Monday, July 28, 2014

Cape Buffalo

We were just as surprised as this bull cape buffalo when we rounded a bend in the trail while riding in the safari truck one morning.  He had been eating (note the grass in his mouth) and raised his head to stare, presumably pondering whether to run away or charge.  It was early morning with not much light and we weren't yet prepared to take any photos.  The ISO was dialed up and we got a couple of frames before quickly moving on.  The buffalo turned and ran away at the same time.  It's a memorable shot because we were very close to this wary and ornery animal.
100-400 lens at 285mm, 1/200 second at f/5.6, ISO 6400, handheld with image stabilization.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Show Jumping

This is one of our favorites of a horse and rider jumping a fence during a recent horse show because it shows peak action.  The horse is at its highest point in the air with both front legs even with each other.  The back feet are off the ground and the ears are forward and alert.
Most of the time we shoot in the horizontal orientation.  It's more natural and there is more room for framing error when following fast action like this.  But the vertical orientation works nicely when tightly framed.  The slope of the horse's back and rear legs gives a nice diagonal element to the composition.  We certainly don't claim to nail the timing and the framing perfectly every time.  The success rate is lower than we would like but a lot of practice helps immensely.
100-400 lens at 150mm, 1/1600 second at f/5.6, ISO 400.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Impalas at a Waterhole

This photograph of impalas is one of our favorites from the recent trip to South Africa.  We were concealed at a waterhole and were able to watch as this group of antelope came in to drink.  The shoreline was devoid of brush so we had a clear view when the animals came to the edge.  The sunlight was strong but the late afternoon sun was low enough to make the image attractive.  The ram on the right side is a nice specimen and is focused on something in the distance.
100-400 lens at 400mm, 1/1250 at f/5.6, ISO 250.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cape Buffalo in Fog

We recently returned from South Africa where we were hunting Cape Buffalo in an area near Kruger National Park.  This bull was spotted during the morning fog along with several others.  It wasn't fully mature but it gave us one of the few opportunities to get photographs.  The buffalo were very hard to find and very skittish when we did find them.  This photo was taken from the back of a safari truck.  100-400 lens at 400mm, 1/1250 at f/5.6, ISO 800.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Semi-auto Pistol in Full Recoil

Here is a close-up image of a 1911, semi-automatic .45 caliber pistol in full recoil.  The photo was not planned by me so I was excited to get this action.  The GoPro camera was mounted on the shooter's head and was recording the action.  I shot a few frames with the still camera and this one was the coolest.  The empty cartridge case is in mid-air after being ejected and the next cartridge is visible through the ejection port.
200mm lens, f/5.0 at 1/1000, ISO 800.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Close Formation-Ducks in Flight

We like this photograph of two drake mallard ducks flying in close formation with their wings set.  This is a little different than what we usually get when the ducks are dropping in to land in the local creek.  This pair was low and locked up as if they would drop in but instead they kept going to make another circle around the area.  Speed was very fast.
The wings on the left duck are almost straight and make a strong diagonal line that contributes to a dynamic composition.  Indeed, the two ducks are flying so close to each other that together they form a nice diagonal.
100-400 lens at 400mm, 1/1600 at f/5.6, ISO 640.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Wings Set and Feet Down

This is another favorite photograph of a duck in flight with his wings set and his feet down as he glides to a landing.  The drake mallard was coming in hot and has deployed his feet as air brakes to slow the descent.  I was positioned next to a creek and a lot of ducks were coming in and flying back out during their spring courtship flights.
100-400 lens at 400mm, 1/1600 second at f/5.6, ISO 320.