“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
Working and living in the bush has been the most incredible time of my life. When I first started guiding, I never took photographs, I always thought I would remember amazing sightings and moments that I am privileged to have witnessed. But, the truth is, memories fade with time. 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.
In this blog 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.
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
Using a Lower F-Stop allows for a concentrated image of your subject. One of the fourways males on a patrol looking confident and powerful. ISO 800 F 2.8 Shutter 1/800
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
The beautiful 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
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
The winter months allows for some beautiful sunrises as the sky explodes with colour just before a whole new day in the African bush begins. ISO 200 F7.1 shutter 1/60
Exploring with panning photography is a great way to create movement in a photograph and a very different feel to a still photograph. A wild dog on the move and in search of its next meal. ISO 200 F5.6 shutter 1/60
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
One of the Fourways males – Using the natural light to my advantage and darkening shadows creates a feeling of power and strength.
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
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
Silhouettes are always captivating – it is all about being in right place at the right time. ISO 200 F4.0 shutter 1/60
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
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? I would love to know!
Written and photographed by Trevor McCall-Peat, Londolozi Ranger.