Once in a Lifetime Trip to Africa
STA senior, George Dannecker, recently had an amazing opportunity this summer traveling across the world to Namibia, Africa exploring his passion of photography.
Read his reflection below on this incredible, once in a lifetime experience! Also, be sure to check out the breathtaking photos that George took of the wildlife and beautiful landscapes of Namibia!
If you would like to look at more of George’s work, you can check out his Instagram page dedicated to photography:
The trip began with a rigorous application process to be accepted for traveling across the world and practicing photography with some of the greatest photographers and conservationists employed by National Geographic. Little did I know that I would experience things no brochure could ever prepare me for.
My trip to Namibia was a transformative experience that broadened my photography skills and shifted my perspective on conservation. Previously focused on sports photography with a telephoto lens, I learned to integrate subjects into Namibia’s stunning landscapes, expanding my composition mindset. As I immersed myself in the experience, I realized the importance of conserving both the wildlife and the cultural heritage of local communities. Conversations with Namibians exposed me to the discrimination faced by groups like the bushmen, leading me to recognize the need for change in my own community.
In Namibia, my photography background underwent a profound shift. Initially, my view was limited to what I captured through the lens. However, as the trip progressed, I embraced the beauty of the surroundings beyond the camera frame. This allowed me to truly appreciate the awe-inspiring landscapes and wildlife before me. I came to understand the significance of preserving not only the images I captured but also the tangible reality that surrounded me.
Engaging with local Namibians provided a deeper understanding of conservation. I realized that conservation extends beyond nature; it includes protecting the cultural heritage of marginalized groups like the bushmen. This newfound awareness ignited a passion for effecting change in my local community. By the end of the trip, my mindset had evolved, motivating me to make a positive impact through my photography and advocacy work.