Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa. The photo was taken during the mid afternoon by necessity (the location was only accessible via helicopter) meaning the light was really flat and the colours washed out. I'm often critical of folks who get carried away with "excessive" digital image processing and given the limitations here, there was the temptation to really go bananas with the colour saturation. I see numerous examples on the internet of grossly over-saturated landscapes, including by the supposed luminaries of the craft. After my first attempt at processing this image, I felt that I had pushed things too far. After coming back and reviewing the image, I decided on a more subtle approach. The image may still be considered rather flat however this is a more realistic interpretation of the scene and one that I am more comfortable with. ~KD
Following my photo tour of Tanzania, I decided the best way to document it might be by self published coffee table book. And so to the launching of my much anticipated book, "Tanzania, a photographic collection". Well much anticipated by me anyway!
Click on image for further details and book preview.
Photographed in Hluhluwe/Imfolozi Park, South Africa, this is one of a pair of Egyptian geese that I observed at a water hole late in the afternoon, very late in the afternoon actually (as I’ll discuss in a moment). In the park there were several water holes where permanent hides had been erected. I set up the camera and tripod and observed numerous animals come down to the water, giraffe, zebra, elephant, kudu and several bird species.
I was staying outside the park and using a rental car to visit and get around the twin reserves of Hluhluwe and Imfolozi. Being aware that the park(s) closed their gates at a given, published, time, I knew that leaving the waterhole, I had to give myself sufficient time to get out or risk being locked in overnight. Sadly, I underestimated, by quite a margin, how long it would take to drive out. Darkness was falling and there are sensible speed limits in place. Any any event, driving quickly on the gravel roads is foolhardy as you must consider the possibility of wildlife wandering onto or across the road in the darkness. Colliding with, or startling, an elephant can end badly for both the animal and the car and driver!
By the time I got to the park exit, it was dark and the gates were shut and locked. Now I had a dilemma! The prospect of sleeping overnight in a car by the side of the road didn't appeal.
Next to the gate was a track which led a short distance to a cottage, the gatekeeper/ranger's post? I had little alternative, I made my way along the path to the cottage, nervously peering into the darkness and noting every mysterious noise. On getting to the cottage, I could see that there was a light on, I knocked on the door, no response. Don't tell me! Surely there has to be someone present. I looked through a window and could see a kettle on the stove. I knocked on the door again only louder. This was enough to stir the ranger inside who came to the door and looked incredulously at his unexpected caller. I explained my predicament and, with considerable apprehension, he unlocked the gates for me, nervously muttering "lions" as he did so.
Lesson learnt, give yourself more time than you believe you need to exit a wildlife reserve!
The image was captured with the 500mm F4.0 telephoto lens on a Canon 20D which has a 1.6x crop factor and so the equivalent angle of view as an 800mm lens on a full frame body. ~KD.
The Giant Kingfisher (Megaceryle maxima) is the largest kingfisher in Africa, and is widely distributed throughout sub Saharan Africa. This individual was photographed from a boat on the St Lucia Wetlands in South Africa.
Canon 20D with 500mm lens at f8.0, shutter speed 1/250 second at ISO 400.
Crocodile smile! Photographed from a boat on the St Lucia Wetlands, South Africa, I used a fast shutter speed not that subject blur was ever going to be problem here! The croc was going nowhere and was completely still.
Canon 20D with 500mm lens at f4.0, shutter speed 1/2500 second at ISO 400.