Two sides to a Story

Marlon duToit All Authors, Marlon 1 Comment

There’s very often two sides to a story.

Both might be the right story, or one might very well work better than the other. Who knows?

Well, YOU should!

By thinking through what you aim to convey, the story you mean to tell, you can paint a picture vivid with life and soul. It may require some work, some patience or some creative thinking, but at the end of the day you are tasked with bringing what you saw to life.

This was an absolutely stunning scene. It was early summer in the Kgalagadi and these lions finally decided to venture out in to the open. The pride lay down on the edge of a shrubby dune and the scene was just beautiful! That said, I saw an opportunity to change my scene entirely, and to capture a more intimate story.

Fortunately for me there was a road close to where they settled, allowing me a higher vantage point. I love the resulting images!

Had I not been aware of the other road, I would never have been able to get these shots. Situational awareness is so important in photography!

marlon du toit, wild eye, photo safari, africa

marlon du toit, wild eye, photo safari, africa

Everyone loves a large kudu bull! They are magnificent creatures inspiring awe in all those fortunate to enjoy their company.

This lone bull just finished drinking and moved away from the water at our approach. They are extremely shy by nature and to see a large bull right out in the open is not all that common. I knew I had to think quick and get myself into the right position.

I glanced over in the direction the bull had been walking in, and saw the setting sun through the forest canopy. THAT was what I wanted!
Then the bull started running, as I thought it would. I badly wanted him to pause amidst the large tree’s, but he kept going. Once again I had to think quick and fired my shutter as he moved between the large tree’s.

I love the end result!

The image shows a majestic free-roaming Kudu in his forest environment.

marlon du toit, wild eye, photo safari, africa

marlon du toit, wild eye, photo safari, africa

Elephants can make great photographic subjects but at the same time present some challenging issues. They are dark, they are big and there are many of them (meaning plenty of ordinary elephants images out there).

So how do you get an image you can be proud of? Just keep everything in mind I mentioned above! Think about your shot. Don’t simply fire away and hope for the best! Situational awareness is crucial with elephants not only because of the photo opportunities, but also because there’s an element of danger to consider.

This lone elephant bull was enjoying an afternoon on the edge the Albida forest in Mana. I knew that I could get some great images of him, if only he would comply and move further into the forest itself. This he soon did.

I made sure I moved back far enough (had a fixed 400mm lens) in order to capture the scenic woodland, and waited for him to move in to a position that would compliment the scene.

Yes, I had the freedom to move around on foot, an opportunity seldom present, but I still had the presence of mind to do so.

marlon du toit, wild eye, photo safari, africa

marlon du toit, wild eye, photo safari, africa

So let’s recap…

Think about the possibilities.

Take your eye away from the viewfinder and really think about what it is that you are photographing. Is it even worth photographing? Is it an image you already have a 100 of at home?

You need to constantly challenge yourself to create, to explore and to execute!

Situational awareness is vital.

If you are not looking around you, you may very well miss out on great images.

If an animal is on the move, look ahead to see if there are possible gaps in the brush they may walk in to. If you are with a predator, there might be an impala ahead allowing you the opportunity to move in to position.

With a cheetah? Maybe there’s a fallen tree ahead that he might try and climb. If you are not ready you may miss the key moment entirely.

Be aware of what’s happening around you! A few seconds in wildlife photography means a world of difference.

You are the story teller.

At the end of the day, you are the one with camera in hand. The more thought you put in to what you capture, the more pleasing the results will be.

Till next time,


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About the Author

Marlon duToit

Passion, enthusiasm and an unquenchable thirst to explore and introduce you to our natural world’s wildlife perfectly sums up my ambitions. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. Through my African adventures I kept my photographic passion alive. Behind a camera aimed at a lion or a leopard is where I am most at home, my heart skipping a beat at the mere thought of it. My intention has never been solely for recognition but for the plight of what’s left of our natural recourses. Using my love and understanding of wildlife I am able to convey to the viewer more than an image or a fleeting moment. I aim to tell a story, to bring that moment alive to you and to capture your heart through it.

Comments 1

  1. Susanne Krüger

    Eish, Marlon…. how I long to be in the bush again. You really have a way with photos painting a thousand words. I love your work! 😀

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