Africa Live 2016-02: 05 #1, Rise and shine

Out bright, early and ready for action as always. It’s very cold this morning and a mildly hazy yet mostly clear sky leant itself to a wonderful array of colour throughout the first hour. Pre sun up it is silhouette all the way usually as any light hitting the camera side of your subject is flat, boring and very dim. Although we get an exception to that shortly…

Either way these are very difficult conditions to shoot in for the cameras even with the monster high ISO settings we all enjoy these days and slow shutter speeds add salt into that wound when not shooting silhouettes.


Secretary bird. I almost always see these feeding on the ground so it’s nice to get one up in a tree for once.



Still no sign of the sun and i am really pushing the D800 here with regards to low light photography. The moon as you can see is still high in the sky and how bright it is (with this exposure) should hint as to how dark it is on the ground.


We positioned ourselves ahead of the Pride where we knew they would probably head too.


Relaxed and just roaming their territory.



Younger chap playing catch up.

They then slinked into the bush too thick to follow so we made our way out onto the open plains to see what we could get against that impending sunrise. The fact the sun still wasn’t up by the time we found a good spot a little later should indicate how dark it was when taking the above sequence.



Our Secretary back on the ground as usual now.


Choosing again to try some black and white photography with the intense red of the sunset in front of me. Hard to break classic Richard style and show off those colours but the only way to move your work forward is to try new things.



Hammercop in flight.



We had to leave the vehicle and get low down on the ground to make the most of the situation. Given the right terrain you can shoot right from the floor level and is crucial for certain compositions..






We followed the heards and sun away from the vehicle to keep the compositions as we wanted. Here’s the group hard at work!


Many pics later it was worth just taking in the view.



Many of the above shots were taken on the Nikon D7200 for extra crop sensor reach with the 400mm lens. Very impressed with the results that the camera delivered and worth having in your bag if you like extra reach or simply a smaller camera body on safari.

Then as the sun climbed higher it was time to see what our Cheetahs were up too. The temperature was rising and it would put them on the move and as daylight hunters they are always worth checking out if they are in the area.

Next time you’ll see me really start pushing my work into the arty category with our Cheetahs and they most definitely put on a good show. Keep an eye out in a few days for the next update. Until then, thanks for reading as always.



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