Calm Before the Storm

After all these posts in the landscape category I think it's about time for a little change. It's not all about mountains, streams and coastlines - so here we go: here's a wildlife image from just little over a year ago.

Yes, landscape photography is my big passion but there's other styles of photography that hold my interest as well. Photographing wildlife for example had been on my to-do list for a while. It was a no brainer for me that a six week visit to southern africa (including four major game viewing parks) meant that I had to get me some extra equipment and give it a go...

During the first two weeks I had to learn that I was facing a whole new set of challenges. Moving subjects and long lenses were calling for fast reactions and a steady hand. It took me a while to adapt to this situation, but after a hundreds of blurred shots with a few odd sharp ones I finally managed to reach a reasonable keeper rate - just in time for Etosha National Park.

Lions resting in Etosha National Park
Calm Before the Storm © Joerg Bonner

It was the end of the dry season and the first rain was long overdue. Dozens of game species had gathered on the western end of the Etosha Pan seemingly awaiting a storm to arrive. Hundreds of individuals were scattered around the Okondeka waterhole. The variety of present species was amazing: giraffes, ostriches, gemsboks, jackals, zebras, springboks, wildebeests and right in the middle a small group of lions. Wind was getting up, blowing around dust which created a hazy atmosphere and the dark clouds in the background added to a somewhat apocalyptical mood.

We sat in our car watching for hours. Smaller packs of game were moving around, constantly keeping an eye on the predators amongst them and as the animals were waiting for the rain I was waiting for their perfect arrangement. And there it was: a group of gemsbok, springbok and zebras stopped right behind the resting lions, of which one of the males, as if he had been waiting for his cue, lifted his head and looked right into the lens.

Canon EOS 7D, Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM + Canon EF Extender 2.0 III @ 600mm
ISO 200, f/8, 1/500
Kinesis Beanbag

cropped to 2x1

Okondeka Waterhole, Etosha National Park, Namibia

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