Think Bigger!

Marlon duToit All Authors, Marlon 2 Comments

Start thinking bigger!

Too often the inclination leans towards tight, portrait styled images. That’s great and undoubtedly has it’s place. I will be first to admit that little compete’s with lusciously textured close-ups of leopards & lions.

That said, why not start looking around you. Why not include that stunning tree, or that beautiful log to the left? What about that gorgeous backdrop?

Below are a few images I have captured over the last couple of month’s. I personally find that these kind of images have a far greater impact, a lingering effect.

mana pools, wild eye, marlon du toit, photo safari

A herd of elephants vanish into a thick cloud of dust, the glow of the set sun in front of them.

I shot this with a 600mm lens in the absolute last light of day. I just love it! It tells a story, it captures elements of their environment and the time of day!
Have you ever seen elephants at dusk coming for a drink. They arrive in a flurry and often leave the same way! There’s a certain mood, the power of the moment, thirsty elephants walking a large part of the afternoon in order to quench their thirst.

mana pools, wild eye, marlon du toit, photo safari

One impala. Something special? Unlikely.

That forest! Showstopping! I loved this seeing and almost drove past it on a recent safari in Mana Pools. The impala caught the corner of my eye and I immediately knew I wanted it!

The dust, the gently touch of back-lit light on the leaves of the Winter Thorn’s. It all just comes together beautifully.

namibia, wild eye, marlon du toit, photo safari

Early morning are great for shooting straight into the sun, but you have a short window of opportunity. Once the sun becomes to bright, perhaps 20 or 30 minutes after rising you will find some difficulty.

I saw the texture’s of the grass and only needed a subject to bring it all together. This giraffe could not have been better placed.

mana pools, wild eye, marlon du toit, photo safari

I have yet to visit a place as soul-stirring as Mana Pools. Scene’s like this are reminiscent of a world only known from childhood story books. To think that all of these pastel colours can exist in one single frame? Now imagine had you not seen that, or used the wrong lens!

Always be on the look out for tree’s, colours, open space or textures. Some people just don’t see, other are perhaps not looking at it with the right “eye’s”.

Capturing animals within their environment is not as easy as it may seem, but it is complete worth it!

namibia, wild eye, marlon du toit, photo safari

We had spent time with this giraffe all morning. We lost sight as he headed towards this ridge, and just as we were about to move on he appeared on the ridge of the escarpment.

Talk about animals within their environment? This is incredible a giraffe within the seemingly desolate landscape of the oldest desert in the world, the Namib.

So take time next time you are in the field. Always be on the lookout for the environment, and animals within it!

And by the way, I used a 400mm fixed focal lens for all but one image. It is completely possible to captured wider images using longer lenses!

Get out there, be creative and think about the bigger picture!

Till next time,


Comments 2

  1. Martha Myers

    Marlin, you have outdone yourself. These images are simply stunning, because, for me, they capture the magic of the PLACE in its entirety. As you say, so often the animal is placed at center, front stage. What these images convey is the sense that, when you take into account the whole scheme of things, the animal is nothing more or less than a bit player — but at the same time an essential element of the story line.

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