Friday, September 5, 2008

Weekly High Five #15

"It was the Africa I had read of in books of travel. All the menageries in the world turned loose would not have compared to the sight I saw that day!"
~ Gerald Mckiernan, 1876

Some days when we head out on morning game drive this is what comes to mind. Even if you have the privilege of doing it every single day, like we do, the magic never disappears. You never get blase about it. You never stop appreciating the natural world around you. There is always something new and exciting. More mysteries to unravel and more beauty to behold.

The Weekly High Five reflects this and this week's selection is no exception and features images that shows but a glimpse of all the wonders you can see in the African bush.

So with that, here goes with this weeks High Five.

Image 1 - Kudu Fight by Craig Muller

Any interaction between animals normally make for a great image. A story gets told and all you have to do is sit back and enjoy. By looking at this image it does not look as if the two male Kudus have gotten completely entangled but it is something that often leads to the death of both sides. One male might get his neck broken and this then leads to the other ultimately starving to death as he cannot feed or move around. Brutal but a part of nature. In the Kruger National Park there is a statue of an event like this. The statue which is located at the Skukuza rest camp is entitled 'Beaten Victor'. Great name, great image.

* * *

Image 2 - Angry Lion by Gerry van der Walt

This image was featured in a previous Blog but I still feel it is strong enough to be included in this week's High Five. This image shows that when filling the frame with your subject you can create a lot more impact than if the image had a lot of background to it. The eyes, which is always a focal point, also creates a 'silent' triangle with the open mouth which keeps your attention jumping betwene the mouth and eyes - success - something that makes this image work. Powerful animal. Powerful image.

* * *

Image 3 - Food Fight by Gavin Tonkinson

This is the same lion, and his brother, as in the previous image. The two males are arguing about the last bit of wildebeest (who wouldn't?). It is difficult getting images like this and I believe that is where it helps to have a guide who can help you to predict the animal behaviour. This situation however did not give much notice and that is why it is an impressive capture - as with any action image in wildlife photography. Considering this was about 2 'o clock in the afternoon with harsh light I reckon the exposure was handled pretty well. Another thing that I really like in the image is the placement of the lion's open mouth. You can almost mistake the mouth as belonging to either one of the two. Any images which gets you to look at it twice, for whatever reason, is on the way to being a winner. Nice action shot of the two Sereti males from Madikwe!

* * *

Image 4 - Blue Waxbill by Craig Muller

In my mind this could almost go through as an action image. These little guys are always moving and you very rarely find them sitting still for long enough to get an image like this. Great work on Craig getting it sharp like this. The background which could very easily have thrown the image a bit has been dealt with very well and is sufficiently blurred not too distract from the finer features on the little Waxbill. Bird photography is difficult but this is very well done.

* * *

Image 5 - 'Podile' by Gerry van der Walt

Poetry in motion. The leopard is truly one of Africa and the worlds most beautiful animals. This is Podile, one of the females in Madikwe. She keeps a territory in the south-western parts of Madikwe and is always a very 'in-demand' photographic subject. Thanks largely to wildlife photographers people have been given the impression that they spend the majority of their time up in trees but contrary to popular belief, leopards spend around 80% of their time on the ground. No one can however argue about the impact of an image of a leopard up a tree. The above image has been framed very nicely with the branches and Podile has a lot of empty space to stare into. What is she looking at? I personally also like the little flick of the tail at the bottom of the frame. Stunning image of an African icon and my choice of the week.

* * *

I quite like this weeks selection and look forward to see what gets uploaded to the Photo-Africa Stock Library during the next week. Leave a comment or email me and let me know which of the above is your favourite and why. Love hearing all your opinions.

This has also been the 99th post on the Photo-Africa Blog. I will probably be uploading the next post on either Sunday evening or sometime during Monday. Not sure if there is anything specific I should write about or focus on. One thought was to do a focus on Podile, the leopard in Image 5, as we spent almost an hour with her this morning. Another thought was to do another Day at Tuningi or possibly an overview of Photo-Africa and some of the best images I feel we have on the site. If you have any ideas or request please email me!!

As always I look forward to hearing from you!

Until next time.



Michael Palmer said...


Enigma3 said...

The amazing things you get to see. After looking at your fantastic photos for a while now I have to wonder if you guys live in the danger zone or just have really long lenses or both.

Photo-Africa said...

Enigma, I reckon it might be a bit if both!! :)

The zoom lenses do help but who can resist the thrill of getting growled at by a wild lion every now and then! :)

Thanks everybody for all the comments!

Mike - Fenphotography said...

Stunning High 5 and posts this week Gerry, I think the Leopard shot is my favourite this week, I've been away for a week so just catching up.

SAPhotographs said...

Ooohhh!! Have to LOVE that leopard shot!! Found a scorpion in my bath this morning and will post it soon after the Kruger series. Makes you wake up fast alright!! I was up in Pilansberg for the weekend. Very quiet there and expect it to be until after the rains which I hope comes soon. I took some nice shots of rhino though.