This young African leopard (Panthera pardus pardus) charged so unexpectedly, leaving no time at all to think. Getting the pic meant having the right camera settings and shooting instinctively.
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A Better Place to Shoot Birds

I photographed this Fischer's Lovebird (Pavel Chonya) just outside the dining room of the Great Rift Valley Lodge & Golf Resort. Lake Naivasha. Naivasha. Great Rift Valley. Kenya

I photographed this Fischer's Lovebird (Pavel Chonya) just outside the dining room of the Great Rift Valley Lodge & Golf Resort. Lake Naivasha. Naivasha. Great Rift Valley. Kenya

In a previous post I spoke about shooting the details – getting more than just the “big picture”. One’s immediate reaction on getting to a game reserve is often to head out as far as you can get from the camps and other tourists – to where the animals are wild and free and where… Well you get the picture. But, don’t overlook the very camps that you are trying to get away from. Here the animals are still free but they are incredibly comfortable around humans and this can make for some wonderful images. Birds can be notoriously difficult to photograph “in the wild” often requiring some seriously long “glass” to get them framed properly. But in camp it’s an entirely different matter, particularly if there is a water feature around. And it’s not only birds. Many of the smaller mammals see the benefit of being close to humans and even the occasional antelope like impala, bushbuck and nyala get very habituated, making photography so much easier.

So, take some time off in camp. Set up the tripod, make a coffee and have a great day shooting birds, flowers, tiny reptiles and anything else that hoves into view.

I photographed this Fischer's Lovebird (Pavel Chonya) just outside the dining room of the Great Rift Valley Lodge and Golf Resort. Lake Naivasha. Great Rift Valley. Kenya

I photographed this Fischer’s Lovebird (Pavel Chonya) just outside the dining room of the Great Rift Valley Lodge and Golf Resort. Lake Naivasha. Great Rift Valley. Kenya.

Photo details: Nikon D7100 and AF-S 80 – 400 VRII. ISO 200, 1/320 sec and f5,6.

Roger de la Harpe

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