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African Jacana, Okavango Delta, Botswana

During the course of a photographic safari/workshop through the Okavango Delta in Botswana in July, 2009, we spent some time in small boats exploring the waterways around Kwetsani. It was whilst exploring the channels, pools and lagoons, that I got some shots of African Jacanas.

Taken during the late afternoon with the jacana jumping from one lily pad to another, if you look closely you'll see the bird's long toes which are an adaption for walking on the lily pads. Taken with the long telephoto plus the 1.4x tele extender, the warm tones in the image are the result of the late afternoon light, the shot having had very little digital manipulation of the colours. Whilst some other waterbird species would take flight on the approach of our boat, the jacanas were unconcerned by our presence and continued walking across lily pads foraging for insects.

Compositionally, I'm pleased with the wing position and the position of the feet. Ideally I would have liked some more room in front of the bird. I considered cropping in from the bottom of the frame so as to exclude the partial reflection of the bird and give a more "panoramic" aspect ratio, but in the end left the image full frame.

African Jacana on lilypads, Okavango Delta, Botswana.
African Jacana on lilypads, Okavango Delta, Botswana.

Canon 5D, focal length 700mm (500mm lens with 1.4x tele-extender) F7.1, shutter speed 1/1000 second at ISO 400.