Behind the lens

My Photo
A Dentist. Conservationist. Wildlife photographer. It all started when I was very young playing with point-and-shoot cameras at home. We were travelling a lot, and I captured moments on camera and the love for photography became a passion - especially wildlife photography. My drive is conservation, to use photography as a tool. Hope you enjoy the images!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

An Epic chase

There will never be a moment where one can grow tired observing animal interaction in the African bush!  

 I recently returned from a private photographic safari to Mashatu game reserve in Botswana.  During our stay we had unbelievable sightings and were treated with quite the surprise on our last day.

We came across a pride of lion resting underneath a thicket in the distance.  As we approached, we saw two lionesses and three cubs.  They made a relatively fresh eland kill and were filled to the brim.


All around the lion, vultures gathered as the clock ticked by.  At one stage I counted about 15 vultures around the kill, all keeping their distance.


Suddenly I saw the lionesses alert and staring into the distance.  At this stage we couldn't see anything in this direction.  Clearly something was brewing.


After about five minutes, a lone hyena approached the scene with the smell of a kill in the air.  The hyena was cautious yet curious.


About five minuted later, a second hyena approached and smelled the air.  We literally had the kill on the one side of the vehicle and the two hyenas on the other side, about twenty meters apart.


Suddenly the one lioness flew to her feet and walked closer, observing the behaviour of the two hyena.


From nowhere she exploded into action and ran towards the younger hyena...


As she ran, dust was kicked up by thumping and breathing...


The chase continued...


Lucky for the hyena, the lioness just ate herself to the limit and her speed let her down on this day.  Even though male lions tend to kill hyenas,  lionesses can either seriously injure hyena and in some cases cause fatalities.  

 

Just as the action died, the second lioness got up and burst into running towards the older hyena...


She was fast, really fast, and at one stage I was certain the hyena will be taken down at any stage...but luck was on the hyena's side...by the hair on its skin...


As the hyena strolled away, even a jackal stood its ground and barked with warning.


The chase was over.  The lionesses returned to their kill and cubs.  They rested after another successful and exciting day on the African savannah.

Until next time guys, hope you enjoyed this experience with me.  Please let me know what you think and you are welcome to comment!

All the best, 

J











Wednesday, 5 November 2014

The tall ones

Even though the giraffe is one of the most beautiful animals with awkward long necks and dark spots, they can be quite difficult to photograph with a strong composition.  

Below are two examples that from a personal point of view presented stronger than the norm.  Both pictures were taken at Mashatu game reserve, Botswana.

Below I included all seven giraffe to focus on the group as a whole and to show them as a group.




In my second example below, I did a close-up shot, with both the mother and baby.  By doing a close-up, I could focus on the face and even a red billed ox-pecker on the baby's head.  The body of the mother balanced the frame.




Well, those are my favourite giraffe images, please add your comments and/or opinion;  would love to hear from you!

Have a good one!

J


Thursday, 23 October 2014

On the wrong side of the sun

Shooting into the sun can be a challenge sometimes.  

The biggest question is: do you want a solid silhouette or do you want to keep some detail in the shadows when shooting a soft silhouette.

When exposing in the bright areas in the sky, the shadows in the photo will be pitch black.  In the case of the picture below, I exposed on the body of the giraffe and took a few shots.  Luckily the sky was still not too overexposed and manageable light in the shadows made it possible to see some good detail in the darker shadows.

In Lightroom I cropped a bit, pushed up the shadows a tad and increased contrast.  Hereafter I sharpened a bit and had a pleasant result: soft on the eyes and I loved the mood!


Techs: 1/8000sec,f/6.3, 70mm,ISO1250


Well, feel free to comment, would love to learn from fellow photogs!

Have a good weekend!

Jaco

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

In her prime

Hi guys! 

Sorry for the silence, just returned from a great trip to Mashatu game reserve in the Tuli, Botswana.

Today I want to share with you a quick picture about a lioness we followed during the trip, a big and strong cat.  She chased hyenas, killed eland and protected her cubs as they tagged along on her hunts.  

This particular shot occurred on our last day at sunset and I wanted to share the photo as it gives one an idea of the beautiful African landscape of the Tuli, together with a prime huntress in the foreground.

Techs:  1/2000sec, f/2.8, 200mm, ISO800

Would love to hear your comments!

Have a good week!

Jaco



Sunday, 5 October 2014

Annual discount!

Every year I offer 30% discount for any image purchase on the Marxphoto website above $90.  

This offer will be valid until end November 2014 for ONLY 50 people!

To make use of this offer, simply type SPECIALDISCOUNT in the 'coupon code' field before checking out!


Thank you again for the comments and support, it is appreciated!

Have a great week!

J

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

World rhino day

Since world rhino day was 22 September, I thought I would give an update on a large breakthrough on South African soil where kingpin Hugo Ras and nine co-accused were charged for rhino poaching/rhino horn related crimes.  Click here for more info.


One cannot emphasise the importance in protecting these beasts.  

700 rhino's have already been illegally butchered this year, which brings the total rhino's killed since 2010 to 3222! 

We need to stand together, being visible and steadfast.  Awareness is a start, and can be very effective.  

Have a great day, until next time!

Jaco

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Special moments

Wildlife photography can sometime surprise us with not-your-every-day moments.  

In the picture below, I photographed a red billed ox pecker as it was getting cosy on a warthog's head...all this while the warthog was on the move.  Strange, yet special to get close and get the "different" images we all want.  All we need is patience, time and some luck (:


Have a great day!

J