Canon’s endeavor to boost sports photography and encourage photographers continued with the setup of its hands-on Canon Professional Services (CPS) booth at the World Rally Championship (WRC) Safari Rally 2022, also known as Safari Rally Kenya.
One of the country’s most iconic motorsports events, this year’s Rally, held from 23rd to 26th June 2022, was a fantastic opportunity for photojournalists in Africa to indulge in breathtaking photography with swirling dirt roads, spectacularly picturesque backdrop, and close encounters with exotic wildlife.
(TOP: Canon Professional Services at the Safari Rally Kenya 2022).
At the most challenging and scenic leg of the WRC circuit, CPS extended support to over a hundred accredited photojournalists covering the motor racing championship, by assisting them with equipment inspection, minor repairs, cleaning of lenses, and loaning them free backup equipment.
Revolutionary technology and best-in-class service for fast action photographers
Canon’s high-performance devices are engineered for absolute precision and stellar performance, and the company strives to enable photographers and videographers to be in sync with the latest in technology and photography. Some of the many benefits offered to CPS Members — besides fast service and repairs for their equipment — included exclusive offers on products and services and access to inspirational events and experiences. During the Safari Rally 2022, photographers could loan high-end cameras and lens gear, and the brand ran a special offer on the Canon EOS R3 bundled with an EF/RF adapter, and the R5C bundled with a 512 extreme pro card and reader. Fifty-four photographers loaned 21 bodies and 33 lenses, while 52 took up the opportunity to have their camera equipment checked and cleaned. The latest from Canon’s PRO photo series was also launched here – the R3, R5C and EOSR5C were able to combine quality, speech, video, and overall performance further narrowing the line between photography and videography.
For award-winning documentary-photographer and a Canon representative at WRC, John Wambugu, The Safari Rally brought back great childhood memories. The world-renowned event, touted as the toughest of the WRC circuit, returned after a 19-year hiatus in 2021. The spectacular motor racing tournament filled Kenyan spectators with excitement and joy.
“As a Canon representative, the high point for me was interacting directly with the photographers, extending the brand’s support to them, and demonstrating our commitment as a company. Sports photography is impossible without the cutting-edge technology from companies like Canon that empower us to bring out the magic and freeze the adrenaline rush and adventure,” said Wambugu. “This time my go-to kit was the Canon EOS 1DX mark 111, and the f2.8 L 70-200mm lens/f2.8 L 16-35mm. As the mechanical shutter goes off while you lock focus on the AI Servo, and you hear the roar of the engines…nothing beats that moment. You miss no action. It’s an exceptionally memorable experience that photographers cherish.”
Bridging the gap between the product and users
The fast shutter speed that Canon’s technology offers meant that the photographers were able to capture the moments without missing any action, and the all-weather seal bodies and lenses were good for both dusty and rainy environments. Composition is everything. At the end of the day a shot — even taken at a high frame rate — must have its own unique story. Capturing the environment and its elements like dust, rain, mud, wildlife, landscapes, etc of the subject is also key, since this adds to the story you are portraying. Canon emphasizes innovative technologies, the 1DX series, R3, and R5C are selected for speed, quality and high performance, and were great winners. In terms of print, the pro-300/pro-1000 as photography companions for professionals, was the main attraction too.
In line with its philosophy of ‘Kyosei’ or ‘Living and working together for the common good’, Canon reaffirms its commitment to Africa by launching two revolutionary products – EOS R3 and EOS R5 C known as the R-Tour project. Speaking at the launch, Amine Djouahra, Director of Sales and Marketing, Canon Central and North Africa said, “We are thrilled to be in Kenya supporting the Safari Rally. Our customers and fans are right here at the heart of the action, bringing their images to life. Canon has always supported sports photographers and this new launch is yet another of our endeavors to bring innovative digital technologies to the continent and enhance the images photographers. We have the excellent opportunity to directly, and meaningfully, engage with our valuable user base. The WRC is a perfect place to introduce a wider array of technology products that bolster the indomitable spirit of photographers in Africa.”
CPS consistently strives to bridge the gap between the product and its consumers through local online and offline engagements and workshops. In June, CPS invited sports photographers to attend one of the three, weekly sports masterclass photography workshops. Many accredited local photographers at the rally benefitted from the workshops that advanced the overall quality of their output.
Redefining the EMEA market
Canon is looking to fortify its position in Africa by refining local talent and providing global-scale opportunities, empowering communities through various workshops, and targeted trainings, to nurture new and existing African talent across various genres of video, photography, and print.