Behind the Frame: Freedom

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A few weeks ago, Gerry, Penny and myself accompanied a group of students to Pilanesberg National Park for the day.

Whilst we enjoyed breakfast at the Mankwe dam hide we were lucky enough to witness a beautiful storm making it’s way over head. The area was very dry and the water levels quite low, so as soon as the clouds moved in the whole park seemed to come to life.

A pair of Lesser Striped Swallows were in the process of building a nest inside the hide and every now and then they would fly right past us to collect the mud they needed from the waters edge. Any avian photographers out there know that to capture a swift, swallow, ect. during flight is near impossible.

With this in mind I grabbed the Wild Eye’s new Canon 24-70mm f2.8L II (the only way to describe that lens is….WOW!) to get a bit of a wider angle so I could incorporate the scene in the background as well.

After waiting for a few minutes I managed to land this frame before that magic light disappeared.

Using a smaller aperture of f/11, I kept the entire landscape in focus and the swallow slightly out of focus, something which I fell in love with upon closer inspection.

Canon 1Ds mk II, Canon 24-70mm f2.8L II @ 35mm, ISO 200, f11, 1/1600

70% planning and 30% luck made for an interesting image, well worth the time and effort!

Let me know what you guys think.

Canon 1Ds mk II, Canon 300mm f2.8L + 1.4x II, ISO 400, f5.6, 1/400 handheld


Chad Wright


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