The Basics and a Low Angle Hippo

Gerry van der Walt All Authors, Gerry Leave a Comment

Gerry van der Walt - WIldlife & Nature Photography

Nikon D700, 600mm, 1/2000, f/5, ISO 400

Chobe, Botswana

Read any wildlife photography book or website and there are a few tips that keep on popping up.  In this images I was able to nail two of them.

The first is eye contact.  You need your subject to be looking at the camera, and by implication your viewer, in order to make the image more personal.  In order to create a connection.

The second is a low angle which makes you feel lik you are a part of the subject’s world rather than sitting on a game viewer looking down at the scene.

On our recent trip to the Chobe we were traveling along one of the smaller channels when this young hippo popped out of nowhere with a look of mild amusement.  My camera, mounted on the gimbal on our photographic boat, was set up for some of the birds we were photographing a small while earlier so all I had to do was aim and fire when I saw the moment.  In this case the moment is that wonderful point in time when you see things fall together perfectly.

The low angle was due to the amazing low point of view the boat makes possible and the eye contact was the reason I clicked the shutter.  The out of focus bands in the foreground and background was the result of the large aperture and long focal length and works very well in this scene as it focuses the attention on the subject and horizontal line of the river in the background.

I guess the lesson here is this – focus on the basics and shoot what you see.  By doing this you will be in the position to focus on the subject and scene rather than worrying about getting too technical.

There is a reason the basics ruls  of wildlife photography

Until next time.

Gerry van der Walt

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