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We started taking pictures, when we made a trip around the world in 1992. Since then African wildlife has been the focus of our photography. What started as a means to share our stories with the people back home has become a profession for Tanja. She uses our photos to create illustrations for her children’s books. In 2010, she started her own publishing company, twikga. We were lucky to travel with great guides and photographers, who sparked our interest in wildlife photography and taught us a lot. Because Tanja uses the photos for her illustrations, there was a necessity to take high quality photos. This made us keen wildlife photographers, using ever faster cameras and better lenses. Our pictures have become more than the photos behind Tanja’s books. For us good pictures tell a story. Wildlife within dramatic landscapes, vivid colours, clouds building towards a storm, a certain look or a gesture of an animal, all scenes where a story is unfolding. Our website, Wild Picha, presents a selection of our pictures. Picha means “picture” in Swahili. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.
On the left you see a picture of a curious young elephant, taken by us in Amboseli, Kenya in 2011. The same elephant was used by Tanja in one of her illustrations for Phanhabs Savanna.
Water-holes come in a lot of different sizes and settings. A lot of them are natural, but they can also be manmade. Some even have floodlights and seating areas, like in a stadium. Falling asleep in this arena can be quite dangerous at night. But most of the time, watching wildlife around a water-hole is magical. The animals come and go at their own pace. Some come alone, others arrive in groups. They might have a bath or just a quick sip. Predators often have the hole to themselves, whilst others have to fight for a spot. The waterhole in Phanhabs Savanna is of course a “phantastic” waterhole. It combines a lot of animals and many waterholes in one picture. The pictures for this illustration, which is a segment of Phanhabs Savanna, were taken in the Kalahari Desert, the Okavango Delta and in Amboseli National Park.
Today twikga launches it’s second book in the Phanhabs series: Savanna. Phanhabs stands for “phantastic habitats”. They are creative impressions of the habitats of wild african animals. This book illustrates the change of seasons in the african savanna in nine colorful plates. The first plates illustrate the dry season, with dusty planes and golden light. In this harsh environment a lot of animals are dependent on permanent water-sources and waterholes are small oases in the barren landscape. Other animals, like the wildebeest in the Serengeti migrate to find water and fresh grass. Thunderclouds building up announce the rainy season. It transforms the landscape into a land of plenty, where a lot of animals have their young, making use of the abundance of food and water. The colorful illustrations are a mix of photographs, drawings and collages. The pictures were taken by Tanja Dekker and her husband during their safaris in Africa. The hiding places and names of the animals can be found in the back of the book. Have fun spotting them!
Curious? Would you like to have a closer look? The FlipPages allow you to flip through the book.
Der Andruck ist immer ein besonderer Moment. Trotz Farbproben bleibt es spannend ob die Farben im Offset so werden, wie ich sie vor Augen hatte. Die afrikanische Savanne ist Goldgelb, das Gras muss leuchten. Beim Andruck des Covers war ich mit dabei und war sehr zufrieden mit den Farben. Den Rest des Buches überlasse ich gerne den Druckermeistern. Phanhabs Savanna wird am 16. Mai 2013 beim twikga Verlag erscheinen. Dieses mal wimmelt es in der afrikanischen Savanne. Das Buch zeigt den saisonalen Wechsel von Trocken- zur Regenzeit. Goldene Landschaften werden vom Regen verwandelt in saftiges Grün. Die Illustrationen sind wie immer eine Mischung aus Fotos, Zeichnungen und Collagen. Die Foto’s für das Buch haben mein Mann Willem und ich gemacht in Botswana, Kenia und Tansania.