau Daniel

    Very beautiful photos. Congratulations. Get on my website and see some pictures Goodbye.

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