Trip report: Chobe River, Kasane (Botswana) – August 2012 (Part 2)

As mentioned in my previous post on the Chobe River trip report, it was my third trip with Lou’s boat on the Chobe River. Even though the boat cruises along almost the very same routes very time, each trip, or for that matter each cruise, provides different photo opportunities. One just needs to be on the lookout for the smaller things in life (or is it photography) while you’ll wait for Lou (or Vernica, Henry or KT) will warn you about the major photo opportunities coming up. Like the fish eagles that entertained us all the way. One even caught a fish in the river but we were just too far away for a photo. However, I did get some other nice shots like these:

(Nikon D3S, 600mmf4 fixed lens with 1.4 convertor = 850mm, ISO640, f7, 1/3200, exposure = -0.67, WB = auto, Aperture mode)

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(Nikon D3S, 600mmf4 fixed lens with 1.4 convertor = 850mm, ISO640, f5, 1/6400, exposure = -1.00, WB = auto, Aperture mode, 10 meters from subject)

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(Nikon D3S, 600mmf4 fixed lens with 1.4 convertor = 850mm, ISO640, f7.1, 1/3200, exposure = -0.67, WB = auto, Aperture mode)

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(Nikon D3S, 600mmf4 fixed lens with 1.4 convertor = 850mm, ISO640, f7.1, 1/2000, exposure = -1.00, WB = auto, Aperture mode)

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An interesting approach to take photos of the fish eagle or any wildlife for that matter as shown on the previous photo above – fill the frame rather than crop to fill the frame. I did not crop the last fish eagle photo (above) at all as I was advised to rather use a 1.4 converter to fill the frame of the camera itself. The argument is rather to try and shoot “in full frame” and take the risk to sometimes clip the wings but then one can use all the pixel available on your senor. Rather than to shoot without a convert0r only to crop the photo in your computer software and lose some of the quality of the photo by getting rid of some of the pixel of your photo. So, the options are (a) shoot with a convertor and try to fill the frame and use all your pixels or (b) shoot without the convertor and crop the photo later to fill the photo and lose some of your pixels. Like they say – photography is all about compromises. Which one can you live with?

But let us continue with the photos while you think about the issues mentioned in previous paragraph.

Like always, there were the usual sightings along the river. However, there was a herd of water bucks grazing along the river and they gave us some opportunities to practice stationary photos in excellent light (golden morning hour) as well as some action photos (lot of patience needed). The young ones were not so skilled and/or lucky with the jumping exercise.

(Nikon D3S, 600mmf4 fixed lens with 1.4 convertor = 850mm, ISO1250, f4, 1/5000, exposure = -0.33, WB = auto, Aperture mode)

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(Nikon D3S, 600mmf4 fixed lens with 1.4 convertor = 850mm, ISO1250, f5.6, 1/800, exposure = -1.00, WB = auto, Aperture mode)

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(Nikon D3S, 600mmf4 fixed lens with 1.4 convertor, ISO800, f4, 1/2500, exposure = -1.00, WB = auto, Aperture mode)

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And then we spend some time with the Skimmers on their island– great photo opportunities as they provided a lot of action around their sandy island. The two Skimmers were defending their territory as if their lives depend on it. However, it is not that easy to get them “full frame” and in focus at the same time.

(Nikon D3S, 600mmf4 fixed lens with 1.4 convertor = 850mm, ISO500, f8, 1/2500, exposure = -1.00, WB = auto, Aperture mode)

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(Nikon D3S, 600mmf4 fixed lens, ISO200, f4, 1/3200, exposure = -0.67, WB = auto, Aperture mode)

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(Nikon D3S, 600mmf4 fixed lens, ISO500, f6.3, 1/5000, exposure = -1.00, WB = auto, Aperture mode)

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And then there was the occasional opportunity to take some “moody landscape” photos with beautiful sunsets and sunrises. Not your typical landscape photography as the boat is moving and photos must be taken quickly (no time for proper setup, measuring  and planning) but just enjoy the moment.

(Nikon D700, 70x200mmf2.8 @70mm, ISO200, f13, 1/100, exposure = -1.67, WB = sun, Aperture mode)

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(Nikon D700, 17x35mmf2.8 @ 25mm, ISO200, f5, 1/2500, exposure = 0, WB = sun, Aperture mode)

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Message to take home:

Photography is all about compromises especially with wildlife photography – just accept the fact there isn’t a perfect world/setup for photography. Adapt and make the best of the opportunities available to take your favour shot. Do not wait for the perfect conditions to take a photo. If you do, you’ll never be able to take a photo.

The last part of this trip report called “The fisherman’s choice”  to follow soon.

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  1. #1 by Landi on August 16, 2012 - 7:53 pm

    Love die voël wat in die water weerkaats

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