I’m often asked what the key to getting good wildlife images is, and lets not be fooled there are many important factors that contribute, but the one that is both the most crucial and hardest to live by is patience. Especially for me, I am not generally a patient person (still working on it though!) but in the bush I seem to be able to dig deep and tap into an endless supply of the stuff.
It could be in part that I am happy and at peace in the bush, away from the pressures of town and the associated hair pulling that entails, happy to sit back and absorb my surroundings, listen to the noises, watch the birds and generally do what it takes to while the time away while I am waiting for a specific shot.
So when you find something thats interesting, do yourself a favour and wait for it, or even if you find something that has some vague potential, sit around and wait and see. You may only end up with a better tan and a longer bird list but you may also end up with that once in a lifetime picture, the one the pro’s always manage to get...
The above picture is a great example of patience, I had been desperate to get what I thought should be a typical Ele-in-the-sunset-Lake Kariba-picture but it had been eluding me for some time. So you can imagine how I nearly fell out of the land rover while leading a photographic safari at Rhino Safari Camp when we came around the corner and there was the sun setting into the lake with an elephant....almost in the picture.
In fact the jumbo was far from where he needed to be (for me and my clients’ sake) and though he seemed to be heading in the right direction (towards the lovely sunset) he must have picked up on the anxiety in the air from all the nail biting, camera toting photographers and this seemed to slow his pace to a gentle, teasing meander.
After what seemed like an age and just before we lost the sun to the horizon he made his way, to our utmost joy and accompanied by rapid, sustained shutter firing, into the pink walkway. I had the shot I had been after, I couldn't believe my luck and had to keep reminding myself that patience won the day!
Where: On Safari at Rhino Safari Camp, Lake Kariba
Equipment: Nikon D3s and Nikkor 500mm F4 lens
Settings: ISO 800, f4 @ 1/500th sec, used a beanbag and the landy bonnet for support
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