I have to admit taking photos in Africa when it’s stormy is fun. Storms in Africa never cover the entire sky, in certain places you may even see 3 or 4 localised storms off on the horizon.
While racing back to camp in Etosha, we came across these Giraffe with lightning striking behind them. Photographing lightning is pretty hard, I only have one shot with a bit of lightning in it and I prefer this one.
Villages in Africa vary quite a bit, some are shanty town like, others are traditional mud huts and some like this hut are half way between the two.
This has got to be one of the coolest animals out there. They’re tough as nails and I recently discovered they can run as fast backwards as they can forwards. The last time I visited Etosha, I think Halali camp was full of jackals. This time it had a few resident Honey Badger. It was great to see them up close they were chasing each other around like mad dogs one evening playing with a plastic bag.
Like all camp wildlife they become accustomed to humans pretty quickly and this guy had just stolen a pork chop from some campers.
Photographing animals at night adds another dimension of difficulty, you can either try and increase your ISO to a point where the shutter speed becomes acceptable or use flash, which can be tricky to get right. The other hard part is focus, autofocus is hit and miss and manual focus in the dark isn’t that easy.
Etosha is quite unique in the fact that you can sit at the camp waterholes all night long, this means that you have quite a bit more room to setup and move around to get angles, plus the water holes are lighted somewhat which helps with autofocus.
I took this photo at Okaukeujo, which I think is probably the best camp for nighttime photography in Etosha.
One thing about wildlife watching is that sometimes the bigger animals that you want to photograph just aren’t around. Suddenly you turn to birds since they are nearly always around. Over time I’ve learnt more and more about birds and they truly are fascinating creatures.
This particular bird a Tractrac Chat is known to be monagamous. I was very surprised to find it in the dunes between Swakopmund and Walvis bay.
I’m not sure if everyone suffers from this, but I know of a few photographers that do, it’s a kind of achilles heel, it may be a subject or a technique that we just seem to have a hard time getting right, for me it’s a subject. The subject in question is leopard.
Firstly I never seem to see that many leopard, I think i’ve seen more honey badgers than leopards. My main issue with leopard seems to be my inability to focus the camera and if I get that part right then my framing is completely out. I finally have a series of shots that I am pleased with, more than one photo with the complete animal in the frame. Hopefully this means that I’ve got over whatever it was that blocked me from getting the photos I wanted, and now I’ll see plenty of leopard every time I go to the bush. One can dream…
My internet connection was down yesterday so I wasn’t able to share a photo.
We spent quite a lot of the 5 weeks in Namibia returning to the same places, not only to see if we could improve on the photos that we have but because many of those places are truly magnificent.
This photo was taken in Namtib, I haven’t been there before, the night we spent there was one of the few evenings that we had any clouds while we were in Namibia.
The first time I visited Spitzkoppe, I never bothered to go to the stone arch. From where I saw it, it looked really small. Like many places in Namibia once you get close to something you realise how big it really is.
When it comes to wildlife photography, Etosha has produced some iconic images. Some of the waterholes in the park are very unique, “white” elephant are regularly photographed at Nebrowni. The elephant seem to come to this waterhole for the white mud that they cover their bodies with.