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A Fresh Perspective on Coexistence

A photographer captures moments of peace and prosperity in countries of diversity.

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Here, a zebra can be seen at the Manyara Ranch Conservancy, a 35,000-acre conservancy just north of Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park and set against the towering backdrop of the Great Rift Valley escarpment.


Kenya and Tanzania are countries of beauty and diversity. Lush grasslands and savannahs give way to humid, broadleaf forests along the Indian Ocean. For a photographer, East Africa offers up an array of opportunity. Whether shooting photos of zebras across the the Great Rift Valley, or getting up close and personal with elephants, this unique landscape lends itself to incredible moments to photograph.

National Geographic photographer, Ami Vitale, has spent months documenting animals in East Africa, and this new wave of peace that has emerged amongst the people and animals who call this special place home. Ecotourism and conservation have become a cornerstone for the economy and a true era of cooperation between wildlife and humans is on the horizon. Vitale has been able to see this first-hand, behind and in front of the lens. Capturing these moments is all about patience, allowing yourself to see things from a different angle, and having the right camera.

"Finding the right piece of equipment for the job is important in my work and I am extremely conscious of finding gear that is “light and fast.” I was blown away by the Nikon D7500 because it allowed me to shoot incredible moments while in East Africa recently. I was able to capture unique perspectives by putting it to use in hard to reach places, all while using the tilt-touchscreen. What I found particularly special is the low-light performance - I was able to shoot 4k video and incredible stills as the wildebeest were migrating and the sun had already set. The quality was truly incredible. "Ami Vitale, National Geographic Photographer and Nikon Ambassador

Capturing moments of peace in this area requires the ability to know when to take action. Sometimes you have to chase these moments and sometimes you have to wait. The one thing that truly matters is timing and being flexible. “If you see the moment through your lens, it means you probably missed it,” says Vitale.

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A dazzle of zebra gather at the Manyara Ranch Conservancy, a 35,000-acre conservancy just north of Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park and set against the towering backdrop of the Great Rift Valley escarpment.


To be successful in securing the right photos, Vitale had to take a myriad of conditions and make them purposeful. There are no accidents in wildlife photography and patience is a requirement – especially when trying to capture a herd of elephants or zebras in the low light of morning. With a Nikon D7500, Vitale was able to capture the majestic moments of nature that most people never have the opportunity to witness.

"The Nikon D7500 is described as an enthusiast-level DSLR but it packs a mighty big punch. I think you'd struggle to find a camera at this level that performs better in low-light." Ami Vitale, National Geographic Photographer and Nikon Ambassador

Show us how you chase those elusive moments in nature most can only dream about in the Your Shot Assignment, now open to entries through October 22, 2017.

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