Big Splash

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I hope you’re not tired of me posting about my awesome trip to Zimanga Private Game Reserve yet? Indulge me one more. I absolutely love being able to shoot at eye level with my subjects. It makes the photo come alive in a way that shooting from the normally elevated position of a vehicle just cannot do.

Given, you can get some nice eye-level shots through clever vehicle positioning and using the lay of the land to your advantage. Often, however, the only way to achieve this is to get out and get dirty by lying on the ground (if the reserve you are in allows this).

I was able to do just that at Zimanga last weekend as we photographed their dominant bull thrashing about in the Hlambanyathi dam in sweet golden afternoon light. This spot was next to their new “Lagoon Hide” which is currently under construction and which would definitely warrant a return visit!

I wanted to focus on the facial expressions of the Hippo and on the resultant splashes, so I fitted the 1.4x teleconverter to my lens for this session. The one concern with these shots is that the camera autofocus will lock onto some of the bigger water splashes that fly towards you, rendering your actual subject out of focus behind the splash.

I think this one came out alright, don’t you? This is pretty much full frame from the camera.

Techs:
Nikon D3s
Nikkor 500mm f4 VR-II
1.4x teleconverter
f9.0 | 1/1000 SS | ISO-1600

Hippo bull thrashing about in the Hlambanyathi dam in sweet golden afternoon light.

As always, I appreciate your time and attention. Have a superb day!

Morkel Erasmus

Morkel Erasmus

Since picking up a DSLR camera for the first time, a little over 3 years ago, Morkel has been invigorated with an unbridled passion for the photographic art form. He has grown at a tremendous pace and put immense energy into the creation of his images. He absolutely loves spending time in the wild places of his native Southern Africa. From a young age he has been visiting legendary wildlife and outdoor locations, including the Kruger Park National Park and the Drakensberg Mountains, with his family. Now that he has found a way to share the natural beauty of his homeland with the rest of the world he is regularly out on photography trips. An Industrial Engineer by profession, and an accomplished artist in genres like music and poetry, Morkel has always enjoyed whatever allows him to express his creativity to the fullest. Photography turned out to be the perfect "marriage" between his engineering brain and artistic soul. "I hope that in some way I can raise awareness through my imagery of the plight of not only our wildlife but also the fragility of the last remaining wilderness areas that they call home.” Morkel was recently honoured for his commitment to his craft by receiving a "Highly Commended" for one of his images in the 2010 BBC Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. He is based in Mpumalanga, and even though he prefers going on safari with his family and friends, Morkel also leads the odd photographic safari and has recently begun presenting workshops in post-processing techniques.

Morkel Erasmus

Morkel Erasmus

Since picking up a DSLR camera for the first time, a little over 3 years ago, Morkel has been invigorated with an unbridled passion for the photographic art form. He has grown at a tremendous pace and put immense energy into the creation of his images. He absolutely loves spending time in the wild places of his native Southern Africa. From a young age he has been visiting legendary wildlife and outdoor locations, including the Kruger Park National Park and the Drakensberg Mountains, with his family. Now that he has found a way to share the natural beauty of his homeland with the rest of the world he is regularly out on photography trips. An Industrial Engineer by profession, and an accomplished artist in genres like music and poetry, Morkel has always enjoyed whatever allows him to express his creativity to the fullest. Photography turned out to be the perfect "marriage" between his engineering brain and artistic soul. "I hope that in some way I can raise awareness through my imagery of the plight of not only our wildlife but also the fragility of the last remaining wilderness areas that they call home.” Morkel was recently honoured for his commitment to his craft by receiving a "Highly Commended" for one of his images in the 2010 BBC Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. He is based in Mpumalanga, South Africa and even though he prefers going on safari with his family and friends, Morkel also leads the odd photographic safari and has recently begun presenting workshops in post-processing techniques.

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