Another image of mine made it into the weekly Top 20 images on the WildPhotoMag Facebook site. Every week Andre or a guest judge select the top 20 photos posted on WildPhotoMag Facebook site.
This image is evidence that patience does pay off. It was very early in the morning around the bend of the Nossob River just pass Marie se Gat waterhole. We saw one young BB jackal lying under a tree in the middle of the river bed and its brother/sister on the other side of the road up against the dune. So, I decide to wait and see whether he/she will join the other. After about 15min the young jackal in the river bed started to move towards us. I positioned my Fortuner (and I had to move it several time up and the road) so that the young one was walking straight to us. And that is the beauty of the Kgalagadi – no traffic whatsoever – we were the only vehicle with the two BB jackals for almost 30 minutes. And this images was taken with a 600mm lens when the jackal was about 5meters from the vehicle and he/she stopped to stand and look at me before it decided to go around my vehicle to the other side of the road to join his/her brother/sister. Unfortunately the sun was still behind the dunes – the reason for the lack of golden light on the jackal. But in the Kgalagadi one takes the opportunities on offer and makes the best of it. So I’ve tried to capture this jackal in its natural environment and I did not worry about a busy or clean background. I just decided (and very quick decision I might say) to change my depth of field of my camera (changed the f-stop quickly to f4 without taking my eye off the jackal) to just have the face and eyes in focus and the rest out of focus. From previous experience I know it works perfectly with the 600mm lens. And it did – here is the image:
Message to take home:
A lesson I’ve learned from Shem, Albie and Isak on our trips with C4Images and Safaris – Try and take photos of animals in their natural environment as well. Recently I also what a video of Art Wolfe on YouTube giving his audience the same piece of advice. Do not just try and get a “clean” shot every time meaning a clean foreground as well as a background. It will just frustrate you because there will be grass and bushes in each photo. Sometimes the grass and bushes can be used to your advantage. Secondly, patience is a key word in wildlife photography. Warn your fellow travelers in your vehicle about waiting for the right moment if they are not wildlife photographer – you can even tell them to take a book along to read while waiting. Thirdly, study and know your camera and equipment very well. You should be able to make changes on your camera (change setting) without looking up from your view finder. You should also know what your equipment can do and what the limitations are. Push your equipment to limit to get that quality shot.
Until next time, study and experiment with your photography equipment and keep on shooting!!!