What an epic 7 days of photography. I mentioned in my last blog just how different photographic safaris are from the usual safari as the guests are that much more willing to spend time with the animals, waiting for the perfect moment to let the cameras click away. With the shutters clicking away at up to 14 frames per second and 6 cameras firing at once, sounds like someone has opened fire with a machine gun.
With such a long stay it allowed Rika and myself to explore the bush and not just photograph the animals. We took the time to get the guests out of the car and photograph the little things like flowers; lying in rhino dung trying to capture dung beetles; and set up long exposure shots to capture the glory of the African sky! We were even able to capture the flittering light of a storm of fireflies as the males radiated their frequency hoping to find a mate.
We had multiple opportunities to photograph the Southern Pride during the day and night. We saw them on a buffalo kill and on top of termite mounds, lazing outside the lodge to fighting over meat. At one stage the guests were almost lioned out as we were blessed with such great sightings.
The leopards too performed admirably as we followed Sandriver the day after seeing him moving through Little Bush Camp while we were all enjoying dinner on the first night. What a hair raising experience for all of us as we watched his beautiful coat moving through the darkness 30 metres from the dinner table. Nottins also paid us a visit, taking us through some crazy bush as we waited for the perfect opportunity to set the shutters off.
Buffalo have been everywhere for the last 2 days as a huge herd of about 500 moved through the reserve and they posed beautifully as the sun set on the last evening.
Even the birds were asking to be photographed! We were blessed with amazing light and equally good opportunities to capture our feathered friends in all their glory! We even spent an hour waiting for a male Lilac-breasted Roller to return to his nest to feed his partner who was patiently incubating her eggs.
As I said earlier, we didn’t just focus on the big stuff. We took the opportunity to get the macro lenses out and capture some of the smaller beauties that the bush has to offer. The level of concentration as the guests set up tripods and waited for the perfect moment to release the shutter to capture the smallest of the small.
One of the biggest highlights was setting up at dusk and waiting for the glory of the African sky to present itself. Twelve photographers just waiting for the stars to twinkle above as we waited to open the exposure to allow the perfection of the Milky Way to imprint on the sensors. We also had the opportunity to photograph fireflies illuminating the Msutlu River as they flitted about looking for a mate.
What a great few days filled with many photos and great company. The banter between the photographers was too funny and we spent all 7 days giggling as we moved through the bush looking for something to photograph.