Nikon D3s, 24mm, 1/6400, f/4, ISO 500
Chobe River Botswana
Even though this image includes four elephants the focus is completely on the sky.
One of the most common mistakes that people make when photographing wildlife is to get too stuck on using the big focal lenses. Yeah, I also enjoy the 400mm and 600mm lenses but an image like this one would not be possible with one of those lenses for two reasons.
Firstly to get the animals this small in the frame while including the sky you would have to be miles away. Literally! Secondly, the depth that gets created, from the bank of the river to the elephants, through the wide angle lens is just not possible with a telephoto zoom.
When lifting your camera to photograph a scene always try and take a second to think – What is attracting me to this particular scene? How best can I make my viewer see, and feel, what I am experiencing?
In this particular case it was not only the elephants but the dramatic African skies behind them and from our vantage point on the Chobe River the wide angle approach was my only choice.
Don’t be scared to go wide!
Until next time.
Gerry van der Walt
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