Spotlight on Africa
Spotlight on Africa is an offshoot of the Australian company Spotlight on Asia, specialising in travel photography and small group photographic tours. With over 30 years of photographic experience as well as extensive experience in customer service, operations and project management, Spotlight on Africa strives to provide photographic tours that are uniquely specialised yet affordable.
Having specialised in photographic tours to Asia since 2007, it was only a matter of time before Spotlight on Asia decided to expand into other geographic regions, with the first destination being Africa. After a hugely successful tour of Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa and Namibia in 2013, Spotlight on Africa was born, with the goal of leading further amazing tours in the future. Spotlight on Africa has since led successful photographic tours to Namibia and East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar) for the great Wildebeest migration in 2014, and is now looking forward to jointly leading a tour to Madagascar in 2015.
Unlike many other photographic tour companies, Spotlight on Africa designs the photographic tours from the ground up with photography in mind. This however does not mean you need to be a photographer to enjoy the tour. The tours appeal to photographers and non-photographers alike. Working with carefully selected local and international tour companies, the tour programs are designed to ensure that the very best photographic opportunities are on offer, but without neglecting all the other joys of travel, such as culture and cuisine.
Spotlight on Africa understands that there is much more to Africa than wildlife, and incorporates a variety of experiences in the tours, including landscapes, seascapes, night photography, people photography as well as the amazing wildlife. To ensure you get the very best photographic opportunities, Spotlight on Africa conducts extensive research on the destination, and then goes about designing a tour to encompass as many of the highlights as possible, whilst ensuring sufficient time at each. For example, the Namibia tour not only includes the typical highlights such as the Quiver Trees in Keetmanshoop, the Ghost Diamond mining town of Kolmanskop, sand dunes of Sossusvlei and the wildlife of Etosha National Park, but also the Himba, Zemba and Herero tribes of Opuvo. This ensures that everyone travelling to Namibia returns with not only amazing photographs, but more importantly, an amazing natural and cultural experience.
Spotlight on Africa looks forward to travelling with you.
Who Travels with us?
There is no greater joy than travelling with people sharing a common interest, and once you understand the value of travelling on a dedicated photographic tour, you will most likely return for more photographic adventures. Approximately 50% of travellers are repeat clients, with many intending to travel on further tours well into the future.
Two of the most common questions received by interested travellers are “Do I need to be a good photographer to join the tour” or “Is my camera good enough?” The tours accommodate photographers of all standards, from beginners with small compact cameras, to professional photographers with Digital SLR’s and a variety of lenses. As long as you enjoy taking photographs, and wish to be presented the very best photographic opportunities, you will feel at home travelling on any of the tour. The only prerequisite is that you have a basic understanding of operating your camera.
In actual fact, the photographic tours appeal to photographers and non-photographers alike, with many enthusiast photographers bringing their non-photographic partners. If they have appreciation for seeing a country, experiencing a culture and trying things not offered on standard tours, they will still have a great time. The only requirement of travelling is that they will need to exercise some patience. Whilst photographers enjoy their photography, non-photographers are more than welcome to venture off and explore on their own, or even better, be swept up in the photographic passion and learn the art of photography. Some non-photographic clients on past tours have thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and soon after invested in photographic equipment in preparation for their next photographic tour.
The tours will appeal to people of all ages and experience. Most tours consist of travellers between 50 and 70 years of age, but have also accommodated as young as 20 and as old as 90 years of age. As long as those choosing to travel on the tour are physically fit, they are more than welcome to join.
The important thing to remember is that your photographic expertise should never be the deciding factor in joining a tour. We are happy to accommodate any standard of photographer, and look forward to not only presenting the very best photographic opportunities but also assisting you in taking amazing images.
Why travel with us?
When considering your next photographic adventure, please ensure you compare Apples with Apples. Many people book standard tours only to return disappointed because they had no flexibility, were at the wrong place at the wrong time and had little opportunity to do any serious photography. It is also important to note that not every photographic tour is made equal. Ensure you choose a reputable tour, not just a standard tour that has been re-badged as a photographic tour. Your photographic tours should be designed from the ground up with photography in mind, led by an experienced photographer offering guidance and photographic instruction, and most importantly, offer exceptional value for money.
When designing the photographic tours, Spotlight on Africa conducts extensive research to identify suitable shoot locations, and then goes about planning the logistics to suit. Tour routes will make the most of the opportunities and hotels will be conveniently located so that early morning shoots are nearby. The entire program is very much about the photography, so if you are seeking a 5 star luxury rest and relaxation tour, this is not the tour to be on.
Spotlight on Africa tours are not only designed to deliver the very best photographic opportunities on offer, but also offer the opportunity to learn as you travel. Experienced photographers are more than welcome to go about their own photography as they see fit, but those requiring advice can be comforted in knowing that their photographic leader will be there with them every step of the way, inspiring and guiding them through the creative and technical aspects of photography. Being on a photographic tour with like-minded people also provides an opportunity for everyone to discuss and share their passion for photography.
Spotlight on Africa’s tours however are not only about photography. Travel is very much about people and culture, and as such, we always endeavour to introduce people to different cultures, traditional shows and local cuisine. You are guaranteed to not only return with many amazing images, but also great memories.
Finally, Spotlight on Africa knows all too well that photographers are often charged premium prices for photographic tours. By definition a photographic tour is a specialised tour, but that does not necessarily mean services are double in price. In some instances you are paying for one or more high profile photographers to lead the tour, but in most cases, you are blatantly being over charged for something that offers little more than a standard tour at half the price. It is Spotlight on Africa’s business philosophy to continually offer affordable photographic tours with inclusions that are second to none.
Your photographic Leader
Malcolm Fackender is an Australian award winning travel and commercial photographer who specialises in small group photographic tours to Asia and Africa. Malcolm has been involved with and successful at photography since a young teenager, winning a Gold Medal in 1985 at the age of seventeen. Initially Malcolm had a strong interest in macro and bird photography, but more recently developed a strong interest in travel photography, where he has broadened his photographic interests to cover many other genres. He is particularly interested in South-East Asia where he has taken in excess of 250,000 images over the past seven years.
Through his business Spotlight on Asia, and with the assistance of local and international travel agencies, Malcolm has successfully planned, arranged and led 46 small group photographic tours to Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma), China, India, Thailand, Namibia and East Africa, Italy and Cuba. Being passionate about photography, travel and just being around and inspiring fellow photographers, Malcolm intends to build his business to include many more countries in the years to come.
Having been involved with Photographic clubs for over 30 years, Malcolm previously held the position of President at Dooleys Camera Club in Sydney. In this role, Malcolm was always eager to share the knowledge he gained over the years with the members of the club as well as any other photographers and photographic clubs he associates with. Malcolm regularly conducts educational and inspirational photographic talks at various photographic clubs and has recently incorporated a number of different workshops into his business.
After an extended break from entering photographic competitions, Malcolm has recently been entering his photographs into national and international photographic exhibitions, receiving a number of awards, including Silver and Bronze Medals and major prizes at the Taralga Rodeo Photographic Competition. Not being a prolific entrant of competitions, Malcolm actually gets much more joy out of inspiring and teaching people than receiving awards. There is no greater joy than seeing or hearing about the successes that past clients have with images taken on one of his tours.
Malcolm enjoys taking photographs and extending himself wherever possible. He believes that photography is a cycle of continuous improvement from a technical, hardware and creative perspective and as such looks forward to growing and extending his portfolio for many years to come.
2014 Travel Photography Awards – Second place (Professional Category)
2013 57th Maitland International Salon of Photography – Certificate of Merit (Open Projected Images)
2013 38th Smethwick International Exhibition of Photography – UPI Silver Medal (Travel PDI)
2012 Oxford International Salon of Photography – Honourable Mention (Travel PDI)
2012 Sydney International Exhibition of Photography – Merit (Colour PDI)
2011 Taralga Rodeo Photo Competition – First place (Image typifying the spirit of Taralga Australia Day Celebration)
2011 Taralga Rodeo Photo Competition – Second Place (Typical Australian)
2011 Taralga Rodeo Photo Competition – Second Place (Female competitor)
2011 Taralga Rodeo Photo Competition – Highly commended (Action photograph of bull ride or buckjumper)
2008 Taralga Rodeo Photo Competition – Best Bull Ride Print
2008 Taralga Rodeo Photo Competition – Best Local Landscape Print
2006 VAPS National Photographic Competition – Silver Medal (Nature PDI)
2006 VAPS National Photographic Competition – Bronze Medal (People PDI)
1985 Sydney Morning Herald Schools Photographic Competition – Gold Medal (Colour Slides)