A photograph is something that should be a process. The first part and one of the most important is a pre-visualisation or a photographic dream. This can be from inspiration from an image you’ve already seen before or something that you have just always wanted to capture.
This type of image is one that I have dreamt about getting for quite some time and the summer months are the perfect times for it. Termites very rarely make an appearance during the day, but in overcast conditions coupled with a little moisture in the air, makes it a little more possible. There were certainly a lot of images captured in this scene to try and anticipate the perfect moment when the termite was in mid-air about to meet its fate.
Due to challenging light conditions, I needed speed to capture the moment, that meant F4 and slightly higher ISO than I would normally use. It is also important to know and then trust your camera. From previous experience I know what the ISO capabilities of the D4S are so it gave me an opportunity to push the ISO to a level where I can still have the sharpness and clarity needed.
- Camera – Nikon D4S
- Lens and Focal length – Nikkor 200-400mm F4 VRII @400mm
Settings used to capture this image
- ISO – 2000
- Aperture –f4
- Shutter – 1/4000
Editing used on this image
The biggest challenge in the editing process was managing the background due to the overcast conditions. I decided to drop the exposure slightly and also to the highlights, this stripped a lot more white from the background giving the image a creamy effect. The only thing left to do was to then bring out the prominent yellow and red colouration of the Hornbill and this was done by pushing each individual colour slider to the right. This gave the image a little saturation and coupled with the vibrance, both bring out the natural colouration.
In wildlife photography, timing is everything, but don’t just think about being in the right place at the right time, that makes it sound like it is just luck. If you put in the time to pre visualise the image, as well as having the time and patience, you will get that image you have dreamed of.