Serengeti by balloon


Tanzania, Africa On our last morning in Africa we had the privilege of taking a hot air balloon ride above the Serengeti. We head out before the sun rises because the earlier in the morning we go the less turbulent and unpredictable the winds are. Climbing high above the Serengeti we bobbed up and down, while the wildlife below stirred during it’s most active time. The sun began to rise as a gradient of light washed over the land from the east stretching to the west. Seeing the wildlife from this new angle was so different and intriguing. Game paths stretching out like spiderwebs of dirt amidst the parched grasses of the Serengeti. Zebra and wildebeest look like ants as they gallop across the land, their movement reminiscent of a flock of birds: never straying too far and only coming so close if needed.


Photographic Details: With the low morning light I needed a high Iso of 800 to get a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the motion. Not only was the balloon moving, it was wiggling with the movements of the passengers and gusts of the wind. Despite the directionless floating on the balloon we seemed to be moving at a pretty fast clip, making it difficult to decide what to shoot with the rapidly changing scenery. I would look for a point of interest, then zoom in with my telephoto, in hopes of capturing some interesting shapes.

Canon EOS 7D 1/250s f/4.5 ISO800 100mm

If you like this, do me a favour and please share!

[button size="large" link="http://kylefoto.smugmug.com/Animals/Africa/19644918_hpCKDK#1586454132_H37SrB4" linkTarget="_blank" color="blue"]Order Print through Smugmug[/button]

Zebra migration


Tanzania, Africa Being on safari is always full of surprises. While the keen photographers and enthusiasts expect I always know what’s going to happen, it all comes down to being as prepared as possible for when the action happens. While being surrounded by a herd of zebra and wildebeest, we were stationed where there was as much action as possible: by the river. These animals would stop to get some much needed water, but they are always nervous as there is an ancient threat that lurks in these waters, the crocodile.

A crocodile was lurking in the water, we wanted to see some action, but at the same time, we didn’t. We were wondering why the crocodile wasn’t paying any attention to the pedantic animals looking for refreshment at the shore, when the crocodile went to a log pulled out a long dead zebra under it and began to snack. Oooh, well he was full because he already had food in his pantry! It’s likely this croc won’t have to eat for months, given that they are cold blooded and thus don’t use food energy to maintain their body temperature, a very efficient way of living.

Nevertheless the zebra would get their fill of water until paranoia set in and one would bolt away from the shore in fear, setting off a chain reaction. The once crowded shore would be instantly vacated as all the zebra and wildebeest fled for their lives. After a few seconds or so one thirsty animal would slowly make it’s way to the shore and drink as more animals came in, and the cycle of spazzing at the shore would begin again. This gave us many opportunities to get these running action shots.

Photographic details: I intentionally used settings that get a lot of motion blur, normally something that people find undesirable. But it’s this sense of motion that makes the viewer feel what it’s like to be there. 1/100th of a second was guaranteed to get a blurry photo, as I followed the motion of these beasts as smoothly as I could. The incredible amount of dust in the air provided or a fantastic backdrop and a beautiful red cast on the image. CANON 7D 1/100s f/16.0 ISO100 330mm

If you like this, do me a favour and share!

More on my photo safaris: http://www.kylefoto.com/photographic-african-safaris/

[button size="large" link="http://kylefoto.smugmug.com/Animals/Africa/19644918_hpCKDK#1584126506_9CdsHzj" linkTarget="_blank" color="blue"]Order Print through Smugmug[/button]



Timing on Mother Zebra’s milk


Masai Mara, Kenya The zebra mother will generally have 1 foal a year, and can have one at any time. Even though the foal may begin eating grass after a few days it generally takes a year to wean them off of mothers milk. Given the similar size of these two and the rarity of twins my local guide said it’s likely this foal is from another mother.

Photographic details: I took many photos of this because I wanted to capture a few things and needed the right timing for everything to line up. The constant swish of the mothers tail often had it flying out of the frame; instead of the tail being flat and facing down I waited for it to swish up to the left to capture that interesting curl. At the same time photographers always want the eyes, here I have not only the mothers eye, but that of both the foals as well. Many photos were taken, but this is the only one that made the cut. I often pay attention to the rule of thirds, but this time with the way the mother and the foal fit in a ying and yang kind of way I have a fair bit of symmetry. Artistically speaking, when you have symmetry like this you have licence to start centering your subjects and you get to throw the rule of thirds away.

If you like this please share!

Related: I've got 8 people signed on for my Kenya & Tanzania Photo Safari in January, there is guaranteed window room for everyone and I've got a few spots left! http://www.kylefoto.com/photographic-african-safaris/

Prints are available at smugmug: http://kylefoto.smugmug.com/Animals/Africa/19644918_hpCKDK#1555914888_M42JL7j

Zebras in the dust


Zebras in the dustOn Safari in Tanzania, Serengeti, for wildlife wednesday

During the great migration countless zebra and wildebeest move through the Serengeti, following the rains that move cyclicly through Kenya and Tanzania. The amazing thing about this is moments before these zebra were nowhere to be seen, and upon arriving back to the river side we were inundated with this herd that went on as far as the dust allowed us to see.

These zebra were frantically running to the river to quench their thirst, always aware of the Crocodiles lurking, there was one in the river, but it was full. Nevertheless a zebra would get spooked and the entire group would abandon the river at once, kicking up dust and lining themselves up like this. It's something we spent the whole day doing, it was fantastic.

This was taken on my Kenya & Tanzania Photographic Safari last February, if you or anyone you know likes to travel and take photos this is the best way to see the wonder that Africa has to offer while getting the greatest photos possible. I love sharing my techniques, and it was a pleasure travelling with such talented photographers. I have two more trips in February and September 2012, to find out more check out my workshops here: http://www.kylefoto.com/category/workshops/

If you like this, please share!