How do you photograph a million animals at once?

Morkel Erasmus All Authors, Morkel 10 Comments

This was my big question upon arriving in the Mara Triangle. I will expand a bit more when I post our “official” trip report, but suffice it to say that the Wild Eye East Africa guides as well as Marlon and myself were convinced that a great majority of the wildebeest herds had congregated in the Triangle during our week there…spurred on by fresh rains in the area and especially across the Mara river in the Masai Mara Game Reserve.

Driving through the herds every day you could just see the numbers building and building…yet every big herd would somehow “vanish” overnight…

It wasn’t until we made our way to the Kiboko side of the Triangle on the 4th day of the safari that we actually got to see the destination of all the herds. They were building up to cross back across the Mara in that corner of the Mara Triangle. And man, were they building up.

One of my personal highlights of the week was merely standing on one of the hills that afternoon close to the Purungat bridge, and staring at millions of black dots strewn across the hillsides and plains below as far as the eye can see.

No camera could capture that moment.

But, that doesn’t mean we didn’t try to capture something of the mass of life that was surrounding us. Here are a few shots that I gleaned from my archive of the week. Only the first 2 were taken with my DSLR kit, and the rest merely with my iPhone 5.

Thing is – take all of these photos, and imagine that being just one 30-70mm snapshot and you get an idea of the scenes that surrounded us.

Which conveys it best to you?

wildebeest_herds_1_MasaiMara_2013

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image (6)

image (7)

image (3)

I think I know what the best way to capture the masses of wildlife during the migration is: with the camera of the mind, while standing on a raised hillock, sipping slowly on an ice cold “Tusker Lager”…

Why not join me in doing that next year??

Till next time…

Morkel Erasmus

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Comments 10

  1. candice

    😉 Nice that pictures can be taken with just a phone, they pretty amazing photos too!
    True the camera cannot capture what you seeing – but that is the majesty of it – your experience that only you through words can relate back to everyone else…or yes they could join on the next adventure. (with sony cellphones…)
    Its always too lovely to follow the blog and posts of wild eye though, see the world through the eyes of another.

  2. Chris Spiteri

    They’re all beautiful captures…but to me the first photo is the one that really conveys that sheer sense of scale and numbers. I think it’s because it seems to be taken from the top of a hill, looking down at the uneven, rolling landscape below dotted with wildebeest as far as the eye can see, rather than being on the same level as them. It’s a scene I hope to witness and capture one day!

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  3. Jeannine Franklin

    I agree that being there and capturing it in your mind is the best way by far, but you do seem to give the viewers ie myself always a good glimpse of what you saw in your mind when you take up your camera and shoot away. For that I thank you! Enjoy this talent that has been given you.

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