Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Botswana Photo Tour - Our last day, and what a day of photography it was!

We woke up at our customary 5:30am time, ate breakfast and bundled up for the cold morning game drive. It was our last full day in Botswana and we hoped for one last productive day of photography in this amazing country.

Our first sighting was a large pack of elephant.

We watched (and photographed of course) as this one elephant sprayed itself with dirt.

This is not an uncommon sight, as the elephants can actually get sunburned. They cover themselves with dirt to protect themselves from the harmful rays of the sun.

As you may know by now, I am sucker for the baby animals and loved photographing these large females with the youngsters.

Then it was time to motion pan these elephants...

How can you not love these little ones?

One of the things that I teach the guests when on safari, is to shoot wide shots to include the environment. I loved the trees and cloudy sky behind the herd and felt that it would make a nice composition.

We saw these animals running through the water, one after another. I followed this one as it jammed through the marsh.

Once I knew that I had a nice "safe shot" of these guys running across the frame, I decided to slow the shutter speed down again and try for one last motion pan shot, and I am glad that I did. I changed the camera settings to ISO 100 and f/22 which gave me a shutter speed of 1/25 sec. As I was panning along with this guy, he jumped over a puddle and I was thrilled to capture him mid jump.

Our last stop was to another water hole occupied with hippo. Steve (our guide) said that it was safe to get outside the vehicle.

A couple of us got down on the ground and shot images low to the water, which created much more dynamic images than shooting high over these beasts.

I was laying down on the dirt and had the Canon 1D X Mark II with the Canon 100-400mm lens resting on a rock in front of me.  It was so awesome to photograph these active hippo at their level!

Those are some teeth!

This hippo looks a little nicer than the last one.

I saw this one hippo flipping his head around and trained my camera on him, hoping for more action. Just as I moved my camera and locked focus on this hippo, it flipped it's head high and splashed the water in a nice arc.

Steve and I were shooting side-by-side on the dirt, about 60 feet from the hippos when this one decided to charge forwards at us. I shot off 4 or 5 images before I bolted to my feet and prepared to jump back in the vehicle. This was the last shot I took before I chickened out. I stepped onto the vehicle, looked down and saw Steve still laying down shooting. He told us that the hippo would not charge us since we were not invading their space in the water. But, hey, I didn't know that, and this shot was good enough for me. :)

I hope you all enjoyed the blogs from this 5 week trip to Africa.

We have a bunch more trips coming up (most are sold out, but we have more coming that are not announced yet). Come with us to see all this for yourself!

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