Who are award-winning wildlife photographers Ernest Porter and Karen Blackwood, aka Eagle Eye Safaris?  

Eagle Eye Safaris’ photography has been featured in Africa Geographic, National Geographic Daily Dozen, NatGeo Your Shot, Best of Africa, and Wild Card Magazine. Ernest and Karen are regular contributors to Canon, National Geographic Photography, NatureGraphy and Naturalist’s Notebook, which feature the best wildlife photos and stories in the world.

Ernest Porter


Ernest Porter is an award-winning bird and wildlife photographer from South Africa. He’s one of the best birds-in-flight photographers on the continent of Africa, and he’s happy to share his knowledge. Ernest is a staff photographer for the Black Eagle Project Roodekrans, based in Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he documents the juvenile development of Black Eagle fledglings at the Gardens. Ernest leads public and privately guided photo tours to the Gardens and up the hill to the overlook to ethically observe and photograph the Black Eagles’ nest and activities. He is a sought-after speaker at birding clubs, photography clubs, and in the wildlife photography community. Ernest is an Expert-Level Instructor in Lightroom and Photoshop. He’s available to teach you in live, one-on-one online sessions! You can sign up for affordable online, one-on-one Lightroom and Photoshop lessons with Ernest via Zoom or Skype, or you can go on a personally guided Black Eagles tour, by clicking HERE.

Ernest’s achievements include:

  • 2022 Top 101 finalist in Africa Geographic’s Photographer of the Year contest
  • 2021 Highly Honored in Nature’s Best Photography Mkapa African Wildlife Photography Awards
  • 2017 Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year Top 5 finalist
  • 2015 & 2016 Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year Top 15 finalist
  • Winner of the July 2016 Tamron South Africa photography contest
  • Best of Africa featured photographer
  • Prominently featured in Yahoo’s “Animals in Flight” Photo Gallery
  • Multiple VotoArt wins.

He is Canon-sponsored, and his photos have been published in numerous wildlife books, magazines, and guides including “Animals of the Greater Kruger.”


Karen Blackwood

Karen Blackwood is a wildlife photographer, world traveler, and retired airline pilot. With over 30 years of teaching experience, she is able to break down the most complicated subjects into easily understood modules. She is a former volunteer as a Bald Eagle monitor for the Raptor Education Foundation in Colorado, coaches young equestrians in basic horsemanship, and has taught many people to be more effective in the use of their camera. She’s passionate about wildlife conservation, particularly rhino. She invites you to share the beauty of the natural world through her lens.

Karen’s photography credits include:

  • Finalist in the 2023 International Wild Bird Competition
  • Featured in the Top 250 of the 2022 International Share the View Competition
  • Featured in the Top 250 in the 2022 NANPA Showcase Competition
  • Top 20 and Top 5 Finalist in the 2021 Africa Photographer of the Year contest
  • Finalist in 2021 and 2020 Top 250 NANPA Showcase competitions
  • NatGeo Daily Dozen
  • 2017 Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year Yearbook finalist
  • Finalist in Best of Africa’s monthly contests
  • Honored in Nature’s Best Photography Africa contest
  • Multiple features in Naturalist’s Notebook and in NatureGraphy
  • 1st Honorable Mention in the Kodak National Photo Contest
  • Multiple winners in the Amigo Airshow Photo Contest

Karen’s photos have been included in multiple showings in Colorado and Africa in galleries, hospitals, showcases and more. Her photos have been published in books, promotional videos and specialized publications.


Now you know who we are. Here’s why you should choose us for your photo safari!

Do you dream of being on a small-group wildlife photo safari, taking breathtaking photos of truly wild animals in their natural habitat? Would you like to take the kind of photos you see in NatGeo, but aren’t sure how to get what’s in your mind’s eye to the camera? Do you want professional-grade photos on the wall in your home–photos that YOU took? Or do you want to relax and watch wildlife from the best position with the clearest view possible?

If you said yes, book your safari spot with Ernest and Karen! We offer small group wildlife photo safaris around the world. Let’s go get those shots!

You spent a lot of money on your equipment.  We’ll teach you how to use the functions of your camera while we are on safari, and we’ll do it in a way that you’ll remember when you are back at home.  We will help you with your settings and we’ll suggest composition and framing at every sighting. We can let you know what to look for in every situation. You’ll understand how to adjust exposure compensation to properly expose a dark subject in a bright environment, or the correct settings for night spotlights. Do you want more artsy shots like high key or low key? We will teach you how to get them. When do you need aperture priority versus shutter priority, and when should you use manual? We will help you understand so that you can make those decisions on your own. We can help with Canon, Nikon, Sony, or any other camera you might have, including phones and tablets. Some of our photo safaris even include our Wildlife Workflow classes on editing in Lightroom and Photoshop!

Our small-group photography safaris are almost all-inclusive with full board and activities. Our bases are beautiful lodges or luxurious cruise ships which employ local staff. Not only do we create jobs, we create conservation-minded trips designed to leave delicate footprints on the environment. You’ll eat like a king with our private chefs, then you’ll sleep like a baby on your premium mattress. You can relax by the pool or waterhole in between game drives with a cocktail and nothing on your mind. You’ll meet like-minded passionate people and make lifelong friends. On every trip, Ernest and Karen work directly with dedicated local rangers and guides who know where to find wildlife and birds to ensure the best possibility of seeing the widest variety, while getting you into position for dramatic photographs. It’s a complete package. All you have to do is show up.  We can even help you with getting there, whether with recommendations or helping you book accommodations and other activities.

You’ll take home once-in-a-lifetime memories and photographs on our photo safaris, stories you’ll tell and photos you’ll show again and again. Ask any of our past guests! Read their reviews and hear about it in their own words on our Testimonials page.

Check out our 100% 5-Star Reviews on Trip Advisor and Safari Bookings. Keep up with our adventures on Facebook and Instagram. If you haven’t signed up for our monthly newsletter, you’re missing interesting articles about wildlife and conservation, new photo safari destination announcements and special discount coupons, photography tips, and more. It’s always a quick read, and you can always unsubscribe. We NEVER share your email address and we swear we won’t spam you!

Do you have any questions? Ask us at info@EagleEyeSafaris.com

It’s time to book an affordable WILDLIFE SAFARI in Africa and Beyond with Ernest and Karen!