Should I Loose the Dead Wildebeest?

Gerry van der Walt All Authors Leave a Comment

When you look through your viewfinder do you know exactly what is going on and what you are photographing?


Looking through some of my images from our Great Migration photo expedition earlier this year I found the following image.




Photographing massive herds of wildebeest as they crash through the Mara River is an amazing visual experience.  This particular crossing happened later on in our trip and by this time I was looking for specific images.  I had all my grab and safety shots so I could now zoom in a bit and try and try and capture different images.


Look at the image again.


What do draws your eye?


Yeah, the dead wildebeest in the corner of the frame.


When we arrived at the scene I did see the unfortunate animal and we even had a discussion as to how many of the wildebeest do not make it.  


Then the action started.


I was so busy looking for the images I could see in my head that I did not see the dead wildebeest in the corner of the viewfinder when I shot this frame.  Sure, photographing a crossing can be quite chaotic at times and it’s not the same as composing for single subject but still.


So, the question is this.  Should I crop the wildebeest out in order to focus the attention on the actual river crossing or does the dead wildebeest in the corner add something to the image?  A sense of danger perhaps?  Drama?


What to you think?


Until next time.


Gerry van der Walt


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