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Found 84 results

  1. On the 3rd year of participating at Big Year, we will explore bird life on 3 different continents. We hope that birds will be cooperative, and that we all will enjoy in future days, weeks and months. We have started on day 1 of New Year 2018, in southern part of South Africa; Hermanus, De Hoop, Wilderness, Karoo NP, Montague, Franschhoek and Cape Town were our main stops. I will post birds in the alphabetical order of their English names. BY001 / SA001 Acacia Pied Barbet - Tricholaema leucomelas Karoo NP / 05.01.2018 juvenile Karoo NP / 06.01.2018
  2. I started a new topic for this only because it's not "my" shot, but it's one that blew me away when I saw it and I just had to share it here. A few years back I met two photographers at Porini camps. The two of them spent some time with me teaching me some basics (for them, for me it was huge!) on my new bridge camera. I've since followed them both online and continue to be incredibly impressed by their work (and insanely jealous of the number of wildlife trips they go on!) This shot, by Arnfinn, is an amazing cheetah/impala chase sequence he calls "Hunted". His story behind it is on his website. This impala did ultimately meet its end but only after being caught and released 27 times! An even more interesting number is that the entire sequence took 1400+ shots! The other photographer I follow is "LeftJohn" on Instagram. He's just gotten back from Antarctica where he shot some incredible penguin photos, and before that was far east Siberia for brown bears, with the occasional trip back to Africa thrown in. He's well worth following if you like wildlife photography. Any other wildlife photographers worth following online? This is how I live vicariously when I'm stuck here at home!
  3. Please include species, when and where taken, tech specs and any other pertinent info about the sighting. Thanks, Matt.
  4. Please include where and when taken, tech specs and any other pertinent details about the sighting. Thanks, Matt.
  5. I have just seen the first great spotted woodpecker of the year in my garden and I got to thinking what kind of a year 2018 will be. I see that many Safaritalkers have not only started their big years, but are racing away already. I think that 2018 will be less big for me, after 4 years of year on year growth, particularly the 105 extra I got last year. This is because both of my safaris this year will be self-guided in South Africa (Kruger and Kgalagadi), so we are more restricted in the range available. We will also not visit our friends' country place, which has been good for birds not seen in the Kruger in the past. However, we are visiting Cape Town for the first time in years, so it will open up a few more of their birds. There is also a week in California, so you never know.... The big year will start in earnest next weekend with @Peter Connan in Marievale, so at least we should have some quality shots to begin.....
  6. Including when and where taken, tech specs and any other pertinent details about the sighting. Thanks, Matt.
  7. With the increasing popularity of this topic and the "beginners luck" that all of the new 2016 participants have had, I thought I should be the first to start this year, in the hope that it increases my total. Here are a couple before we leave for the Kruger next week, where hopefully we should get at least 100 (???!!??) Following on from the suggestion from @@JohnR in http://safaritalk.net/topic/16171-tdgraves-big-year-2016/page-21 I took out the "optimum" combination of Canon 7D mark ii, 100-400 mark ii and 1.4x extender mark iii a couple of days ago when the sun was out. There weren't that many birds around, but he was right, this combination is much better than even then new lens on the 5D mark iii So here are my first couple of birds of 2017
  8. I've noticed there hasn't been much love for marine life yet on these forums so I've created a thread for these beautiful creatures. If you have photos please post them, I would love to see them!! I'll start with dolphins I had the pleasure of swimming with these guys in South Australia. Wasn't so lucky the first time because they swam away, but on the second attempt we got a few curious fellas come over to check us out
  9. Please include species details, when and where taken, tech specs and any other pertinent details about the sighting. Thanks. Matt.
  10. My OH has been shortlisted for the third consecutive year in this competiton (DSLR fauna). I have never been shortlisted. What am I doing wrong???!! https://www.sanparks.org/about/photo_competition/voting/default.php I actually take a lot of credit for this shot. I was driving and couldn't get an angle from my side of the car and so I positioned it for him. I saw the second kite appear and told him when to press the shutter. It was his first photo of our 2016 KTP trip! It is the first photo in my TR (can't seem to work out how to put photos in from gallery directly on the iPad) http://safaritalk.net/topic/16868-kgalagadi-september-2016-raptor-kills-and-roadside-rescue/
  11. I want to open with a 'thank you' to my friends on SafariTalk as your input significantly influenced my trip plans (in a good way) My first trip to Africa was a self-drive trip to Chobe National Park, Botswana in the early 2000’s. I went in with a group of acquaintances from South Africa. On the nights before, I had a lot of discussions about what I would see. Chobe was said to be one of the greatest destination in Africa to see abundant wildlife. That sounded great, but often I would hear ‘the only place where you will see more wildlife is Etosha!”. That trip to Chobe was all I had dreamed it would be and more. Africa was in my blood and I’ve been into the bush more than two dozen times since then; however, I never got to Etosha … and I continued to hear about how great it could be. Today, I lead small groups to Africa locations like Chobe, Timbavati, Sabi Sands, Hwange, Zimanga and Madikwe. I only take folks to places I’ve visited first hand so I really can share with them what to expect. I’m hoping to lead a group to Namibia, including Etosha in 2017, so I decided it was time for a scouting trip. In addition to Etosha, I wanted to check out a few other regions in northern Namibia. In particular, I’ve had great interest from travelers in getting a chance to visit villages, meet indigenous peoples and have a more cultural experience. Since I would be ‘moving quickly’ to check out several locations, I decided to make this a self-drive trip. To share the experience and to have a little ‘back-up’ for the trip, I enlisted 3 friends to go along. We took two vehicles, that way one person could sit up front and shoot left or right and one person could sit in the back and shoot left or right without interference. In addition, the second vehicle would provide a little safety insurance in case of vehicle troubles since we were going rather remote. Just a little more background and I promise to get on with the primary story and some photographs. For my 2017 Namibia trip, we will be with a larger group of photographers via train visiting the Quiver Tree forest for night photography, Kolmanskop for some ghost town taken over by desert shots, Sossusvlei and Deadvlei for the classic sand dune shots. Considering the size of Namibia and the travel times, I am concerned that following the first portion of the trip, travelers will not want to go too far before a stop and to see some wildlife. Basically, I wanted to find one high quality stop between Windhoek and Etosha. The two best options seemed to be Africats (Okinjima) or Erindi. AfriCats is a non-for-profit organization that rehabilitates cheetahs, wild dogs and hyenas. While I have heard good things, that sounded a bit zoo-like. In my research on Erindi, it sounded a bit like a variant of the private reserves around the Kruger. Write-ups noted that Erindi is known for big cat sightings and has both self-drive regions and also off road tracking. In addition, they have a few animals I know I won’t be seeing elsewhere in northern Namibia such as crocodiles, hippopotamus and wild dog. While I’ve seen these many times, some of my 2017 travelers will be taking their first and possibly only trip to Africa so these are a nice add. I finalized upon an itinerary as follows: · Day 1 - Arrival night in Windhoek with overnight at a Guest House · Day 2 - Drive to Erindi in the mornig, afternoon game drive and overnight. · Day 3 - Morning game drive at Erindi, mid-day drive to Etosha, afternoon drive to Etosha, stay first night at Halali. · Day 4 - Morning and afternoon game drives and 2nd night at Halali · Day 5 & 6 – On the 3rd and 4th nights in Etosha at Okaukuejo Lodge. · Day 7 - Etosha game drive to the western gate (Galton Gate) then proceed to Grootberg Lodge for overnight stay. · Day 8 & 9 - From Grootberg, head north to Khowarib Lodge, just south of Sesfontein for two nights. On one day I wanted to visit a Himba settlement and on another full day I wanted to look for desert elephants along the Hoanib River. · Day 10 - On the last morning, we would drive back south to Otjiwarongo for a night · Day 11 - The next morning, drive to Windhoek to fly out that afternoon to Jo’berg and back to the States That’s a pretty grueling week and a half with 2000 miles of driving including 1500 miles of driving on gravel and dirt. I would never do that schedule with a tour group, but this was a scouting trip and I was taking along some seasoned travelers/photographers. Now, let the story begin! Okay, I have to throw in at least one photo to start things off.
  12. Wildlife photographer and safari guide Andy Biggs has been posting some short videos on safari photography on his Facebook page--shot while he's driving around the Masai Mara on one of his tours. They are pretty basic, but there are some interesting observations and tips. There are five of them so far and he seems to post at least one a day. They are also available on Vimeo. Photography Creativity and Safari Thoughts: https://vimeo.com/user517761/videos
  13. Hello Everyone, I have been a silent member of ST for a long time now. I have not posted any trip report (I started one and never finished it) till now, out of pure lethargy and nothing else, all the time enjoying reading other's! Thanks to some encouragement from Sangeeta, I am posting some of my images taken on a trip to Mana Pools in July 2016. This was a photography trip arranged by Wild-Eye South Africa, hosted by Morkel Erasmus, a great photographer from South Africa. The agenda for this trip was chasing the heavenly mana light, rather than chasing sightings (although we did chase a few sightings, albeit unsuccessfully). As a result you will find images of common subjects, presented in entirely different light (pun intended) :-). Morkel was a superb host and teacher and we had a small (just 3 guests) but lively group. I don't think I have laughed and enjoyed so much on any other safari that I have ever been. We stayed at a camp hosted by Tess Arkwright and Dave (they have a small operation called Mwinilunga Safaris), a great couple. We were guided by Kevin Lou, a Zim pro guide who was absolutely fun to be with and we always felt very safe with him. After that preamble, here are a few images. Can anyone help in putting images from my album (already uploaded on ST) here?
  14. I've about finished editing a few hundred images from my 15 days in the Kalahari and will shortly begin my trip report. Meanwhile, this video is a short 'tease' of the trip. https://youtu.be/6FfiXWzteEY I hope you enjoy this 3 minute overview. I promise to begin the tale shortly.
  15. Please include when and where taken, tech specs and any other pertinent details. Thanks, Matt.
  16. Please include when and where taken, tech specs and any other pertinent details about the sighting. Thanks, Matt.
  17. Find out more here. Might be a useful reference for anyone visiting - @Peter Connan when are you next going and will any STer's be with you? Matt
  18. Please include species details, when and where taken, tech specs and any other pertinent details about the sighting. Thanks, Matt.
  19. Okay, who will get the ball rolling on this one? No links to Timon and Pumba please
  20. I recently took a trip to Spain along with a birding friend of mine. I don't think Safaritalk is probably the right place to post the report but I do know a lot of members are in fact birders. If you want to read my report it's available on my blog site. You can share the "Trials and tribulations of a wannabe wildlife photographer" here:- http://davewilliamsnaturephotography.blogspot.co.uk and there certainly were quite a few!! Hope you enjoy the read and it gives some insights and ideas for the future. cheers Dave
  21. Including when and where taken, tech specs and any other pertinent details from the sighting. Thanks, Matt.
  22. Include when and where seen, tech specs and any other pertinent details about the sighting. Thanks, Matt.
  23. I'm off to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier soon. I plan to take a full frame camera (Canon 1Dx) and also a 1.6x crop sensor (Canon 7D mkII). For lens choices, I plan to use the Canon 100-400mm and I will also take along the 1.4x teleconverter. I will have some wider lenses, but bottom line, I will be able to shoot as as long at 560mm equivalent (with 100-400) a much longer limit of 784 with the 7D mkII combined with the 400mm and teleconverter. That sounds like a lot but it will be at a maximum of f/8 with a sensor that doesn't allow a real high ISO. When the light is low, I will most likely only have 540mm allowed by the 1Dx and 1.4x teleconverter which will still be at f/8 but allows a slightly higher ISO. My question: is this really enough? Do I need to shoot at least 600mm to get truly great Kgalagadi images?
  24. Hi Safaritalkers I thought I would open up this question. I have a pretty good idea what works for me, but it is always interesting to get other views and learn something new. My gear as a background for my thoughts. I use pro body Nikon cameras, now I only have Nikon D4 (x2), but a D500 will join my bag in the future. I have owned and experienced some Nikon bodys (D90, D300, D7000, D3, D800) now sold for different reasons. I have a Ricoh GR (compact with APS-C sensor and 28 mm lens) for snapshots. I have a almost full set up of lenses (50 mm f/1,4 24-70 f/2,8, 70-200 f/2,8, 300mm f/4 PF, 200 mm Micro AF, 600 mm f/4 and TC-1,4 and 2,0). Only lens i´m considering buying in the future is 14-24 f/2,8. Anyway, Auto focus: I always work with "backfocus", AF on the thumb button (AF-ON) and not on the shutter. I move around a lot which focus point it is measuring from according to composition. I always use continous focus. I almost always use one (singel) focus point. Sometimes I try different focus setting with more helping/active focus points like d21. But to often focus is lost on some pictures because of grass. Only when I photo birds in flight (BIF) I go for all focus points (d51). Obviously landscape I would do with single point AF. Something I have not experimented with is focus following setting (I use normal - "3"). It would be very interesting with comments and experiences of this. Mode: I always use manual. And almost always with auto-iso with a maximum setting of 12800 iso. When really dark or when auto iso goes over 6400 I often go to manual iso settings. Obviously shutter times and aperture is on back and front wheel. I always have them preset according to what I expect might happen, but is quick to change when it is action. Exposure: I use full area exposure measure. I have point measure on the pv button and use it sometimes. But I use exposure compensation all the time. FN button: On the fn-button I can change to different crop modes, but I never use this. I crop al lot in post. VR: I use it with care. If possible I turn it of. So basically I use it if I have to go to 1/2 of shutter times / lens length. I almost always use a beanbag (when in a car), which helps stability a lot. I do prioritize short enough shutter time before low iso. Be aware that if you have VR on and put the camera on a hard surface (car frame) then the movements of the VR will make the pictures blurred. Handhold it or use a beanbag. Tripod setting for tripods. Lens changing: I try to avoid it. On big reasons for 2 or 3 cameras. But I also do sensor cleaning my self, and normal do that a couple of time on a safari trip. I check for dust spots (zoom in on bright pictures) several times daily. Flash: I don´t use flash on wildlife or birds. Shooting people i sometimes use it, but I don´t even bring a flash on safari. Decision making: 1) Settings like shutter times and aperture according to what I expect. Focus point center, because of speed and availability to crop in post if necessary. 2) I always work to find what I am looking for. Which means I look for good light, good angles and good background. I choose what place/habitat I am in according to this more than chance of finding an animal. Often if I have a good spot and know animals is/might be around I sit and wait for them to come to me and the good photographic spot. 3) Shot away if something interesting pops-up. Hope for the best. 4) If subject is around for more than a sec, I start thinking of optimizing that picture: I change focus point to make a better composition in frame. I change aperture and shutter time, dependent of action of subject, size of subject (depth of field, DOF) and background. I change exposure compensation. I use 10 frames/s and usually take a few bursts. Even with many exposure there is almost always one or a few that is better than other because of the subjects facial expression, eyes etc. 5) Change camera with different lens, to have another perspective. I more and more work to include more habitat, which means shorter lenses. 6) Start changing my position to get better or new angles, backgrounds etc. 7) I sometimes take several pictures in a panoramic fashion with intention to stich them in post. 8) I sometimes use bracketing on landscape photography, like 5 exposures with 0,7 exp steps. I think that is it. Developing in post is a much larger knowledge area. Obviously it reflects on how you take a picture, but that could not be covered here. Once again, I guess my only active question is about the focus following setting. But i´m interested in any reflection and discussion on this topic.
  25. As a "veteran" of the big year, I am embarrassed that so many new faces are getting involved in this and I am yet to post a single photo. And it's April! We did have a lot of photos to process from our recent Kruger trip, so I'm using that as an excuse and I'm sticking to it! I like @@Peter Connan 's idea of numbering them, which should make it easier to come to a total, although the mysterious prize promised by @@Game Warden has never been awarded, AFAIK....... So I will start with the new species that we managed to spot in the Kruger National Park and go from there. P.S. please forgive me for any misidentifications, it is bound to happen again sooner or later

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