The term addict conjures up all sorts of thoughts, often negative, which normally revolves around drugs, alcohol or tobacco.
But I have met some photographers that border on being addicts. Or are they just obsessive? I have not evaluated this by the number of images they rattle off during a safari or by them firing off 12 frames as a lion flicks its ear, but rather by them constantly having their camera pressed firmly against their faces.
Sometimes you just have to put your camera down and enjoy a great wildlife sighting. The lighting may be poor, the subject far off or the backdrop less than appealing.
Am I one of them?
Well , I didn’t think so until I started editing some of my Mara images.
Late one afternoon we came across a lone wildebeest that had broken it’s leg during an earlier river crossing. We knew there was a fair amount of hyena activity in the area, so we decided to wait and see what happened.
A few minutes later 2 hyena appeared and became interested in the wildebeest. They soon realized that it was injured so immediately went in for the kill. It was dramatic and to some people in the vehicle pretty emotional.
The action was a couple of hundred metres away, the light was questionable, and there was a fair amount of grass in the way.
But it is not everyday that you witness a kill, let alone hyena taking down an adult wildebeest. So I fired away regardless – spray and pray!
I could sort out the results in Lightroom, couldn’t I?
This is the result. Unedited, not cropped ….
Sso 1600, f /5.6, 540mm, 1/200 sec
Not great !
But , I could convert the image from a pretty crap one into something great.
This was the best I could do in colour.
Same settings, but a serious crop.
I thought black and white may hide the noise and the make it a bit more appealing.
Sadly not even close!
The results – not great.
My biggest disappointment by far? Not putting my camera down and simply watching and witnessing a unique wildlife spectacle!
So next time you are in the bush, put down your camera and store the image in your memory and think twice about picking up your camera.
Or your beer.
And definitely not a cigarette !
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