I am Michael Laubscher, I’m from a small town called Nigel.
I was born, raised and schooled in the area.
After completing a National Diploma in Nature Conservation I decided to follow my desire to become a field guide. I completed my one year professional field guide course and from there the work began!
They say change is a good thing??
Do I agree??
This is my story…
I am a newbie at Wild Eye and have associated myself with the team on the private guided safari side of the business as well as a guest blogger! What a privilege!
But when I say newbie this does not mean I am a new comer to the industry.
My passion for the bush and everything that comes with it started as far back as I can remember. Thanks to my parents who introduced me to wilderness areas at a very young age, I managed to live my dream by obtaining a background in conservation and being a “lodge based ranger” for the past four years, working in world-renowned places such as the Timbavati and Sabi Sands Private Game Reserves. Through this I have not only gained abundant knowledge of the environment but also acquired brilliant people skills.
While working at Sabi Sabi I was privileged to host the Wild Eye team twice during their photographic seminars. What a blast I must say! During this time relationships and friendships were created along with life long memories.
Through the years I kept in touch with some of the members of the team such as Gerry Van Der Walt and Marlon Du Toit and build a stronger relationship. But to be honest with the great people in the Wild Eye team, building a relationship in not a tough thing to do!
Gerry asked me to come and see him the day I was looking for a change, so I did!
Now I am here and its up to me to do my part as I look to share my experience and knowledge with others in the field!
I feel haunted by the allure of spectacular wildlife and African sunsets. I am a hunter-gatherer of natural light and candid moments, an appetite whet with a taste of the unknown and the smell of home; “This Is Africa”!
The beauty of the “outdoor” or “wilderness” life style is that it reminds one daily that you are not infinite. Step outside, and you’ll see that the life cycle is all around you. Plants and animals live and die to make room for the next generation. Though humans are a completely different life form, we are no exception to that rule. When we spend time in nature, we are reminded that life is fleeting and sometimes we need that perspective in order to remember what truly matters and to remind us how small we are in the grand scheme of things.
It might be scary to realise that nothing is permanent, but perhaps that’s what makes life so precious.
My intrest in photograpghy started about six years ago during my practical year of my studies as I had to document a full year of practical work.
Starting off with not much knowledge and capturing a great shot was and still is one of the most rewarding feelings one could get and I think this was the trigger!
Ever since, looking through the camera with my finger on the shutter, capturing that special moment for eternity, is a very unique feeling and worth the experience time and time again.
The experience of taking photographs of wildlife is one of the most thrilling things. Knowing that you are sharing space with wild animals, earning their trust, documenting their beauty and behaviour for everyone to see is truly compelling.
In this particular image and I cannot get my head around it, this white rhino came within two metres of my vehicle. This shows us just how much these animals can trust us. Unbelievable!!
When I am out in the field I always approach the environment and everything within it in an ethical way.
I respect the animals, their space and I truly believe that because of this approach the animals will return the favour by doing what you want them to in front of a lens.
Fortunately I am an individual with a lot of patience, which if you want to create that one image, you need! Here are a few images that required a bit of patience:
You do not have to just sit there and wait for that one image you have in mind to start moulding.
I usually start getting creative and trying different things, but this could also require some patience.
Check it out:
Waiting for the perfect time as the moving zebra moves into the frame, just a different type of shot.
Panning a vulture in flight, reason for it is because a large flock were feeding on a hippo carcass and i already took 100+ images of them already.
A silhouette of three giraffe after the sun had set, reason being its the only shot i could take.
Multiple exposure, reason for it is because a large flock were feeding on a hippo carcass and i already took 100+ images of them already.
We all have a image of rhino and a oxpecker, I waited for a long time to create this image of a oxpecker and rhino drinking together, just for something different.
After seeing over a thousand zebra for the day, a bit of a different was needed. No cropping happened during post processing.
This herd of elephant were running over a massive open plain towards a watering hole, after banking your sharp images, try a pan?
Just a up close look at a female leopards face.
Yes we are all very interested in the big dangerous animals when it comes to our photography. I am a sucker for it as well but i do also make time for the smaller things such as birds, insects, reptiles and so on. Why? Because they are just as important.
A small handful:
Thank you all for taking time to read about me, the “Newbie” and see some of my work.
As you can see, I have a vast amount of experience at Sabi Sabi and the Sabi sand in general. If you are planning to visit this region and would like assistance on making bookings, advice on where to stay, or perhaps even a privately guided safari to the region, please do get in touch via email here.
Please feel free to go check out more of my work on my Instagram account.
I am really excited to hear from you all in the future to add more magical moments to my story!
Share this Post