What Can You See From An Animal's Eyes….in the Bush!!

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There’s nowhere more magical to shoot than in the African bush — the skies, the light, the animals, the energy, the vibrancy. “Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.” – Aaron Siskind

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Working and living in the bush, you soon realize that memories fade with time so it’s important to capture them when you can. Yes there are moments that stand out in a ‘highlights package’ for me, but there are also moments that have been put into a box and stored in the back of my mind.

Photography allows us to capture moments and provides us with a key to reopen this box, to relive, to remember, to share moments and to inspire. I often find myself lost in the images of other photographers, captivated by the story they tell.

A good photograph is not just one that is sharp and well composed but one that tells a story without the use of a single word.

It’s not just about photographing a subject in perfect light, unobstructed by a blade of grass and at a unique angle, but the opportunity to be able to take that moment that you share with your subject, to set a mood or evoke emotion with a single image.

I would like to share some of my photographs that mean something to me. I want to unlock the box and bring back memories of the special moments that I have been lucky enough to be a part of, and I want to share them with you. It’s also interesting what you can tell and “see” from looking in an animal’s eyes in the bush!!

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Composition and spacing of an image is a good way to create a mood and a feeling in a photograph. The Tutlwa female and Gowrie male mating. Iso 1250 F 4.0 shutter 1/400

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Using a Lower F-Stop allows for a concerntrated inage of your subject. One of the fourways males on a patrol looking confident and powerful. ISO 800 F 2.8 Shutter 1/800

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The Tamboti young female walks towards us at eye level. Often having the subject at eye level creates a feeling of being one with the subject as well as adds intensity. Iso 640 F2.8 shutter 1/2000

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The b eautiful and elegant Mashaba young female. Using a spotlight to create side light brings out key features and highlights the natural beauty of an animal. Iso 1000 F2.8 shutter 1/125

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Taking advantage of good light and tight angles shows off beautiful details and textures. This water monitor was sunning itself at the causeway . Iso 800 F4.0 shutter 1/1000

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The Tamboti young female. Once again composition is key, Creating space for her to look into gives a great feel and setting for the photograph. Iso 1000 F 4.0 Shutter 1/250

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One of the Fourways males – Using the natural light to my advantage and darkening shadows creates a feeling of power and strength.

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Hi-key images enhance detail and add character to ones subject. This hyena was watching vultures circling above. Iso 800 F2.8 shutter 1/800

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One of my favourites – Lying down on the floor and using a low F-stop blurs the foreground as well as the background which, in turn, draws the viewer’s focus to the subject. Iso 800 F2.8 shutter 1/2000

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One of the fourways males resting in the shade of a tree with beautiful dappled sunlight allows for a beautiful black and white finish. Iso 800 F4.0 shutter 1/800

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A very similar to the image of the Fourways male. Post processing allows me to enhance key features in the image such as horns, eyes and mouth. Iso 800 F2.8 shutter 1/200

 

Do any of these images tell a particularly interesting story for you?

 

Written and photographed by Trevor McCall-Peat

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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