Bob Madden, Nat Geo Guy

Bob Madden, Nat Geo Guy (Really! Those are his photos above.)

Every once in a while, I meet a pro out in the field taking pictures.  I like saying things like “out in the field” ‘cause it makes me seem like I do important stuff.  I don’t, but that doesn’t stop me from using the words professionals toss about.  Most folks I meet in the salt marshes and staring into trees say things like this too, but few are real professional photographers.

So how do I know it when I meet a real pro?  Well first, they don’t wear goofy floppy hats or safari vests.  Second, they don’t say things like “I was the first in New Jersey to see that Red Rumped Rummy near the Rusty Rail in Barnegat”.  No, they say real professional things with insight like, “Damn is it hot!” or, “Got some bug spray?”.

I met Bob Madden, a real National Geographic photographer, a few years ago while shooting eagles.  He seemed like a nice enough guy, so I gave him some shooting tips.  These tips must have improved his shooting skills as we’ve kept in touch ever since.

The photos above are Bob’s taken from his various trips to Africa.  Bob is now semi-retired and takes folks on photography trips where he gives instruction, takes them to the right places, and passes out a bit of wisdom he gained from his fifteen years working for Nat Geo.  Sounds pretty cool eh?

Bob noted that he likes to share some tips and tricks for photographing animals.  Well he shared a trick with me for getting great shots of lions.  He said he would give me a pound of fresh hamburger to carry around in my pockets.  This will keep the lions looking up and interested resulting in better profiles.  I hope I didn’t give away any of his trade secrets here, but he assured me, everyone will get fantastic shots if I were to carry this hamburger around.

Good luck Bob and thanx for the photos!

Bob is organizing another trip so I offered to help him promote it.  Bob’s description:


“As a staff photographer for National Geographic, I have traveled the world to many exotic places, including the plains of the Serengeti. My experiences in these locations equipped me to offer what I have learned to fellow photographers.

Join me for a 14-day photographic exploration of the diverse wildlife in Tanzania – including the spectacular wildebeest migration September 11-23, 2014. You will take my semi-private tour to specific National Parks in Tanzania where you can expect to see and photograph large concentrations of animals close up. This adventure is slated for only 8 photographers.

Our group will photograph the world’s largest concentration of elephants per square mile in Tarangire National Park; descend into Ngorongoro crater where 25,000 animals reside; cover the big cats in the Central Serengeti; and visit the Mara River in Northeastern Tanzania to see the annual wildebeest migration. As photographers, we will be in front of wildlife from dawn to dusk taking advantage of the incredible light that occurs during the dry season.

 We will use the highly regarded Duma Explorer Outfitters whose experienced guides will lead us to the best available locations for wildlife photography. The cultural aspects of these areas will not be our subject matter on this trip. Every evening I will discuss the most likely game that we will see on the following day and share tips and tricks for making better pictures of these animals.

Check my website at to view the itinerary for this once-in-a-life-time adventure.”

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