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Shots Wildlife Lions, rhinos, and zebras, oh my!

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Old Oct-20-2011, 06:10 PM
pathfinder is offline pathfinder OP
Drive By Digital Shooter
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Lions, rhinos, and zebras, oh my!
I see Harry has already started posting images from Marc & Andy's African workshop. Like Harry, I have thousands of images, many are duplicates captured in high frame rate shooting, but a few are worth taking a second look at i believe.

Unlike Harry, I shot with a 7D and a 1DMk4, with a 70-300 IS L, and a 400 DO IS L lenses for most of my wildlife shots. Shooting late after sundown I envied Harry the low light ability of his D3s and his 200-400 f4.

Harry and I shot some of the same scenes, as the game cars tended to gather around the interesting locations, but we also shot apart at times as well.

This is one of the young lions in a moment of repose, from about 6-8 feet, 7D, f8, 135mm with the 70-300 IS L

Here are two young lions hunting after dark, captured with a 7D at ISO 1600, f8, 70-300 IS L

Less warm and friendly is this black rhino with his own bird, 7D f5.6 ISO 200, 70-300 IS L

And a zebra in motion, 7D, f25, 1/6th sec, ISO 100

Like Harry said, this workshop is far more than just wild animals, but the landscape of Africa, and its people, as well as the animals.

It was just a superb adventure, and I will return to Africa; I can see why people are seduced by it.

More images can be found here - http://pathfinder.smugmug.com/Travel...516761_jPZQG2L

Please leave comments, positive or negative, if you go there so I can gather some feed back from your viewing experience.
Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
Old Oct-20-2011, 07:38 PM
Stash is offline Stash
Major grins
Very nice pics Pathfinder. I especially like the first one.
You guys are making me envious. I so love heading to Africa.
C&C always welcome. I can't learn if I don't know what I've done wrong or could do better.

Old Oct-21-2011, 04:56 AM
Snowgirl is offline Snowgirl
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Jealous, so jealous! Beautiful.
Creating visual and verbal images that resonate with you.
Picadilly, NB, Canada
Old Oct-21-2011, 05:03 AM
zoomn is offline zoomn
Major grins
Love the zebra. Great job!
Old Oct-21-2011, 05:14 AM
Harryb is offline Harryb
old and lazy
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Excellent set PF. The motion blur image is wonderful.

I'm with you about returning to Africa. I am hooked.
http://behret.smugmug.com/ NANPA member
How many photographers does it take to change a light bulb? 50. One to change the bulb, and forty-nine to say, "I could have done that better!"
Old Oct-21-2011, 08:39 AM
Andy is offline Andy
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so wonderful to be with you for 2 weeks in Africa, you made it such a great trip, and I learned from you as well! Love the zebra in motion
Old Oct-21-2011, 08:43 AM
Richard is offline Richard
Mildly bemused
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+1 on the zebra. Wonderful image. Looking forward to seeing more.
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Old Oct-21-2011, 09:00 AM
pathfinder is offline pathfinder OP
Drive By Digital Shooter
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Originally Posted by Andy View Post
so wonderful to be with you for 2 weeks in Africa, you made it such a great trip, and I learned from you as well! Love the zebra in motion
Kathy and I agree it was the best trip we have exer experienced, thank you so much for helping put it all together.

This one's for you Andy.

Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
Old Oct-21-2011, 10:14 AM
ehughes is offline ehughes
Major grins
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Awesome Stuff, very jealous....


Old Oct-21-2011, 10:16 AM
Andy is offline Andy
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Originally Posted by pathfinder View Post
This one's for you Andy.

Love the schuka!
Old Oct-21-2011, 10:18 AM
FlyNavy is offline FlyNavy
John L
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I love the zebra in motion!
Old Oct-21-2011, 12:13 PM
puzzledpaul is offline puzzledpaul
low down bum
Super Zebra shot :)

<< Africa; I can see why people are seduced by it >>

Having worked there (some decades ago) for nearly 4yrs, I'd not disagree ...


Old Oct-21-2011, 08:45 PM
Jeffro is offline Jeffro
I'd rather be shooting...
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Awesome, just awesome. Enjoyed the entire gallery.
Always lurking, sometimes participating. :D
Old Oct-27-2011, 03:28 AM
Gale is offline Gale
Nikon Gal
Beautiful images.
Zebra is a very artistic image
Good work
Best Regards

Old Oct-27-2011, 06:49 AM
kdog is online now kdog
artistically challenged
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Super images, Jim. Somehow I missed this thread when you first posted it. The moving Zebra is really special.

The 70-300L seemed to work very nicely for you.
Moderator of Landscapes forum
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Old Oct-27-2011, 03:19 PM
bhowdy is offline bhowdy
Major grins
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Great series of images

Maryville, TN.

Old Oct-28-2011, 07:05 AM
dlplumer is offline dlplumer
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Excellent series, Jim. So envious of your journey.
Old Oct-28-2011, 12:45 PM
bfjr is offline bfjr
Which Way Did They Go
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Yep the Zebra
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Old Oct-29-2011, 03:32 PM
NeilL is offline NeilL
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No doubt this trip was one of the most meticulously prepared of any photography safari to Africa! I am very happy you all had such a great time, and I am enjoying the exciting results from you all, as I did the excitement of your preparations. The crosstalk about arrangements and gear preceding the trip I found very instructive, and I hope you guys will debrief here at DGrin about both in due course! I did contribute my experience of a trip to south central Tanzania in one of those before the trip threads, in which I described how I thought: handholdable, highly maneuverable, stabilised, fast aperture and fast AF zoom - and therefore not extreme length - were the priorities in gear for this kind of trip. So, I am keen to get your assessment after the fact. From what I have seen from everyone's photos so far your Canon gear has given you unbeaten results!

The annual great migration in the Masai Mara is a special case in that the terrain is very open, and the location of animals is predictable and their numbers immense. Consequently your shooting can be relatively planned and unhurried, tripods etc can be used, and with extreme length you have more photo opportunities. I was surprised to see that even at Lena Downs the terrain was quite open compared with my experience in Tanzania. There I went to the Fox's camp at Ruaha River in a national park:


It seems to be a different experience to the one you had. The terrain is more "closed", the animal encounters more serendipitous. Therefore the photography is harder and less certain, you have the sense of hunting your shots. You need a lot of time. On the other hand, when I was there in October 2006, our vehicle was the only one wherever we went! As well, if you want to add more variety to your trophies, not just the large animals, there is a huge variety there. But once again, getting shots is commensurably much harder work and much more uncertain.

One indelible memory I have from there is being woken in my banda in the middle of the night by blood curdling screaming from some small animal, everything in pitch blackness. I took my flashlight and crept to the door, which was a wooden frame closed in only with insect screen. I turned on my torch and shone it outside. The beam caught two great yellow orbs looking straight back at me from a couple of yards away. In the morning we found the footprints of a panther through the camp!

"Snow. Ice. Slow!" "Half-winter. Half-moon. Half-asleep!"

Old Oct-31-2011, 04:04 PM
pathfinder is offline pathfinder OP
Drive By Digital Shooter
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Neil, I shot mostly with a 7D with a 70-300 f4-5.6 IS L, and a 1DMkIV with a 400mm f4 DO IS L.. Faster apertures would have been nice, as we did a fair amount of shooting well after sundown following lions and other carnivores. There were a few times my AF would not work at f4 or f5.6, because it was so dark, while folks with the 70-200 f2.8 IS L would still keep acquiring autofocus. But f2.8 lenses are bigger and significantly heavier, and weight gets to be a real consideration on a trip of this sort. We used small tripods for our landscape shots, but the animals were shot hand held or on bean bags in the Land Cruisers.

I could get pretty fair shots in the dark at ISO 1600, but faster than that and I had a problem, even with the 1DMkIV... Meanwhile, Harry just kept banging away at ISO 6400 with this D300s.

The amount of game on the Mara was staggering at times

Here is a shot of wildebeests from the air to show just how many there were on the Mara

In Rokero camp along the Talek river along the Masai Mara, our tents stretched out along the river over 300 yards, and at night we had to have a Masai guard escort us to and from our tents "for safety's sake". I though maybe they were being over protective at first, and then I saw a pride of lions cross the Talek river about 50 yards from our mess tent, and I was quite happy to wait for our escort at night after supper about 10pm.

Even with all the game, hunting for certain species required more effort. Lions were easy, cheetahs and leopard required more effort.

The caracals, our guides found, required us to spend all evening waiting until they finally climbed out of the grass well after dark. Our guide had only seen 8 or 10 caracals in a 20 year career as a guide in Kenya. They are small carnivores, about the size of a house cat, and so hide in the grass very easily. Under exposed ISO 3200 on a 7D, dark enough that autofocus was beginning to fail.

The environment you describe in Tanzania is completely at odds with that we saw at Amboseli, which was a large dry lakebed with animals scattered about on their way to watering springs.

The noisy varmit you mentioned sounds like a hyrax, we listened to them one night at the Ngong house in Nairobi.
Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
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