Behind the Frame – 18 April 2012

Gerry van der Walt All Authors Leave a Comment


Welcome to the third edition of Behind the Frame.


Last week was the second edition where other wildlife photographers could also start posting their images and share some of their thoughts, whether from an artist or technical point of view, on the blog.  I still feel that one of the best ways to learn and be inspired is to look at other peoples images and get some insight as to the how, what and why.  In the spirit of sharing we then share links to their websites so that you can see more of their work.


So, if you are keen to contribute check out this post for details.  For now, here goes with this week’s images from the following photographers:


– Andrew Aveley

– Jon Colman

– Deepak Sankreacha

– Marcelle Robbins

– Guy Dekelver

– Anthony Robbins

– Andrew Beck

– Gerry van der Walt


Hope you enjoy!


Apocalyptic Quivers by Andrew Aveley


Canon 5D MKII, 16mm, 30sec, ISO 1,250, Remote Release

Keetmanshoop, Namibia


On a photographic adventure early in March, I travelled to Southern Namibia . One of the overnight stops was at the “Quiver Tree Forest “ just outside of Keetmanshoop. One of my goals was to capture a night scene with a Quiver Tree and the stars and  Namibian night sky. The composition I had in mind included for a quiver tree , silhouetted against a bank of stars.


After a ‘interesting” hike over a small rocky outcrop I started looking for a suitable formation . It was unfortunately not a clear night but I was not disappointed when I noticed a bank of clouds over Keetmanshoop about 25 km away .The outcrop I had negotiated earlier had a small group of Quiver trees on the ridge and I got a little excited………


I set up my trusty Canon companion 🙂 and found a suitable composition . I have some basic settings which I use when photographing night scenes and experimented with two or three before settling on the ones I used.


As with any long exposure , movement in the stars is always something I try and avoid to ensure a clean ‘nightscape’ but I sacrificed that here to enhance the movement in the clouds as they ‘emerged’ from the quivers.


The light pollution of the ever growing town was instrumental in the end result of this image as it created the red glow on the clouds.


Post processing was done in Lightroom 4 with a basic workflow in the develop module.


Enjoy every moment of your photography and get out there and capture the world , one frame at a time.


Andrew’s Links:


500px Gallery


Andrew Aveley


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Lionesses on the Hunt by Jon Colman


Nikon D90, 400mm, 1/1600sec, f/5.6, ISO 200

Etosha National Park, Namibia


This image was taken in the early morning as I was leaving Etosha National Park in Namibia.


I had not had any good Lion sightings during five days in the park, but was rewarded with this opportunity as I was leaving on the main road through the park.


Fortunately I had kept my camera handy just in case.  It is an image that was recently selected for “The Royal Photographic Society of London, International Projected Image Exhibition”.


I was quite proud.


Jon’s Links:


Portfolio on RPS


Jon Colman

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Zebra Portrait


Canon Rebel 600D, 300mm, 1/250, f/5.6, ISO 250

Nairobi National Park, Kenya


This picture was taken in Nairobi National Park over easter.  Its been raining and the park looks nice and green.  I was told its unconventional to frame it this way but i find it beautiful.


I added a Vignette to highlight the face and concurrently lifted the center. Love the eye lashes!


My friend put me up to this because she loved it. Hope you guys like it too.


Dee’s Links:

Facebook Gallery


Deepak Sankreacha


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My Precious by Marcelle Robbins


Canon EOS 10D, 105mm, 1/125, f/16, ISO 200


If there is one subject in macro photography that I really don’t enjoy photographing, it would be insects. But if you speak to most people and ask what macro photographers usually photograph, most people would tell you, insects.


On top of that I live on a game reserve, so one might think there are opportunities left right and centre to capture insect images. There are actually very few opportunities to capture insects the way I like to capture things. Just slightly different. It may, or may not be helpful to my photography, but either way, its what I enjoy and will keep at it.


On this particular day though, a mantid came for a visit at our doorstep and eventually it calmed down enough for me to photograph it for quite some time. About halfway through the shoot, I looked at my images  and realized that all I had were the average images. The ones with all the detail and technical qualities, but at the end of the day the image never really “SAID” anything.


I decided to try to spray a fine mist of water over the insect to see what would happen and what effects I could get. Fortunately the mantid seemed to enjoy this and we spent the next half hour eye-balling one another through the lens.


I eventually managed to capture some images that really stood out for me. Some told great stories, some were just plain pretty because of the sparkly water but I loved this particular image in this series.


The mantid seemed to be presenting this precious diamond water drop to me. The water drops on the head created an almost comical effect. It was the different insect image I was after.


Just goes to show, that if you have the time and the opportunity, you should shake things up a bit and try something different. Move out your comfort zone every now and then.


You don’t always have to colour in the lines. You might just surprise yourself.


Marcelle’s Links:

Facebook Page



Marcelle Robbins


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Very Tired by Guy Dekelver


Canon 7D, 300mm, 1/800, f/4.5, ISO 1000

Samburu Game Reserve, Kenya


This shot was taken on the morning of December 31st, 2011.


We had decided to sleep in, in order to make it till the new year in the evening, yet I got woken up by a baboon that decided to check out our roof tent and I was forced to join him for a morning leak.


At that moment, I saw a vervet monkey family moving in the bushes along the river bank. I got my camera out and decided to go halfway down the river bank, with the family slowly moving towards me, hoping they would move on and pass in between my position and the river, much in the same way as they had passed in the other direction the evening before.


Most animals being creatures of habit, they did. The shot I wanted to get was a youngster portrait, with backlit ears against a clear background. Yet in the process this obviously still tired little one gave me some great laughs, since in between the bouts of being cheeky, sleep would get hold of the little one, up to the point that he almost fell down to the ground on 2 occasions.


It all happened in the bushes to my side, hence the busy background. Relocating would have scared off the entire family though, so I decided to go with the background that was given to me, or in other words: always keep your background in mind, yet don’t let it prevent you from taking the shot.


It still being early, I pushed the ISO to get a fast enough shutter speed.


In terms of post processing, I decided to convert ‘So tired!’ to black and white to enhance the mood of the picture, I dodged the background and burned Yoda slightly (of which the youngster reminds some people, and let’s be honest, give this one a few more years and a cloak, …).


Guy’s Links:


500px Gallery


Guy Dekelver


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I Can Do It by Anthony Robbins


 Canon, 1/800, f/8, ISO 1000, Exposure +1/3

Kruger National Park, South Africa


This is till today one of my absolute favorite images.


When I took this image I knew I had taken one of “my” personal favorites and felt very proud of myself when I received all the positive feedback from others, especially from the Wild-Eye judges back in January.


Luck! Is it sometimes all about luck? Being in the right place at the right time?


We were in the Kruger National Park traveling from Letaba down towards Satara when we came across the Olifants river about halfway down. We noticed that there was a fairly large crowd on the bridge.


At first there did not seem to be any real reason for so many people however, we then noticed that the water below was flowing pretty strong. We chatted with a few people that where standing around and found out that the water level had risen rapidly.


There had been extreme rain the night before which had resulted in this surge of water. We then noticed this lonely buffalo bull wandering around an island higher up the riverbed. A few of us started watching the bull and noticed that he was being forced to swim from one island to another as the water level was rising. I started watching the bull through the lens and realized that I might be able to get something a little different.


Checking out and summing up the situation I realized that the bull had to make a big last ditch effort to get it to real safety and this would include a rather large swim between two islands and also through strong flowing water.


I set myself up in the right position and managed the photo “I Can Do It!”


Luck, some would say, but as Gary Player would say, “the more you practice the luckier you get”.


I truly believe this, things do sometimes happen and you get some awesome photos but the harder you try and practice, listen to others and accept the help people are offering the sooner your luck might turn.


Anthony’s Links:

Facebook Page



Anthony Robbins


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Zanzibar Woman by Andrew Beck


Canon EOS 1D MK IV, 200mm, 1/4000, f/3,2 ISO 200



I have never been one for photographing people, somehow the wildlife side comes more naturally to me, but during a recent trip to Zanzibar I could not pass up on the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and photograph something different.


It was incredible to watch the ebb and flow (literally and figuratively) of daily life along the east coast of Zanzibar. As the tide starts to drop and the waters recede beyond the protective reef, hundreds of local woman appear on the beach and move into the water to plant and harvest seaweed which they grow in the shallow waters. As the tide rises the woman disappear and the fisherman return to head out on the Dhows and canoes.


The weather on this particular morning was pretty miserable as the first rains of the season threatened from the east, providing a dark, moody background. For a brief moment the sun broke through from the clouds providing just the right amount of light to highlight the reef and the bright yellow clothing of one of the woman as she moved through the water.


There were women to the left and right of frame but I quickly adjusted my position and got as tight as possible in order to remove any distracting elements (even though the sticks in the water may seem distracting, I feel they are an integral part of the story).


Andrew’s Links:

500px gallery


Andrew Beck


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Penguin Sunset by Gerry van der Walt


Nikon D3s, 200mm, f/2.8, 1/800, ISO 640, Exp: – .33

Boulders Beach, South Africa


During a photo expedition to photograph the breaching great white sharks off the coast of Simonstown our group spent a lot of time photographing a much smaller species – Jackass Penguins.


The lodge we stay at during this annual expedition is across the road from the famous Boulders Beach, home to a breeding colony of these charismatic little birds.  Every morning afternoon we were outside photographing the penguins and I must be honest, initially I thought that photographing penguins would keep me entertained for about 5 seconds but boy was I wrong.  It was awesome!  During our two three days at Boulders we photographed groups of penguins, single penguins, pairs of penguins, penguins swimming, penguins walking, penguin silhouettes, penguin portraits, penguins on rocks, penguins on grass, penguins in the parking lot and even a few panning images of penguins running.


This particular image was taken just as the sun was setting but – towards the East.  All too often we get so caught up with the lovely oranges of the setting sun that we forget to turn around.  The colors are spectacular.


For this image I underexposed slightly to bring out the colors a bit more and then, with the same goal in mind, tweaked my contrast and saturation slightly during post processing to give the image to the same moody atmosphere we witnessed when were there.


Already looking forward to this years trip to get more images of the penguins.  Oh, and the sharks!


Gerry’s Links:

500px gallery


Until next time.


Gerry van der Walt


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Comments 0

  1. Marcelle

    Thanks again for the opportunity to contribute. Really enjoyed reading everyone’s ideas and thoughts behind their images. So glad to see Guy’s pic and hear the story behind as its one of my most favorite wildlife images recently. And Andrew…Im very jealous of that image. We think the sticks actually make that image. Ive been to Zanzibar…that image tells the story 100%! The colors in Zanzibar are unlike anything Ive ever experienced. Its such an assault to your senses. Really love that image.

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