Rhino Up In Ash

Rhinos are prehistoric looking mammals forming part of the Big Five found at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve. They are fascinating, large and grey mammals; constantly grazing head down making them hard to photograph.


We followed the tracks of a rhino bull into a small area that had burnt due to an unforeseen natural veld fire. At first I wasn’t too excited about the area we entered but realized that as a photographer I can’t always set the scenes to my desire and have to use what nature rolls at me.

We soon found the rhino bull resting, lying down, making my taking a photograph even less interesting. Then it caught my eye that every time the rhino exhaled it kicked up a cloud of ash and I decided to use the ash as my main focus for this photograph. I wanted to capture the action with the ash all around his face and decided to position our vehicle to get some side lighting on his face. I zoomed in closely to emphasize the ash cloud all around him.

This image was taken with a Nikon D700 camera with a Nikkor 70 – 200mm f2.8 lens. My settings were aperture priority, f5, 1/1000, ISO 800 and matrix metering mode.

Keep it sharp out there

Wim Vorster

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