A Tribute To The Dust

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f/2.8 ss-1/1600 ISO-2000

From about June/July until we get rain again which could be anywhere from October to January in Madikwe. Who knows…? The dust this time of the year is spectacular. It does not even matter where the light comes from. Back, front, side even from beneath the horizon, like the shot above, you can make it work. More often than not, the result will be dramatic and very different.

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There is a combination of factors that will contribute to the epicenes. Namely, clarity of the rays of the sun, angle of the sun this time of year, large pachyderms (Elephant and Rhino) displacing a significant amount of dust when they do what they do and wind that will also kick up dust clouds.

In the shot above the Rhino was simply walking towards the water there was a mild breeze blowing the dust in the same direction as he was walking, the sun was behind me in a traditional way of lighting a subject from the front. However, the results were far from normal.

Most of this will happen around a famous dam, called Thlou dam. It is in the most perfect place, everything around there just works out great if you are a photographer or not you will have fun at Thlou dam in the winter months.

In the shot below the light was slightly more from the one side.

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Here the dust ads to the perceived motion of this baby rhino.

Fun fact about rhino; they weigh about 40-50 kg at birth after a gestation period of 16 months.

You could also attempt to incorporate a bit of everything in one frame. Personally, I love playing with lens glair. Again, the dust just makes it all so much better and dramatic.

With that said, the first rain fell in the beginning of October. The huge amounts of magical dust has now disappeared and the bush is turning green.

We welcome the change of season and look forward to all the new guiding and photographic challenges that lie ahead.

If you would like more day-to-day updates on Madikwe check out my Instagram page @coenieengelbrecht_wildlife.

Cheers for now.

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If you would like to contribute to the Wild Eye blog send a mail to gerry@wild-eye.co.za

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