Stabilise, stabilise, stabilise! I need to keep repeating this mantra to myself, as if there’s one thing that can help produce quality images more than anything else, it is some form of camera stabilisation, be it in the form of a tripod, beanbag or whatever. I can be slightly absent-minded and have forgotten where I left my beanbag, so have had to discard a couple of photographs over the past week that just weren’t sharp enough! Luckily the lack of clouds in winter generally means more light and higher shutter speeds, so no stabilisation is not always the disaster it can potentially be. I try to improvise as much as I can, leaning the camera on the steering wheel, dashboard, or wherever I can get a good angle on the subject.
The Tamboti and Mashaba cubs have provided marvelous viewing these past couple of days and the wild dogs have been moving through the area. Two females from the pack look pregnant, so we are holding our collective breaths while we wait to see where they decide to den this year…
Enjoy this week in Pictures…
A yellow-billed hornbill that luckily sat still long enough for us to photograph it from the Tree Camp deck. f8, 1/250, ISO 1600
A giraffe flicks its head and neck back up after drinking from Nyelethi Pan. Giraffes cannot afford to keep their heads down for too long, as a rapid rise in blood pressure would soon render them unconscious. Sensors in a dense capillary network at the base of the brain detect when the blood pressure is becoming too high, and a reflex jerk kicks in that brings the head up again, often resulting in a wonderful spray of water like the one visible in this picture. f5.6, 1/1000, ISO 640
The four cheetahs that have made the south western grasslands their home occasionally venture further afield, and on this afternoon the mother and two cubs were prowling around on Nyamakunze crest. Still a nice open area, the Nyamakunze clearings and surrounds nevertheless feature a higher large predator density than the grasslands, and so it wasn’t long before the three cheetahs had retreated back to the area in which they feel safer. f5, 1/800, ISO 320
An elephant cow leads her calf through the mist-shrouded round-leaf teak thickets on southern Londolozi. f7.1, 1/500, IS0 640
A wonderfully cute expression from the cub of the Mashaba female, perched high above us in an Apple-leaf tree. Yes, I cut her ear off in my haste to snap a shot. A good lesson that I have forgotten recently. Zoom out a bit, make sure you fit everything into the frame! f2.8, 1/320, ISO 2000
The same sighting, just before the cub darted up the Apple-leaf tree. The cub is still too young to hunt for itself, and as such has a lot of excess energy since her mother is still providing all the food. f2.8, 1/320, ISO 2000
The cub watches its mother disappear into a grove of tamboti trees. f2.8, 1/200, ISO 1600
A tawny eagle mobs a juvenile martial eagle on Sasekile Ingwe crest. There is a pair of tawnys that nest in the area, and as they are primarily winter breeders, I can only assume that they had a chick on the nest and felt it prudent to try and encourage the much larger martial to leave. f4.5, 1/640, ISO 320
A close-up of a hooded vulture as it comes screeching by on the descent, having spotted the female cheetah and her two cubs on an impala kill. f5, 1/4000, ISO 640
Two wild dogs from the pack of 9 in high spirits after their successful take-down of a young kudu. f5, 1/800, ISO 1000
The last thing you want to see coming towards you if you are an impala. In fact, if you are an impala and you DO see this coming towards you, there’s a good chance it WILL be the last thing you see. A minute after this photo was taken the pack tore into a herd of impala and zebra and it was like a bomb going off, with herbivores scattering for their lives. The dogs failed to bring anything down, but seeing as how they had just eaten a kudu, I doubt they were too disappointed. f3.5, 1/800, ISO 640
A hippo emerges threateningly from Circuit Pan. With water resources being limited at this time of year the hippos can get cranky, and Circuit Pan is by no means a big enough body of water to allow a hippo to feel at ease. This one felt it best to stand up shortly after this to display it’s size. f4.5, 1/640, ISO 320
A Goliath heron stands patiently in the shallows near the causeway. Goliaths eat almost exclusively fish, and often stand motionless for long periods of time waiting for one to swim close by, which they then spear with their bills. f10, 1/500, ISO 400
The Tamboti female with one of her cubs, very comfortable with being out in the open together. The second cub can be seen just behind the mother’s back legs. f4.5, 1/1000, ISO 1000
Full of bounce, the Tamboti cubs play while their mother leads them back towards the Maxabene riverbed. The three had been robbed by the Camp Pan male on this morning, but they all had full bellies so had clearly been at the kill for sometime before the male came on the scene. f4.5, 1/800, ISO 1000
Photographed by James Tyrrell
Great Pics James, thanks for the update! Tamboti really looks alot bigger now, glad both her cubs are doing fine…
Welcome back James. Your artistic eye has been missed. What a week! Thank you again from the middle of the wine country to the middle of Heaven!
James your week in pictures is a winner – fabulous shots, you didn’t need a bean bag at all !!
Amazing pictures! A year ago today I just returned home from a fantastic trip to londolozi and I hope to return soon
Fantastic shots! Thanks for sharing!!
Thank you for the wonderful pictorial glimpse into your little corner of paradise
These photos are wonderful. So beautiful. We will be in Londolozi in a week, are so exciteded and thankful for the opportunity to see these incredible animals. See you all soon.
Thanks for sharing.
JT, awesome shots once again boet. Hooded Vulture shot blew my mind!
Great shots JT.
So great to have you back JT! Love the pics.
What a treat!!! Thank you James, sorry you were on leave when we visited in June – always remember looking at the beautiful mono book at Varty camp with you. We had an awesome sighting of the cheetah this time.
Your amazing photographs would make a beautiful coffee table book, except that I don’t know how you would select the best ones! They are all spectacular!
Oh JT – who needs to stabilise when you produce such perfection!!! The cute cub with its tongue out is perfect, as we all know what his ears look like and to see the mother leopard with TWO live cubs is a gift – to us out here – everything you put on is greatly appreciated, so just KEEP THEM COMING – thanks a ton & hope you had a good break?
Your photos just get better and better!
Wonderful shots. Thank you.
Stunning Pic,s James, you are so talented xx Di
Amazing shots JT
Excellent shots bud.. those wild-dogs are awesome
Thank you James. Stunning.
I spent the first week of July at Londolozi and have some great pictures I would like to share. How do I send them to you for the blog?
Awesome JT…. A good show of your capabilities as others were encroaching on “your” turf!!