Saturday, November 28, 2009

Images from a Quiet Drive

When you go on safari you can never be assured that you will get marvelous sightings. A leopard up a tree with perfect golden light is definitely more the exception than the rule.

During some of those times when nature does not want to play along and produce the Big 5 and other visually exciting moments a lot of people start putting their cameras away. Why take another image of an impala? Why waste valuable memory card space by taking images of a Scrub Hare?

As a photographer you create impressions of what you see and the image you are trying to convey to your viewer. Play around with your settings. Pan along with a running animal. Zoom out as you take a long exposure image. There are many ways in which you can get creative while out in nature.

This morning it was very quiet out there so we spent a bit of time watching a herd of impalas. They were pretty skittish as there were quite a few youngsters running and jumping around so we decided to try and capture some motion blurred images.

This can be great fun even though you might end up with quite a few worthless images. At the very least you will learn more about your camera! To do this drop your shutter speed as far as you can while still considering the light you are working with. If you need to, adjust your aperture to allow for the slower shutter speed. (I was at f/29 for the above image). The idea is to follow the animal while you click the shutter. Ideally you would keep the animals head, neck and body in focus while the legs and background get blurred which will then convey that feeling of movement.

The above image, of a young impala jumping, is by no means a masterpiece. The head is still out of focus and the background is too cluttered which take away from the focal point but I suppose you get the idea. Gonna keep playing with this. Nice fun and potentially amazing images!

This image of a Scrub Hare was also taken during a pretty quiet stretch yesterday evening. The little guys was sitting perfectly still which gave us the opportunity to play around with some lens techniques to create interesting images. By again dropping your shutter speed and then zooming out / in as you take the image you can create zoom effects like this.

The Scrub Hare might not be the most sought after photographic subject in Africa, but I believe you can make an image out of anything.

I find that by playing around witht things like this you automatically think more about your settings. I reckon that shutterspeed is crucial when you are trying to freeze the action or blur movement but for wildlife photography aperture and the corresponding depth of field is probably the most important factor to creating sharp, srtriking images.

I will probbaly write more on this soon but by playing around with your equipment, even if it is to create strange artistic like these you think about your photography more. And that can only be a good thing!

While playing around like this I have found that somewhere in my head I 'see' a certain style of images I want to try and create. Black & white images. Composition. Contrasts. Difficult to explain but it is all those little things that work in an image combined. Hmmm...

Not exactly sure of how, but it is out there somewhere. I guess the journey is just as important as the destination so here we go.


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