Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Purpose of Play

It is cited by science that play in young animals mirror behaviour vital for survival or the lifestyle as an adult. Lion, Leopard and other predator cubs play with their mother’s tail or chase one another, activities that will enable them to make a successful kill as adults. Antelope youngsters in turn would dart across the plains dodging and swerving, honing skills that will allow them to avoid a predator in hot pursuit. I photographed this week old White Rhino calf early one morning in a boisterous mood. If one goes with the above logic, what adult behaviour would this then reflect? In more than a decade I have never witnessed adult Rhino’s behaving in any similar way. The question then begs: Do animals sometime not just play for the fun? What is your opinion?

It contunued backwards and forwards throughout the morning in a playfull canter.
If such a thing is possible I am sure I can see a smile on this ones face.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Forest Landscape

As I waited for the gate to open the most incrdible light filtered into the gorge. As they say make hay while the sun shines!
Landscape photography has always been my least favourite part of photography. The simple reason being that through a wide angle lens I always seemed to loose the detail in the background as a result of the distorted angle. There are some stunning forests in the Canyon at the back of our house, yet still, I could never seem to do any scenes justice in the six months that we lived in the Canyon. That is until I experimented with some panoramic shots using a 35 mm lens and stitching the pics together afterwards. That gives me a 50mm equivalent which is pretty much the magnification through normal vision. In my admittedly limited experience I find that, because you cannot view the scene through a viewfinder you have to envisage it before you and imagine how it will look like once stitched. Lots of tricks I am still learning but here are some sample pics.

A forest stream through a normal 12 mm lens.

Forest footpath. I find that the cleaner the image the better it displays. Clutter kills these kind of shots for me. One must try and image the scene withou the benefot of a viewfinder.

Dilapidated Bridge. Note how you loose the effect once the scene becomes too cluttered.

Another shot of the Bridge. The Cleaner shots works better in my opinion.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Africa Photographic Awards

Click on the banner to go to the website.

Nikon’s Africa Photographic Awards has hit the Photographic world by storm. Dubbed the “most lucrative photographic competition in the world” this competition with over R 3 000 000.00 ($ 300 000.00) is sure to attract the attention of the world’s top photographers. The photographer of the year is also chosen based on a portfolio of 12 images covering 9 diverse categories. Indeed a realistic reflection of true photographic skills.

The below image have been selected as a finalist in the Animal Portraits category and appear in the October issue of Africa Geographic magazine. Below is a brief description of my thoughts behind the image.

On safari I am often faced with the fact that the big stuff doesn’t show themselves and as a result I need to pull every trick out of the hat to ensure that guests still have a great time and are introduced to the innumerable other fascinating inhabitants of the bush. One of these insiders’ tricks is the ability to find chameleons at night. These are the most endearing of the reptiles and can be the best way to introduce guests to the otherwise “revolting” world of reptiles. For many years I have tried to capture that aspect of the bush but with, to say the least, uninspiring images to show this intriguing animal in context. I photographed this chameleon late one afternoon in the last rays of sunlight. As the sun set, I was about to pack it all in when a full moon rose behind the chameleon. I realised I might have a shot here. All I had to do was wait for the moon to rise sufficiently and I had this shot. I used a double exposure to ensure I get sufficient detail in both the Chameleon and the moon and I employed off camera flash to accentuate detail on the animal.