It’s not always about the “Big 5”, although these are the draw cards and the headliners – there is more to an ecosystem. Here at Sabi Sabi, we like to take our guests on a holistic journey, emerging our guests in the complexities within nature and pointing out and admiring the smaller things that are often taken for granted. This is an important lesson in photography too, always keep your camera ready.
I’ve called this image “Simplicity” as there is nothing complex about this image. All it took was two subjects that we see a lot of at this time of the year – the moon and a Fork-tailed Drongo. The sky in winter is generally clear, coupled with dust, gives the moon a beautiful colour especially just before full moon when you get the last of the sun’s rays still hitting the surface at twilight. Drongos are fairly common birds in these parts and I feel by using the imagination and two simple subjects, has created a beautiful scene and an image that takes you there.
- Camera – Nikon D4S
- Lens and Focal length – Nikkor 200-400mm f4 VRII @400mm
Settings used to capture this image
- ISO – 4000
- Aperture –f4
- Shutter – 1/1000
Editing used on this image
I used a slightly higher White Balance of 5000 than the original 4900, I just wanted to have a little warmer colour in the moon but still retaining the cool, dark blue of twilight. I also darkened the black slider to provide a punch in the silhouette of the branch and the Drongo.
I increased the clarity, vibrancy and saturation sliders, all adding a lot of definition in the silhouette and bringing out and enhancing the existing colours. The only thing left to do was to smooth out the image using the noise reduction slider which I pushed up to 67. Shooting handheld in fading light needed a higher ISO to get the speed needed for the clarity, but that came with the price of digital noise. The joys of the modern-day cameras and processing software, is that noise can be minimised.
I think that this image tells us not to put our equipment down when conditions are not ideal. In wildlife photography, it doesn’t even need to be a high-profile subject, let the scene dictate what you do and let your imagination run wild.
Pic of the week by Terry Ennever (Selati Camp Ranger)
African Safaris with “The Safari Legends”