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Trip report: Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, April 2017 (Easter weekend)

Well, well, well a trip report at last after a long period of silence. My wife decided that we needed a break after a few stressful weeks at work. So, we decided to have a quick trip to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (KTP) over the Easter weekend (no additional leave days to be used!!!). Because of the heavy traffic on our roads usually experienced over the Eater weekend, the KTP was our only option. Since 2010 we’ve only been to the KTP once over the Easter weekend and it was so busy. And once again, the park was so busy that it was impossible to get accommodation anywhere on such short notice. Towards the end of 2016 we stayed at Polentswa Lodge and we were very impressed. So, this time around we decided to stay at Rooiputs Lodge (Ta Shebube) and what a pleasant stay. It was really relaxing.

In April the KTP gates close at 18H30 in the afternoons and open at 07H00 in the mornings. So, we arrived on the Thursday in the park just before gate closing time and we left the park on Monday after a quick drive to Gunong waterhole and back. KTP had a heavy thunderstorm on the Wednesday just before we arrived, so there were water puddles all over the place. Once you see the water puddles, you know this will be a slow visit when it comes to sightings. But we still enjoyed our stay – see my Message to take home below. Even though the temperatures dropped to about 7 degree C in the mornings. We were so glad that we were in our own vehicle and not in the open game drive vehicle in the mornings.

This was the second time that I’ve taken my Nikon D500 to the Kgalagadi. The camera is a great asset with its crop factor sensor – especially on the 600mm lens. It gives you a final reach of about 900mm. And with a 1.4 convertor, you get a reach of 1275mm and the quality of the image is till very acceptable. Just what you need in the Kgalagadi. And I did use it frequently on this trip as you’ll see from my images.

Just a few images from our trip below – just to show you what to expect if you do go to the park for a long weekend. Every day we only drove between Twee Rivieren en Gunong waterhole and we did not even drive over to the Auob river on the western side of the park.

Enjoy the trip with us

 

1.

Secretary bird

Nikon D500 & 600mm lens = 900mm, 1/2000 sec, f5.6, Exposure = -0.33, ISO 640, 50m from bird

One of the regular birds to be found in the Kgalagadi and one of my first images taken during our trip

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2.

Swallowed tailed bee-eater

Nikon D500 & 600mm lens = 900mm, 1/5000 sec, f8, Exposure = -0.67, ISO 1250, 9m from bird

Another of the regular birds to be found in the Kgalagadi. One needs to increase the f-stop if you are close to an object to try and get everything in focus especially the tail. ______________________________________

3.

Ostrich

Nikon D500 & 600mm lens = 900mm, 1/3200 sec, f4, Exposure = -1.33, ISO 125, 63m from bird

Many otrishes to be found between Twee Rivierien en Kji Kji water hole. This image was taken at Leeudril waterhole with the setting sun from behind the bird

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4.

Meerkat child love

Nikon D500 & 600mm lens + 1.4 convertor = 1275mm, 1/500 sec, f9, Exposure = -1.33, ISO 250, 21m from meerkat

At the entrance of Rooiputs, a clan of meetkats had a temporay den. I found them one afternoon enjoying the last bit of sunrise before they disappearing into the burrows. The next two dayss they did not return to this speciifc den.

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5.

Meerkat help me

Nikon D500 & 600mm lens = 900mm, 1/3200 sec, f4, Exposure = -0.67, ISO 125, 21m from meerkat

The next morning we did a quick drive to Kji Kji waterhole but we returned to wait for the meerkats to appear because we know they were there. And they apperared just after sunrise, warmed up a bit and then started to their foraging exercises for the day. However, they did not come back to this specific den for the next few days.

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6.

Porcupine side ways

Nikon D500 & 600mm lens + 1.4 convertor = 1275mm, 1/1000 sec, f8, Exposure = -0.67, ISO 320, 84m from porcupine

Another first for us after visiting the park for almost 7 years – a porcupine in daylight. Between Kji Kji and Melkvlei water holes. At first he was on the other side of the river bed and that was the reason why I’ve put the 1.4 convertor on my camera and lens. The old saying is so true: “Being at the right place at the right time”.

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7.

Porcupine close up

Nikon D500 & 600mm lens + 1.4 convertor = 1275mm, 1/1000 sec, f8, Exposure = -0.67, ISO 320, 84m from porcupine

All of a sudden the porcupine decided to cross over to our side. Luckily we were the only vehicle in the sighting and I was bale to manoeuvre our vehicle accordingly. It looks like the porcupine was in some sort of a fight because of the blood on its nose. It all happened so quickly – it was not possible for me to even remove my convertor from my camera and lens. The beauty of having a second body (D4 and 200-400mm lens on the passenger seat next to me). It took the porcupine about 4 minutes from our first sighting to cross the dune and disappear.

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8.

Young ground squirrels

Nikon D500 & 600mm lens = 900mm, 1/800 sec, f7.1, Exposure = 0, ISO 320, 12m from squirrels

You will definitely see a lot of ground squirrels in the park but not very often will you see young one warming up early in the morning

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9.

Black backed Jackal

Nikon D500 & 600mm lens = 900mm, 1/1600 sec, f6.3, Exposure = -0.33, ISO 320, 10m from jackal

Also the ever-present BB jackals and on this trip we saw a lot of them. Always nice to stop if they are close to the road – like this one and practise some portrait photograpghy

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10.

Lion

Nikon D500 & 600mm lens = 900mm, 1/5000 sec, f8, Exposure = -0.67, ISO 800, 50m from lion

Over the long weekend we saw about 7 different lions – always a pleasure and an enjoyment to see what they are up to. This year the grass was a bit high, so photographgy was not easy and one had to wait for the opportnities.

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11.

Gemsbok

Nikon D500 & 600mm lens = 900mm, 1/8000 sec, f11, Exposure = -1.0, ISO 640, 106m from gemsbok

Early in the morning the sun gives an opportunity to take some backlight photos – you just need to look for subjects on the edge of the dunes

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12.

Springbok

Nikon D500 & 600mm lens = 900mm, 1/6400 sec, f11, Exposure = -1.0, ISO 640, 105m from springbok

And a springbok provided us with another opportunity for some backlight photography

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Message to take home

 

Well, looking at the reason why we decided on short notice to take on the long road (800km) to the Kgalagadi for only a stay of 4 nights, I’ve realized that this message I’ve read is so true:

“Nature photography is extremely therapeutic if you can reap enjoyment from it.”

Because of a few stressful weeks before our trip, we decided to put our camera equipment in our vehicle and took on the long road to our favourite park. Even if it was just for a few days. And believe me, it was worth it – within a day or two we were so relaxed and focused on nature and photography that we once again realised that being alone with a camera in the natural world is definitely a great way to wind down and forget about the work. But just remember:

“Take photos not to see the result, but to enjoy the process”

 Until my next trip report – keep on shooting

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Trip report: Indlovu River Lodge (Karongwe Private Game Reserve), Julie 2016

My wife and I as well as two friends have just returned from a photography safari in the Limpopo province. Albie Venter from Africa Unlocked organised the safari and was our guide. We stayed the first two nights at the Indlovu River Lodge in the Karongwe Private Game Reserve about 40km outside Hoedspruit on the R36 road to Tzaneen. A very interesting game reserve offering various photography opportunities such as game drives on “vulture vehicles” and two hides (an animal and bird hide).

Albie decided to concentrate on the hide for the two days and not making use of the game drives because our next 4 days (yes, Albie – 4 days!!!) were reserved for Timbavati Nature Reserve in the Greater Kruger National Park with plenty of game drives on our schedule. Our daily routine was something like this – wake up was around 05H00, coffee (tea for me) around 05H45 and leaving for the hide around 06H00. The hides are about a 10min drive from the lodge. Leaving the hides around 10:00 depending on the activities around the waterhole to drive back to the lodge. Brunch at 11H00 and then it was time to download and to sort the images taken during the morning session – “skei die kaf van die koring”. An there were lots of “kaf” because nowadays I tend to play around and experience with different options when photographing wildlife. Tea was served again around 15:00 and we left for the hide around 15:15. We exited the hide just after sunset to drive directly back to the lodge, had some drinks and then supper was served in the boma around 19H30. Afterwards yet another quick session of photo downloading and sorting before a well-earned sleep.

Below are a few images taken during our time spent in the hides:

In the hide 1200 W

In the hide

Nikon D3S, Nikon 24-70mm lens, ISO2000, 1/25 sec, f4, exposure comp = +0.33, Aperture priority, WB = sun

And this what the hide looks like with four very serious photographers occupying the animal hide.

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The first afternoon after we arrived at the lodge – some people took a major detour to arrive at the lodge following the advice of Rebecca and Albie’s advice – we went straight to the animal hide. Any surprises? Lost of baboons around – so I had plenty of time to play around.

Baboon look 1080 W

Baboon look

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO800, 1/2000 sec, f8, exposure comp = -1.00, Aperture priority, WB = sun, fill in flash, 11 meters from baboon

This first image is the typical camera club type of image – technical correct in good light

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 Baboon half 1080 W

Baboon half

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO800, 1/2000 sec, f8, exposure comp = -1.00, Aperture priority, WB = sun, fill in flash, 15 meters from baboon

Then it was time to start playing around with the setup and composition – this image above is definitely not your typical camera club image but I just love the effect that the 600mm lens is creating with its very shallow depth of field. Many people including camera club judges will think this image was manipulated (background and foreground blurred) in Photoshop during the post-processing but it is not the case. In the very last image of this post  I will show what an image looks like that was manipulated in Photoshop – please note that for competition purposes, the manipulation of nature images using computer software are not allowed.

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Baboon x drink 1200 W

Baboon X drink

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO800, 1/2000 sec, f8, exposure comp = -1.00, Aperture priority, WB = sun, fill in flash, 10 meters from baboon

The shallow depth of field of the 600mm lens can some times be problematic – not getting the back and tail of baboon in focus even with an aperture of f8. Nevertheless, it is the story telling elements that is important to me in this image.

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Baboon side drink 1080 W

Baboon side drink

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO800, 1/2000 sec, f8, exposure comp = -1.00, Aperture priority, WB = sun, fill in flash, 8 meters from baboon

Yet another experiment with composition and camera setting – I tend to increase the aperture of my camera the close I get to my subject with the 600mm lens.  It seems to have worked for this type of image.

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Baboon ET phone 1200 W

Baboon ET phone

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO4000, 1/3200 sec, f8, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, fill in flash, 15 meters from baboon

Further experimenting with composition and camera setting – I had to increase my ISO to 4000 with the aperture set at f8 to get a decent shutter speed to freeze the scratching of the young baboon. Now he looks like ET phoning home.

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 Baboon dark 1080 W

Baboon dark

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO2000, 1/800 sec, f8, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, fill in flash, 15 meters from baboon

This is my favourite shot of the afternoon – taken after sunset with my flash to create the dark background (not manipulated in Photoshop).

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We were also privileged to experience the visit of a giraffe to the hide and waterhole during the same first afternoon.

Giraffe drinking eye 1080 W

Giraffe drinking eye

Nikon D3S, Nikon 70 – 200mm lens @ 200mm, ISO200, 1/1600 sec, f4, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, fill in flash, 10 meters from the giraffe,

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The next morning we decided to go early to the animal hide to get some backlight shot – surprise, surprise, it was an overcast day! Not the ideal day for wildlife photography but one needs to improvise, hence the following shot against the clouds and rising sun

Giraffe sill 1200 W

Giraffe sill

Nikon D800, Nikon 70 – 200mm lens @ 70mm, ISO320, 1/1250 sec, f5.6, exposure comp = -0.1, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 20 meters from the giraffe

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After a while we decided to go to the bird hide to photograph  some birds. Not much going on except for a flock of guinea fowls foraging around the hide.

 Guinea fowl hide 1200 W

Guinea fowl hide

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO2500, 1/5000 sec, f8, exposure comp = 0, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 15 meters from the bird

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During our afternoon session the sun was out providing us with some interesting shots from the animal hide again.

Kudu afternoon 1080 W

Kudu late afternoon

Nikon D3S, Nikon 24-70mm lens @ 38mm, ISO1250, 1/400 sec, f11, exposure comp = +0.33, Aperture priority, WB = sun, fill in flash, 7 meters from kudu

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Njala and baboon 1920 W

Njala and baboon

Nikon D3S, 70 – 200mm lens @ 70mm, ISO800, 1/8000 sec, f4, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, fill in flash, 10 meters from Njala

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Njala head hide 1200 W

Njala head hide

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO5000, 1/4000 sec, f4, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 28 meters from the Njala

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I conclude this trip report with and image I manipulated in Photoshop (as mentioned earlier in this trip report – the only image manipulated in Photoshop to get a nice, smooth background by adding haze (Dehaze function in Lightroom) to the background. I will not be able to us this image in a Nature photography competition.

To be continue with the trip report on our visit to Timbavati!!!

 

Message to take home:

If you look at the advertisement/promotion on the Internet of this little gem of a nature reserve with its animal and bird hide, you think: “Ag, it is easy to get those WOW image.” It may be your perception but believe me – your perception is wrong and it is not that easy. It is HARD WORK. Nowadays, to get those unique images, photographers require a lot of time with a lot of energy & effort to be put into a safari/trip. It is not just about arriving at a site and start shooting. You constantly need to plan the shots carefully while waiting for the right moment – a lot goes into photography. But at the end, it is worth the effort if you are satisfied with the outcome.

Until the next trip report – keep on shooting!!!

 

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Trip report: Londolozi, South Africa – Apr 2016 (Part 1)

It is been a while since I’ve posted a trip report – so I decided to do this trip report “live” while on location. We are very fortunate to have internet access but luckily very limited cell phone reception. So, here we go.

My wife planned this trip and we decided to stay the first night in Berg en Dal camp in the Kruger National Park. We left home very early on Saturday morning (around 05H00) and we arrived at Malelane gate around 14H00 after 3 stop-and-go’s on the N4. An afternoon drive and a Sunday morning drive to Sukuza provided us with sightings of 4 of the Big 5 (no lions) as well as a glimpse on wild painted dogs. And who said there are no photo opportunities in the Kruger National Park!

Two interesting images from our drives:

Oxpecker on bufallo 1080 W A Oxpecker on the nose a buffalo.

Nikon D4, Nikkor 600mmf4 lens, 1/4000 of second, f4, ISO1600, exposure = 0.

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Dwarf mongoose three 1200 W

We came across a den of about 11 dwarf mongoose in a termite mount next to the road (6-7 meters away) – so we spent almost 1 hour with them. After a while they got use to us and started to relax. They are so curious and are very interesting to watch.

Nikon D4, Nikkor 600mmf4 lens, 1/4000 of second, f8, ISO1600, exposure = -2/3.

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After some quality time in the Kruger Park itself, it was time to leave the park just to re-enter the Greater Kruger park a few kilometres from the Kruger gate for a stay at Londolozi. This is our second visit to Londolozi with Byron Serrao and we were so looking forward to our stay. And we were not disappointed! The following images are just a few highlights from the first few days.

Leopard in night 1200 W

During our first afternoon/evening drive Byron took us to a young female leopard with a kill in a tree. There was not much left of the kill and the female was very relaxed. However, there were a few hyenas around, so she went up a Maroela tree kept a watchful eye on the hyena and she provided us with some excellent photo opportunities like the image above.

Nikon D4, Nikkor 600mmf4 lens, 1/400 of second, f8, ISO4000, exposure = -1.0, manual mode.

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Leopard backlight yawn 1080 W

Also some backlight shots with a yawn or two!

Nikon D4, Nikkor 600mmf4 lens, 1/160 of second, f8, ISO1600, exposure = -1.0.

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Fish eagle catch 1080 W

So Byron decided that this trip is not just about blood and claws – lucky for us there were two fish eagles hunting at Taylor’s dam. I was not so lucky with these birds but I got this shot of the only fish caught by the eagles that morning (after a few misses). Using a f8 aperture to ensure both wings tips are in focus – could have used f11 as well but it was overcast and the light was not good.

Nikon D4, Nikkor 600mmf4 lens, 1/1600 of second, f8, ISO1600, exposure = -1/3.

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Where is the milk 1920 WBack to the claws of the trip – there are two lioness and two cubs around and we got a quick glimpse of them before the cubs disappeared into the thickness of the bushes.

Nikon D4, Nikkor 600mmf4 lens, 1/4000 of second, f8, ISO1600, exposure = -2/3.

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Leopard protective mom 1080 W

We also visited the Mashaba female leopard and her (almost) 1 year old cub feeding on an impala kill on the ground. Interesting to see how the female tolerated the presence of the young cub (almost time for the cub to leave the mother). Not very often one gets two leopards feeding on one kill. And they came within a meter or two from our open vehicle!

Nikon D4, Nikkor 600mmf4 lens, 1/640 of second, f8, ISO4000, exposure = -2/3.

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Sunset in the bush 1080 W

There is always time for a landscape photo or two (taken from the vehicle) while waiting to enter a sighting – especially with a sunset like this. The vultures waiting patiently for an opportunity above the Masaba female leopard and her kill.

Nikon D3S, Nikkor 70-200mmf4 lens @ 70mm, 1/800 of second, f8, ISO100, exposure = -1.3.

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Elephant small 1200 W

There are lots of elephants around and I could not resist taking an image of this young one doing a mock charge towards our vehicle.

Nikon D4, Nikkor 600mmf4 lens, 1/4000 of second, f8, ISO1600, exposure = -2/3.

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Lion water watch 1080 W

And a sad story for a giraffe but an easy meal for the two dominate male lions of this area. On one of our drives, we came across a giraffe that was stuck in the mud of a waterhole. During the day it became too weak and it drowned. Later during the night & the next morning the two male lions arrived to enjoy this free meal left in the water.

Nikon D4, Nikkor 600mmf4 lens, 1/250 of second, f4, ISO4000, exposure = -2/3, fill-in flash and spot light as light source

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Cheetah head 1200 W

Cheetahs are not often found in this area because of all the other predators around. However, there was one male found in one of the sections of the park.

Nikon D4, Nikkor 600mmf4 lens, 1/640 of second, f8, ISO1000, exposure = -2/3.

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Eagle take off branch 1920 W

And there were also some opportunities to practise my favourite type of photography – birds in fight. Not very often one get a African hawk eagle siting in the open on top of a branch. So we parked the vehicle and waited patiently for the eagle to take off. And eventually it did. My first decent shot a this type of eagle in flight. Patience is the name of the game.

Nikon D4, Nikkor 600mmf4 lens, 1/4000 of second, f8, ISO800, exposure = -2/3.

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What a first few days in the bush – full of action and opportunities. To be continued.

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Trip report: Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, September 2015 (Part III: Day 4 – 6) – Great shots and missed opportunities

Right, I’ve just returned from yet another week in the Kgalagadi but first I need to complete this trip report – spending a long weekend in September 2015 in Kgalagadi. The purpose of this three-part trip report is to show what can be seen in the Kgalagadi when you are willing to drive all the way up to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park to spend a long weekend in Twee Rivieren camp.

Right, lets continue to see what the Kgalagadi has to offer in the month of September. This report is called Great shots because I had some great shots taken during these two days as well as Missed opportunities because I’ve missed the shot of the trip because of wrong choices. Just a side comment: the mid- day and late afternoon temperature was between 40 and 46 degree Celsius while the morning temp was between 9 and 12 degree Celsius. For those who are interested and planning their first ever trip to the Kgalagadi.

 

Day 4 – Morning drive

Once again, leaving the camp at gate opening time (06H30) I decided to drive along the Nossob River. And again, a quiet drive with nothing really happening at Samevloei, Leeudril and Kji Kji waterholes. Between Kji Kji and Melkvlei I came across this nice Tawny eagle sitting in one of the dead tree just next to the road. From it feathers, one can see how cold it was – even in September.

21 Eagle early morning W

Eagle early morning

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO640, 1/2000 sec, f8, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 25 meters from eagle

Way too early for the eagle to take – so I just took a record portrait shot of the eagle while enjoying the good light.

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Between Melkvlei and Gunong water hole, the whistling rat colony again – I’ve tried my luck once again. Lets try this one in colour because it was not that late in the morning.

22 Rat hole W

Rat hole

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO640, 1/8000 sec, f4, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 6 meters from rate

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Nothing at Gunong waterhole but on my way back between Melkvlei and Kji Kji – the best opportunity of the trip. But a missed opportunity because of bad decision-making from my side. The same Tawny eagle shown above caught a snake and was busy eating it while a juvenile Bateleur was hoping for a piece of it. As you can see from my camera settings, I was ready for action.

23 Eagle and Bataleur W

Eagle and Bateleur

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO1600, 1/5000 sec, f8, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 25 meters from the raptors

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At one stage the eagle walked away and the Bateleur moved in to look if there was anything left. And this is where I missed the shot. I’ve parked way too close to the sighting as the tawny eagle retuned to the feeding spot to chase away the Bateleur – evidence of my mistake below. In hindsight – I should have used my 200-400mm lens.

24 Eagle and Bataleur fighting

Eagle and Bateleur fighting

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO1600, 1/5000 sec, f8, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 25 meters from the raptors

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I decided to reverse a bit and wait for the take off of both birds as a “consolation price”. First the tawny eagle took off

25 Eagle take off W

Eagle take off

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO1600, 1/6400 sec, f8, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 31 meters from the raptors

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Followed a few minutes later by the Bateleur

26 Balateur take off W

Bateleur take off

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO1600, 1/3200 sec, f8, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 31 meters from the raptors

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Day 4 – Afternoon drive

I followed my usual routine leaving camp around 15H15-15H30. It was very hot – 45 degrees so I did not expect much action. I drove along the Nossob River – the same route as the morning. Nothing happening up the Gunong water hole. On my way back, between Kji Kji and Melkvlei waterhole, I came across the same juvenile Bateleur as display above in a dead tree. After a while it decided to join the parents in a bigger tree – the image below taken while the juvenile was flying from the dead tree to the roasting tree. Just look at the difference between this image taken from the same bird in late afternoon sunlight below and the previous image (hard late morning sunlight) above. Interesting!

 27 Bataleur juvenile flying W

Bateleur take off

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO1600, 1/8000 sec, f8, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 28 meters from the raptor

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And just before Rooiputs water hole, a slender mongoose lying in the road in the shade of a tree. Not very often that one of these shy little animals providing a photographer with such nice opportunities. They usually run away but not this one. I’ve used a fill-in flash a la Albie Venter because of the shadow of the tree.

28 Slender mongoose W

Slender mongoose

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO1600, 1/640 sec, f8, exposure comp = 0, Aperture priority, WB = sun, fill in flash, 11 meters from mongoose

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And as usual, be on the lookout for the ostriches between Rooiputs and Samevloei waterholes. They do provide you with nice backlight shots while taking a dust bath like this ostrich did.

29 Ostrich late W

Ostrich late

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO800, 1/3200 sec, f4, exposure comp = -1.3, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 63 meters from ostrich

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What a surprise after Leeudril waterhole – my third ever sighting of a leopard in the Kgalagadi (in four years)! A bit far but just a record shot with a 2x convertor on the 600mm lens in very low light conditions.

30 Leopard W

Leopard

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens with 2 x convertor = 1200mm, ISO800, 1/200 sec, f8, exposure comp = -0.673, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 85 meters from leopard

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So, a very eventful afternoon drive came to an end.

 

Day 5 – Morning drive

The same routine as always – a drive along the Nossob River. The first interesting sighting was between Rooiputs and Kji Kji waterhole. The Cape fox lying in front of its burrow in the early morning sunlight. Unfortunately no puppies around – so I don’t think it was a den.

31 Cape fox W

Cape fox

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO800, 1/3200 sec, f8, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 12 meters from fox

Just to let you know – the above-mentioned camera setting is my default settings for my D4 and 600mm lens combination and I just love it.

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Just pass the rat colonies between Melkvlei and Gunong water hole – the great opportunity of the trip. Around a bend just before Gunong waterhole sat a Tawny eagle and an African wild cat next to each other on the ground. However, both were not interested in each other. The eagle was collecting nesting material. Luckily I’ve got a few shots of the eagle taking of with a twin in its beak – example below.

32 Eagle nesting twig W

Eagle nesting twig

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO1600, 1/6400, f8, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 32 meters from eagle

Be careful with birds with white feathers under their wings – as you can see, the exposure compensation of -0.67 used for this image was not enough in this case – should have used an additional two stops (-1.3). I had to work hard in Photoshop to get the detail back in those feathers.

This image already received 2 acceptances in international salons

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So what happened to the cat? It disappeared over the dunes but I decided to wait a bit to see what will happen. The cat returned after about 15 minutes with another cat on its tail.

 32a Cat running W

Cat running

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO1600, 1/64000, f8, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 28 meters from cat

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I was waiting for some action (this time prepared with my 200-400mm lens – lesson learned the previous day with raptors) but another car arrived and the cat at the back left in a hurry

32b Cat together W

Cat together

Nikon D3S, Nikon 200-400mm lens @ 260mm, ISO1600, 1/64000, f6.3, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 15 meters from cats

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The other cat stayed behind lying in the shade of the tree and was very relaxed allowing me to capture once again some nice close-up shots.

33 Wild cat relaxed W

Wild cat relaxed

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO500, 1/1600, f8, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, fill in flash, 9 meters from cat

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I even had time to put on my 1.4 convertor for some even more close-up shots.

34 Cat and fly W

Cat and fly

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO500, 1/1250, f8, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, fill in flash, 9 meters from cat

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Day 5 – Afternoon drive

 

The same routine – a drive along the Nossob River. The afternoon drive was very relaxing with not much happening except for the lions at Leeudril water hole on our way back to camp. First a nice type of backlight shot with a yawning lioness.

35 Lioness late yawn W

Lioness late yawn

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO1000, 1/1250, f8, exposure comp = -1.30, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 28 meters from lioness

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And the lioness decided to taste a bit of the Nissan Xtrail in front of us. She moved around my Fortuner as well but I quickly started it and she moved on. Just to show you – you should not feel “jammer” for your vehicle when coming to the Kgalagadi – the Nissan sustained a few holes in its bumper after the bite!

 36 Lioness biting car W

Lioness biting car

Nikon D800, Nikon 70-200mm lens @ 200mm, ISO100, 1/200 sec, f4, exposure comp = -0.3, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 4 meters from lioness

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Day 6 – Morning drive

 

It was time to leave the Kgalagadi to drive the 7+hours back home to Bloemfontein. But not before a quick drive to Gunong water hole and back. At Kji Kji the “gemsbokke” were playing around the waterhole while sharping their fighting skills when it comes to determine who is dominant.

37 Gemsbok fighting W

Gemsbok fighting

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO1600, 1/4000 sec, f8, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 63 meters from gemsbok

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And at last found I found the four cheetahs near Gunong waterhole – I was looking for them every day. They were lying next to the road – how lucky can one get? A quick photo or two and I was on my back to Twee Rivieren to check out and drive back home.

38 Cheetah yawning W

Cheetah yawning

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO1600, 1/3200 sec, f8, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 10 meters from cheetah

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39 Cheetah under bush W

Cheetah under bush

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO1000, 1/2000 sec, f8, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 15 meters from cheetah

Definitely a male cheetah!

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Until the next trip report from the Kgalagadi (Nov/Dec 2015)!!!

 

Message to take home:

 

Thinking of my major mistake during this trip – one should never stop learning when going out on a shoot. Each photography trip should be learning experience – no matter how familiar the environment / park / sighting is. I’ve learned a valuable lesson during this trip and I will surely never forget it.

 

Until the next trip report – keep on shooting!!!

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Trip report: Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, September 2015 (Part II – Day 3) – The Cats

Lets continue with the report on my last visit to the Kgalagadi. I am calling this Part II “The Cats” because I was very fortunate to have a few sightings of African wild cats and lions on this public holiday.

As you would recall, I’ve decided to stay in Twee Rivieren for the entire 5 days in the park. I did not want to drive all over the park during such a short stay in the park. I would rather stay in one camp, locate some of the animals and go back every day to try and find them again. And I had some reasonable success with this approach – especially the african wild cats (vaalboskat). Now for Day 3 and let me show you what Kgalagadi has to offer if you decide to stay in one camp for the duration of one’s visit:

Day 3 – morning drive

Leaving the camp at gate opening time (06H30) I decided to once again try my luck driving up the Nossob River. Nothing was happening at Samevloei and Leeudril waterhole. So I decided to carry on Rooiputs waterhole and Kji Kji. However, just past the famous tree with the big Sociable weaver nests next to the road, I came across this magnificent male lion (around 07H30 just to give you an idea of travel time in the Kgalagadi looking for photo opportunities). The lion was walking towards Leeudril waterhole but he was smelling the bushes every now and then. I decided to following him slowly and not to drive back to the waterhole to wait for his arrival. And I was not disappointed – as you can see from the next three images below. Once again – photography in the Kgalagadi is all about anticipation and quick decision-making.

11 Lion scape W

Lion scape

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO400, 1/3200, f4, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 110 meters from lion

I was a bit far from the lion – even for a 600mm lens. But one must always consider capturing the animal in its natural environment and not always trying to get a very close-up shot. That is the reason I call this image “Lion scape”

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At one stage the lion did walk closer to the road – a more close-up shot of his action. Still a nice landscape shot.

11a Lion morning walk W d

Lion morning walk

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO1250, 1/4000, f8, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 63 meters from lion

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And the suddenly he decided to turn towards the road and walked right up to me. I was very fortunate because by now there were already about six or seven cars following the lion (initially we were only three cars following the lion but the rest caught up with us). By now it was not easy to manoeuvre one’s car to get the best possible position for a shot. So, I was very satisfied to have captured this type of shot – always trying something different.

12 Lion one eye W

Lion one eye

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO1250, 1/4000, f8, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 21 meters from lion

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The rest of the morning was just a very relaxing drive with just general game and birds – nothing really worth posting. Turned around at Gunong waterhole and went back to the chalet for a nice brunch, image downloading, bit of image processing and a lekker afternoon snooze.

 

Day 3 – Afternoon drive

My usual routine in the Kgalagadi for the afternoon is to leave camp around 15H15-15H30. I just love driving along the Nossob River from Twee Rivieren, so it was the same route as the morning drive. Between Kji Kji and Melkvlei waterhole I was looking for the African Wild cat I saw earlier the morning in a tree. The cat was still there but while I was watching it and getting my camera gear in place (including my flash because the cat was in the shadows), the cat decided it was time to leave the tree. I quickly had to adjust my camera in order to capture the cat coming down the tree – hopefully where I can get some decent shots. And I was lucky!

13 Cat in tree W

Cat in tree

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO400, 1/2000, f4, exposure comp = -0, Aperture priority, WB = sun, fill in flash19 meters from cat

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14 Cat coming down W

Cat coming down

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO400, 1/2500, f4, exposure comp = 0, Aperture priority, WB = sun, fill in flash, 19 meters from cat

I even got a quick look from the cat before continuing down the tree – how lucky can one get!

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15 Cat down branches W

Cat down branches

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO400, 1/3200, f4, exposure comp = 0, Aperture priority, WB = sun, fill in flash, 19 meters from cat

And the rest of the downward movements was very quick and fast – very difficulty to keep the small cat in the frame but I’ve managed to capture a few of these images with the cat full in the frame. As you can see – I just managed to keep the cat’s tail in the frame.

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Turned around at Melkvlei and when I reached Kji Kji waterhole on my way back to Twee Rivieren, I saw three of four cars parked about 800 meters south of the waterhole. Then I saw two lions walking in the riverbed towards the waterhole. So, parked my car so that the lions have to walk past me. And they did.

16 Lioness walking W

Lioness walking

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO1250, 1/1600, f11, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 21 meters from lions

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The two lionesses had a drink of water with one lioness smelling the air. Not very often that I do see a lioness smelling the air like this. It is usually the male lion smelling the air like this around a female lioness.

17 Lioness smelling W

Lioness smelling

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO1250, 1/4000, f8, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 40 meters from lioness

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After the drinks they continue to walk north while looking for something to catch. As you can see – always alert even when they were walking

19 Lioness watchful walk W

Lioness watchful walking

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO640, 1/1600, f8, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, fill in flash, 32 meters from lioness

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One lioness was lying next to the road ever so watchful what was going on around her.

18 Lioness watching W

Lioness watching

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO1250, 1/4000, f8, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, fill in flash, 11 meters from lioness

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And as you can see, both of them were definitely in a hunting mode – this female amongst the three thorn bushes looking at some springboks down the riverbed.

20 Lioness hunting W

Lioness hunting

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO1250, 1/8000, f4.5, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, fill in flash, 63 meters from lioness

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Unfortunately it was getting late – about 40 minutes (still 45km from Twee Rivieren) left to catch the camp gates still open. So, I couldn’t stay to see if there were a few wildebeests around. Therefore, I left them to do their thing on their own

To be continued

Message to take home:

The eyes! The eyes of your subject are the windows to the soul, and it should be the focal point of your wildlife shots. You should try to keep the focus of your camera on the eyes of your subjects. I know it is not always possible when the action is fast. But in shots of the lions as shown above, it is possible to keep the focus on the eyes.

Until the next edition of this trip report – keep on shooting!!!

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Trip report: Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, September 2015 (Part I – day 1 & 2)

It has been a while since my last trip report posted on my blog. In fact my last trip report was posted in June 2014 and it was on our November 2013 Kgalagadi trip. So, I think it is high time that I do post another trip report. This trip report is especially for Alma and Lamps – the latter not being convinced that travelling 1600km for a long weekend in the Kgalagadi is worth the effort. One must remember that when visiting the Kgalagadi, it is not just about photography. It is being in the Kgalagadi, it is being in the veld enjoying what Nature is offering us, it is the braai in the evening.

 

I decided to stay in Twee Rivieren for the entire 5 days – just to relax and enjoy the park with no real photography expectation. Just to wait en see what the Kgalagadi has to offer. Now lets see what the Kgalagadi has to offer for a weekend visitor like me:

 

Day 1 – Afternoon drive

 

I arrived at Twee Rivieren just in time (gate closing time in September in 18H30) to take a short afternoon drive up to Rooiputs waterhole. Not much to see but such a nice feeling just to drive with the wind blowing through the open window. On my way back there was a BB jackal at Leeudril waterhole drinking water. I’ve tried a backlight shot with a -1.3 underexposure setting because Leeudril is more of a morning shot waterhole.

01 Leeudril jackal W

Leeudril jackal

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO250, 1/3200, f4, exposure comp = -1.3, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 28 meters from jackal

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After I left Leeudril waterhole, I came across this Southern pale chanting goshawk (what we use to call a Kalahari hoender) sitting on a branch while enjoying the last sunlight. Unfortunately the bird turned around and took off in the wrong direction – therefore no opportunity for a bird in flight (BIF) shot. As you can see from my camera settings, I was ready for a BIF shot

02 Goshawk last light W

Goshawk in last light

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO1250, 1/4000, f8, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 21 meters from goshawk

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Day 2 – Morning drive

 

Gate opening time in September is at 06H30 and I collected my permit at the gate. Just pass Rooiputs waterhole I found this Kori buster enjoying an early morning dust bath in the middle of the Nossob riverbed. A bit far (63m) for a decent shot but the 1.4 converter helped a lot.

04 Kori dust bath W

Kori dust bath

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens with 1.4 convertor – 850mm, ISO800, 1/4000, f5.6, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 63 meters from Kori

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04a Kori after bath W

Kori after bath

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens with 1.4 convertor – 850mm, ISO800, 1/4000, f5.6, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 63 meters from Kori

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And the Kgalagadi yet again ensured that I did receive enough owl sighting on this trip – a lot of them. This Giant eagle owl was sitting in a tree a few kilometres before Kji Kji waterhole next to the road – one could almost touch it (luckily it was too high up in the tree).

03 Eagle owl yawn W

Eagle owl yawn

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO1600, 1/1600, f8, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 9 meters from owl

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After a nice cup of tea and rusks at Melkvlei picnic spot, I found this Spotted eagle owl just around the corner from the picnic spot in a tree next to the road. I really did enjoy the owl sightings on this trip even though it was not good photography sightings.

05 Eagle owl one eye W

Eagle owl yawn

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO1600, 1/2000, f8, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 9 meters from owl

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Between Gunong and Melkvlei there are a lot of Whistling rat colonies on the edge of the road. It is just a pity that one only arrives around 08H30 at this spot when the sun is already too “hard”. Nevertheless, one can always try a monochrome image. Not an award winning image but I did enjoy watching the alertness of these rats, especially when one is very close to them.

06 Rat BW W

Rat BW

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO1600, 1/5000, f8, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 6 meters from rat

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When I reached Gunong waterhole, I decided it was already late in the morning – no luck finding the 5 cheetahs and turn back towards Twee Rivieren. I decided to return to Twee Rivieren via the Auob River, so I took the lower dune road at Kji Kji waterhole. Interesting to see so many (around 10) Northern Black Korhaan in the Auob River bed from Auchterlonie to Houmoed. They are usually found on the lower and higher dune roads amongst the dunes.

07 Korhaan Northern black W

Northern Black Korhaan – male

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO640, 1/4000, f8, exposure comp = -1.3, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 10 meters from Korhaan

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And there was even one or two red crested Korhaan around.

08 Korhaan red chrested W

Red crested Korhaan – female

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens, ISO640, 1/2000, f8, exposure comp = -1.3, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 10 meters from Korhaan

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Day 2 – Afternoon drive

 

Leaving the chalet around 15H30 for what started as a very relaxed afternoon drive. I decided to drive to the Auob River – taking the 7 km road over the dunes to reach the Auob River. Nothing really interesting except two Tawny eagles at Auchterlonie waterhole. One of them got sting by a bee while drinking water and was very upset – as you can see in this image, the bee still in the beak of the eagle. The image is heavily cropped.

09 Eagle bee sting W

Eagle bee sting

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens with 1.4 converter = 850mm, ISO1000, 1/5000, f7.1, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 50 meters from eagle

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Near Gemsbokplein waterhole I “accidentally” saw this Southern White face scops-owl in a tree next to the road. Like I said – Kgalagadi delivers when it comes to raptors and owls; one just need to be on the lookout for them.

10 Southern white faced owl W

White faced owl

Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm lens with 1.4 converter = 850mm, ISO1000, 1/5000, f7.1, exposure comp = -0.67, Aperture priority, WB = sun, 5 meters from owl

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To be continued – with lots of cats!!!

 

Message to take home:

 

All I want to emphasise in this post is the fact that if you do not like the veld (Nature) or hot, dry, dusty weather, then I think Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is not for you. If you only go to the Kgalagadi with the purpose to get that “WOW” image, visiting the Kgalagadi can be very frustrating. The reason being that one has to work very hard for your images. Sometimes one can drive for an entire day without seeing anything. Therefore, lots of patience is needed. However, even if you do not pick up camera at all during drive, you can always enjoy just being in the veld.

Just my opinion – we can agree to disagree!

 

Until the next edition of this trip report – keep on shooting!!!

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Trip report: Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, November 2013 (Animal edition)

To continue with the trip report to the Kgalagadi in November 2913. Now back to the animals of the Kgalagadi. This young lion entertained us at Kji Kji water hole by looking for the direction of his “take away café”.

 

Lion take away cafe

Lion take away café

(Nikon D800, 200-400mmf4 fixed lens @ 350mm, ISO3200, f8, 1/1000, exposure = 0, WB = sunny, Aperture mode, 30 meters from lion)

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Pet 1 768 500k 300d sRGB

Pet 1

(Nikon D800, 200-400mmf4 fixed lens @ 350mm, ISO3200, f8, 1/1000, exposure = 0, WB = sunny, Aperture mode, 30 meters from lion)

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While driving from Urikaruus to Kamqua water hole early one morning, we came across two adult lions walking in the river bed. So I decided to be a bit creative and capture this portrait image of one of the loins when he walked past my vehicle.

 

Lion stare  1050 300k 72d sRGB Y&R W

Lion portrait

(Nikon D3S, 600mmf4 fixed lens, ISO640, f4, 1/5000, exposure = -0.67, WB = sunny, Aperture mode, 8 meters from lion)

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At Kwang water hole one lion was mating with a lioness of the Kwang pride of lions next to Kwang water hole. Another interesting behaviour – a second lioness approached the water to have a drink but the lion did not like it. So he charged toward her and immediately she showed this type of submission.

 

Lion domination 1

Lion domination

(Nikon D3S, 600mmf4 fixed lens, ISO1600, f8, 1/1600, exposure = -0.33, WB = sunny, Aperture mode, 40 meters from lions)

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And how about a Cheetah in the early morning light having drink after a feast during the night. Once again – Cubitje Quap water hole produced.

 

Cheetah drinking water 1

Cheetah drinking water

(Nikon D3S, 600mmf4 fixed lens, ISO8000, f8, 1/1000, exposure = -0.67, WB = sunny, Aperture mode)

Take that, ISO 8000 on a Nikon D3S camera!!! The sun was not yet up over the dunes, low light conditions. I was worried about the tail and the front paw, so I decided to stay with f8 but rather up my ISO. Just to make sure everything is in focus. But I know the background will be blurred with f8 on the 600mmf 4 lens at that distance. It worked well, wouldn’t you agree?

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Just passed Kamqua water hole we came across a brown hyena and it decided to sit between the three thorn bushes for a minute or two.

 

It is always interesting to capture giraffes’ drinking water – with the last few drops when they do pick their heads up flying in every direction. I was lucky to get these two giraffes close to each other at Graig Lockhart water hole.

 

Giraffe kiss 1400 300k 72d sRGB R W

Giraffe kiss

(Nikon D3S, 600mmf4 fixed lens, ISO2000, f8, 1/6400, exposure = -0.33, WB = sunny, Aperture mode, 31 meters from giraffes)

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And the month of November is also great to see some of the puppies of the Cape fox. This image was taken at the fox den close to Auchterlonie water hole. One needs to be early at the den because just after sunrise, the puppies will disappear into the burrows only to re-appear after dawn. Usually you won’t see them during the day.

 

Dad and son 1

Dad and son

(Nikon D3S, 600mmf4 fixed lens, ISO800, f5.6, 1/6400, exposure = -0.67, WB = sunny, Aperture mode, 19 meters from the foxes)

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A few hundred meters on the upper dune road just past Kamqua water hole a brown hyena was on the move between the many three thorn bushes – probably towards the water hole. However, it stopped and decided to lay down for a while. We waited and luckily it sat up again (only for a minute of two so that I can get this landscape shot) before moving back into the dunes.

 

Brown hyena landscape crop 1 1400 1MB 300d sRGB

Brown hyena landscape

(Nikon D3S, 600mmf4 fixed lens, ISO2000, f4, 1/800, exposure = -0.33, WB = auto, Aperture mode, 50 meters from hyena)

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At Polentswa water hole another brown hyena was walking towards the waterhole but after smelling the lions (they had a kill next to the waterhole the previous day), it turned away and moved back towards the dunes.

 

Brown hyena on the move 1400 300k 72d sRGB W

Brown hyena on the move

(Nikon D3S, 600mmf4 fixed lens, ISO1250, f8, 1/1600, exposure = -0.33, WB = auto, Aperture mode, 28 meters from hyena)

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A first for me in Kgalagadi – very small BB jackal cubs just next to the road between Cubitje Quap and Kwang water hole. Unfortunately the Three thorn bushes were just too thick but I managed to capture one cub through the bushes. Not a great image but nevertheless, they cannot all be perfect.

 

Pet eyes 768 300k 72d sRGB W

Pet eyes

(Nikon D3S, 600mmf4 fixed lens, ISO5000, f4, 1/500, exposure = -0.33, WB = auto, Aperture mode, 5 meters from jackal)

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And then the other current favourite action next to Cubitje Quap water hole – BB jackals hunting doves and sandgrouse. I visited the waterhole for four days and eventually I got a decent shot of the jackal. It is so difficult to capture the jackal without six to ten sand grouses around it. Usually there a few sand grouses flying around the jackal because the jackal likes to wait for a big flock to arrive before making its move. More chaos and easier to catch a sandgrouse in the chaos.

 

Missed 1 1400 300k 72d sRGB W

Missed 1

(Nikon D3S, 600mmf4 fixed lens, ISO2000, f11, 1/4000, exposure = -0.67, WB = auto, Aperture mode, 25 meters from jackal)

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Also, the background around the water hole is not very photographer friendly – as illustrated in the image below:

 

Jackal catching sandgrouse 1920 300k 72d sRGB light RY W

Jackal catching sand grouse

(Nikon D3S, 600mmf4 fixed lens, ISO 2500, f11, 1/5000, exposure = -0.67, WB = auto, Aperture mode, 31 meters from jackal)

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But with the necessary patience and watching the behaviour of the BB jackal, one might just get lucky. Like these series of images below – the BB jackal caught the sand grouse around its tail feathers. However, the sand grouse managed to get away – this time without any tail feathers.

 

Almost 1 1024 300k 72d sRGB W

Almost 1

(Nikon D3S, 600mmf4 fixed lens, ISO1250, f5.6, 1/200, exposure = -0.67, WB = sunny, Aperture mode, 28 meters from jackal)

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Almost 2 crop 1 1920 300k 72d sRGB Y W

Almost 3

(Nikon D3S, 600mmf4 fixed lens, ISO1250, f5.6, 1/200, exposure = -0.67, WB = sunny, Aperture mode, 28 meters from jackal)

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Almost 3 crop 1 1024 300k 72d sRGB W

 

Almost 2

(Nikon D3S, 600mmf4 fixed lens, ISO1250, f5.6, 1/200, exposure = -0.67, WB = sunny, Aperture mode, 28 meters from jackal)

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I sincerely hope we have enjoyed the trip reports for 2013 with me – the next trip report will be on my 2014 trips and there are already a few in the pipe-line.

 

Message to take home:

As I’ve mentioned in my previous trip report – I’ve tried not to post the usual images of the Kgalagadi and I hoped I’ve achieved just that. That brings me to the message for this final 2014 trip report post: The more you get out and use your camera, the more proficient you become as a photographer. I’ve been to Kgalagadi many a times by now but every time I do learn something new. Not just about me as a photographer but especially about my equipment – what it can do and what it cannot do. If you do not know your equipment, it is difficult to let your creativity takes over. In the process of learning and using your camera, you will develop a better eye from a creative perspective. It is important that you practise your “creative eye” on a regular basis. Remember, it is not only to maintain it, but also to improve that creative perspective. So, take out your camera and go shooting – even if it is just in your back garden but look at things differently.

 

Until my next trip report – keep on shooting with that creative eye constantly through the camera.

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