A typical day for me during the normal hustle and bustle of Londolozi Game Reserve living is unfortunately not filled with photography. However with a slightly slower pace during the global lockdown, the unexpected silver lining is I have the opportunity to spend more time with our ranger team out on the reserve, enjoying some remarkable sightings as well as my own ventures chasing photographic opportunities. The setting or rising sun and the smaller creatures I bump into on a daily basis, have all helped me build even more of an appreciation for the life I live here as well as the fauna and flora we share Planet Earth with.
My photographic journey over the 5 years here at Londolozi has led me in a slightly different direction to what is typically photographed and featured on our blog. I love photographing elusive leopards, giant elephants and roaring lions as much as anyone else but I have found myself gravitating towards what I find much less frantic but more challenging; the photographic genres of landscape and macro photography. I find pure satisfaction in patiently waiting, days, months or years for the right conditions and factors to come together for a landscape shot I have in mind. I am always assessing cloud formations in the hope that they will allow for an incredible sunset and I find myself whilst out doing inspections of the roads and dams on the reserve, looking for interesting trees or rock formations and potential compositions to photograph. It becomes quite consuming but worth it if it all comes together.
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
A face only a mother could love. An adult Warthog takes the opportunity to feed on the green grass of Varty Camp lawn. I really like the dappled light highlighting some of the features on this charismatic animal.
A misty morning looking over one of the waterholes near camp. The diffused sun creating an incredible lighting opportunity.
A large jumping spider eyeing me out. I always enjoy photographing these arachnids with their large eyes and furry faces.
A beautiful section of the Sand River. I was drawn to these rocks and the interesting colour of the water. After shooting different angles and compositions, I finally found this to be the most balanced composition which I feel best tells the story of what if felt like to be in this location.
Two young male Impalas take a break from sparring with each other as the sun rises.
Two members of the Mangheni pride. I was drawn to the symmetry of the the two lions looking in opposite directions as well as the backlight highlighting the lion in focus.
A female Natal Spurfowl with her newborn chicks. For the last week her and the chicks have been seen scratching around the undergrowth around the staff living area. After many failed attempts at trying to photograph her in the open with her chicks, patience finally paid off.
Another section of the Sand River in front of Granite Camp. By photographing during “blue hour”, which is typically the hour before the sun rises or an hour after the sun sets, beautiful blue and purple tones appear. I also used a polarising filter to saturate the colours a bit more and a 6 stop ND filter to create a longer exposure which gave the water a very flat feel.
A Southern Tree Agama blending in amazingly well to the rough texture of the Knobthorn tree. During the breeding season, males will develop bright blue heads and orange tails in order to attract a mate.
On an overcast morning a gap in the clouds allowed the sun to burst through. The S bend of the road provides a nice leading line into the image and the dead tree adds additional interest.
A simple portrait of an African Wild Dog. The pack spent the morning resting in the shade after making a kill close to the Londolozi Camps.
The Senegal Bush male on a territorial patrol, framed by a grove of trees as he slinks towards a dry river bed.
Sometimes nature comes to us. I woke up on a morning to find this little Sharp-nosed Grass Frog attempting to look inconspicous on my kitchen counter. Reptiles and especially their eyes are always interesting to photograph and this one was no exception. I managed to usher the frog out the kitchen window back into its natural habitat after I took this shot.
A fork in the road. Will we find a leopard if we take the left fork or a herd of elephants if we take the right fork? Nobody knows, but until then, enjoy the scenery.
I think it is hard to dispute that this reptile has the most fascinating and eerie eyes out of all reptiles. A low angle shot of this Nile Crocodile with its head just poking out of the reeds adds to a ghostly and creepy stereotype associated with these animals.
A pre-sunrise image of a well known location at Londolozi called Plaque Rock. The blue and purple tones creating a striking sky.
An hour later; same location and composition except with the sun starting to peek over the horizon. By closing down the aperture of my lens the small aperture created a greater sun flare. I also shot this image with a graduated filter which assisted in achieving a more balanced exposure between the bright sky and dark foreground. I could not decide between either featuring the pre-sunrise image or the sunrise image so please leave a comment as to which you prefer.
A Tent Web spider hanging from its amazing construction. These spiders will create relatively large webs which are draped over tree or shrub branches and have a bedouin tent-like form, hence the name.
A Purple-crested Turaco. I am lucky enough to have these large, brightly coloured birds frequenting the bird bath in my garden. They tend to prefer hopping around in the safety of the tree canopy so they always seem a bit nervous when coming down to ground level to drink hence this individual peering over its shoulder at me whilst I photographed it.