Taking in the Magic of African Dawn Light…

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For those who have been to Africa, you know that the light is one of the most magical in the world, particularly when you have lions, leopards, rhinos and sunsets among the mix. Below are some shots taken in southern Africa recently – not the Canon settings are included for each shot.

Dawn on the Sand river, a mystical yet vibrant scene full of the warm colours of winter.f22, 1/15, ISO 100.

Above, Dawn on the Sand river, a mystical yet vibrant scene full of the warm colours of winter. f22, 1/15, ISO 100.

Below, a Southern Pride lioness digs her claws into an old Knob thorn tree while her brother enjoys the early morning rays. Canon 5D Mach 3, 70-200 f2.8, f2.8, 1/2000, ISO 100.

The last rays of dust lighting up one of the Majingilane male lions a golden red. f2.8, 1/20, ISO 1000.

The last rays of dust lighting up one of the Majingilane male lions a golden red colour. f2.8, 1/20, ISO 1000.

A male and a female White Rhino embrace each other while the male tries to court her. f32, 1/50, ISO 400.

A male and a female White Rhino embrace each other while the male attempts to court her. f32, 1/50, ISO 400.

The .......... peers on from a high vantage point moments after he was chased up a gnarly Marula tree by the Marthly male leopard.f4.5, 1/800, ISO 100.

The Tutlwa young male peers on from a high vantage point moments after he was chased up a gnarly Marula tree by the Marthly male leopard. f4.5, 1/800, ISO 100.

The Vomba female walks through a clearing in the early dawn.f2.8, 1/800, ISO 640.

The Vomba female walks through a clearing in the early dawn. f2.8, 1/800, ISO 640.

A young Southern pride male basks in the sun on Taylors black pan wall where they have been seen quite regularly.f5, 1/500, ISO 100.

A young Southern pride male basks in the sun on Taylors black pan wall where they have been seen quite regularly recently. f5, 1/500, ISO 100.

One of the Majingilane male lions waits for the early morning sun to warm him up and dry his wet mane. f2.8, 1/125, ISO 500.

One of the Majingilane male lions waits for the early morning sun to warm him up and dry his wet mane. f2.8, 1/125, ISO 500.

The female cheetah and her two cubs have been spending a lot more time on Londolozi as of late. Here she is seen surveying the grasslands around Winnis’ Wallow .f2.8, 1/3200, ISO 100

The female cheetah and her two cubs have been spending a lot more time on Londolozi as of late. Here she is seen surveying the grasslands around Winnis’ Wallow .f2.8, 1/3200, ISO 100

A female elephant and her calf start the morning on Vomba crest with the sun peeping through the trees. f2.8, 1/125, ISO 100

A female elephant and her calf start the morning on Vomba crest with the sun peeping through the trees. f2.8, 1/125, ISO 100

This female buffalo enjoying a bath at Winnis’ Wallow immediately caught my eye as she was staring down at me. f2.8, 1/50, ISO 400

This female buffalo enjoying a bath at Winnis’ Wallow immediately caught my eye as she gave me quite a stare. f2.8, 1/50, ISO 400

An iconic shot of the female cheetah and her cubs a few days later in the same area.f11, 1/125, ISO 100

An iconic shot of the female cheetah and her cubs a few days later in the same area.f11, 1/125, ISO 100

The Majingilane males are more commonly known for their ferocity and aggressive approach to other lions but here the males are portrayed in an entirely different fashion, one of brotherhood and compassion. .f4, 1/1600, ISO 800

The Majingilane males are more commonly known for their ferocity and aggressive approach to other lions but here the males are portrayed in an entirely different fashion, one of brotherhood and compassion. .f4, 1/1600, ISO 800

Old buffalo bulls that have broken away from their herd are usually the ‘grumpy old man’  type and in this picture you can see that this is exactly what this buffalo epitomises. f2.8, 1/30, ISO1000

Old buffalo bulls that have broken away from their herd are usually the ‘grumpy old man’ type and in this picture you can see that this is exactly what this buffalo epitomises. f2.8, 1/30, ISO 1000

The Mashaba female leopard in exquisite light.f2.8, 1/100, ISO 640

The Mashaba female leopard in exquisite light. Her cub, not in this picture, was not far behind her. She stands waiting for it to catch up. f2.8, 1/100, ISO 640

Another shot of the Southern pride. The young males manes starting to show beautifuly. f2.8, 1/1600, ISO 100

Another shot of the Southern pride. The young males manes starting to show beautifuly. f2.8, 1/1600, ISO 100

The land drover wound down the dirt track at a leisurely pace when Jerry spotted vultures coming down and on closer examination we found a giraffe carcass which had just been found by the vultures. The chaos that ensued around this carcass was something incredible. This particular photograph depicts two vultures scrabbling for tit bits while their compatriot’s watch on with intent .f2.8, 1/320, ISO 100

The Landrover was winding down the dirt track at a leisurely pace when we spotted vultures coming down and on closer examination we found a giraffe carcass which had just been found by the vultures. The chaos that ensued around this carcass was something incredible. This particular photograph depicts two vultures scrabbling for tit bits while their compatriot’s watched on with intent .f2.8, 1/320, ISO 100

Written and Photographed by Richard Burman

Rich Laburn
Rich Laburn is filmmaker, photographer and writer who is based at Londolozi Game Reserve in South Africa. Spending his time capturing scenes of the wild and communicating the beauty of the African bushveld, he runs the Londolozi Blog as a way to entertain and engage people wishing to visit these wild lands.
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