Friday, August 29, 2008

Weekly High Five #14

After quite an emotional week it is again time for the High Five.

The images I chose this week is again quite varied and shows the very diverse nature of Africa and it's wonderful natural heritage. Looking through all the images on the Photo-Africa Stock Library I have found it increasingly evident that the way in which you approach the composition of your subjects in Wildlife Photography is a lot more important than the equipment.

By being selective as to which elements of the scene to include or leave out you can tell a story and lead your viewers eye to the areas of the frame that captured your eye in the beginning. Yes. It does get easier with practise but it also means that you have to step back from what you think works or what works for other people and do what you feel is right.

I believe if you shoot things that heightens your emotions - whether it be fear, excitement, sadness, greed, whatever - you will already have an edge over the person that is just shooting for the sake of trying to create an image. If you are able to capture emotion in your images you are well on your way to creating images that other people will also find attractive and feel emotional about. This, I believe, is the sign of a great image!

With that in mind, here goes with this week's High Five.

Image 1 - Zebra Butts by Gavin Tonkinson

The lighting in this shot is great and draws your attention to the focal area of the image. This cleverly captured image gives you the impression of closeness between the zebra - an emotion we can all relate to. I also like the way in which both the animals heads are completely out of view as this is normally something that draws your attention away from the intended focus. Nice image and one that shows what you can do with an every day scene like this.

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Image 2 - Misty Giraffe by Gavin Tonkinson

Another moody image that works. Apart from the fact the image is laced with emotion, almost bordering on tension, it could be used in a text book on the Zone System. The different shades of black / grey always makes for a difficult exposure and you need to understand your equipment and the scene very well to get an image worth using. The image was taken in a freak rain storm and in my opinion was very well captured.

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Image 3 - Peacock Feather by Craig Muller

A male Peacock is one of those birds that was designed for photography. This close up of one of it's feathers shows why. A very well executed macro with the black centre not placed in the middle of the frame. The clarity and sharpness is also evident and all of this makes for a great abstract macro image.

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Image 4 - Angry Ellie Silhouette by Kevin Linforth

Great moment of an upset elephant at dusk. A sunset image with orange tones also always creates an emotional response. By adding the tense ellie to the mix you have a great image. It seems that the last few weeks we have been getting a lot of ellie silhouettes and this is another great example of why they are such a winner.

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Image 5 - Walking Lion by Gavin Tonkinson

In my opinion this is a brilliant image. Even though there are not any blurred parts of the image you can definitely get the feeling that the large cat is walking. The diagonal lines created by the legs and tail leads your gaze up towards the body and direction where he is moving to. The combination of the pads on the back foot and the black tail tip also works very well and is placed in the power point from where you start 'moving with the animal'. When viewed at a larger size you can even see the small specks of dust as it falls of the back foot. Great sharpness. Not too difficult this week and definitely my favorite of the week.

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This week has flown by and even though the sightings have been pretty good the obvious photography moments have been quite rare. We have seen Wild Dogs shoot across the road in front of us at full tilt. Lions on every drive and a good amount of rhinos mixed in. It has just worked out that very few of these moments were expected and when they were we just could not get into the right position to get those 'award-winning' images we are always looking for.

When looking at the above images it just shows that there is a lot more to photograph then what meets the eye so make sure to check back soon as I will be uploading various images from the last few weeks drives to the Blog in the second edition of Photo Safari.

As always I look forward to hearing from you! Leave a comment and let me know which is your favourite of the week!

Until next time.


Michael Palmer said...

All are stunning - but the Giraffe is my fav

Mike - Fenphotography said...

Nice high 5 Gerry, I saw the Giraffe shot on the stock site and was hoping you would show it, I have a few people now addicted to your blog, nice one and have a good weekend.