Reminiscent of Londolozi’s New Year’s Eve horse race, 2016 is evidently off to a hot and fast start. And much like the somewhat theatrical performance, the new year is creating a great deal of excitement and anticipation for whatever gifts or challenges await us around each corner, even the blind ones.
Fantastic photography and adrenaline-fuelled sightings have kickstarted us into January and the wildlife continues to impress throughout the dry heat. Already, a lucky few have shared in the presence of a buffalo bringing a new calf into the world, an experience many wildlife enthusiasts would do just about anything for. With an array of young animals flooding our surroundings, predators do not seem as limited in their hunting as previously. Lion, leopard and hyena brave the sunshine in search of a potentially easy meal while the vultures, storks and other raptors climb up thermals overhead.
As the week started gloomy and overcast, the lack of shadows brought interesting photographic scenarios. Hot weather soon burnt away the clouds to bring a difficult harsh light every day from immediately after sunrise. Raging sunsets provided for spectacular evening lighting, though, as warm light invigorated subjects. Shooting directly into such light can also be very effective!
Last night was interrupted with high winds and distant flashes of electricity far beyond the horizon. There are whispers of an approaching series of thunderstorms, possibly beginning tomorrow. Nonetheless, another week comes to an end; what does the next hold? Come rain or shine, new life continues to be reintroduced into this surviving system. Its’ inhabitants thrive.
I hope you enjoy this Week in Pictures…
Low level, fast moving clouds kiss the treetops. A slow exposure for the stars above reveal not only the previously set sunlight, but the blur of the moving clouds and trees in the wind. 30,0 at f/5; ISO 1600.
Dull afternoon light never managed to dampen the sighting of the Tutlwa female atop a termite mound, with a well placed Varty Camp deck in the backdrop. Managers and Butlers can’t quite be seen with binoculars in hand from this distance, though. 1/400 at f/2.8; ISO 1600.
Patience paid off as she eventually moved off the mound and half way up a fallen Marula tree to scan the clearings. 1/500 at f/2.8; ISO 1600.
A male Giant Kingfisher stretches a wing as the afternoon ticks away. Shallow pools below the large bird are still well populated with fish for all sorts of hunters (bird or not). 1/1600 at f/4.5; ISO 500.
With the Matimba males present, the Mhangeni Pride need to be on constant alert. Here, we peer into the eye of one of the pride’s lionesses. Who is watching who? 1/1600 at f/4; ISO 250.
As the week warmed up, stunning lighting with the ability to highlight this Waterbuck bull became available. 1/400 at f/2.8; ISO 250.
Safari awaits you. 1/160 at f/9; ISO 250.
A bluue-headed tree agama flaunts his bright blue head and neck in an attempt to attract a mate; a risky move making himself so noticeable on a branch. 1/1000 at f/2.8; ISO 1000.
Bright light only just caught the Tutlwa female’s face as she momentarily emerged out from a scene of chaotic overgrowth along the riverbanks, before disappearing for the rest of the day. 1/400 at f/5.6; ISO 400.
My favourite subjects to photograph. A Zebra mare and foal share this late afternoon golden backlight. 1/800 at f/5; ISO 640.
Growing in stature, the Inyathini male gets moving towards the setting sun. 1/640 at f/2.8; ISO 250.
But soon thereafter, he gets comfortable at the top of a termite mound, perhaps feeling the heat. Directing the shot into the warm light created something special. 1/2500 at f/4.5; ISO 640.
In an attempt to photograph the Milky Way with Londolozi guest, Peter Sharp, sudden clouds rolled in to our displeasure. But what we ended up getting was new to me. Subtle twilight reflecting off the airstrip lit these low level clouds which whisked their way underneath the intended night shot. 25,0 at f/2.8; ISO 1600.
Have a phenomenal weekend.
Lovely pics this week Sean. The tree agama is beautiful.
Great to see Tutlwa! Would love to see her with some cubs in 2016. Think the night time shot turned out great. Hope everyone stays cool in the heat.
Excellent week. Best holiday ever. Thanks Shaun and Elmon for guiding us so well. BINGO!!!
Stunning photos Sean – Santiago loved the kingfisher and the lizard. My favourite is the last one – I love a night sky and that one is beautiful. Loved the narrative too.
Stunning images Sean! My favourite is the Zebra mare and foal and the Tree Agama, but all really great shots. Have a fantastic weekend!
Thank you Sean, the Zebra mare & foal & the Agama are my favourites, but all are beautiful in their own way. Have a great week 🙂
Beautiful photos. Thanks for a wonderful time at the camp, Sean!