Archive for Bush Warriors Photo of the Day

Bush Warriors Wildlife Photography Workshop: Hope for the Future!

Posted in Wildlife Photography Workshop with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2010 by photoafrica

Only two weeks left in 2010!  It really is amazing how quickly time goes by.

With this, the last photography post for the year, I wanted to look back at the past year and also start looking ahead to 2011.  This year saw the Bush Warriors Photo of the Day grow in leaps and bounds and it has been amazing to follow along and see all the images that people have uploaded.

Image © Gerry van der Walt

Apart from the obvious visual beauty of the wildlife and nature image there is a larger issue that we need to be aware of and, if at all possible, hold on to and grow even more in future.

Every time anybody shares an image of animals in the wild they are creating an awareness.

Every time anybody shares an image of a natural landscape they are showcasing the beauty of our natural world.

Image © Gerry van der Walt

The reality is, and this is looking past the atrocious rhino massacre we have seen during the last year, that the animals and places we photograph and share might not be there for ever.  Human greed is unfortunately destroying our natural heritage and, if we do not do anything about it, the only thing we will have left one day are the images of a lost world.  A place we used to visit.

Now, go and take a look at some of the images that have been uploaded to the Bush Warriors Photo of the Day contest.  These images show the natural world we all love.  It shows that there are many, many people out there that care enough about nature that they create images of its subjects and landscapes.  These images, and all the other ones we share in books, magazines, and on the internet will stand the test of time!

Image © Gerry van der Walt

So, looking back at 2010 I would like to applaud all of you who have taken the time to not only photograph nature but, and this is almost more important, share those images.  After all, why create photographs if you are not going to share them with people.  Whether you intend it or not, you are helping to create a visual celebration of the fragile beauty that is nature.

Since we are almost at the end of the year, and most of you are on holiday, here is a list of wildlife photographers who share their work on a regular basis and serve as amazing ambassadors for wildlife photography.  Check out their work for inspiration or just to marvel at the beauty of nature!

Andy Biggs
David Lloyd
Etienne Oosthuizen
Grant Marcus
Greg du Toit
Morkel Erasmus
Shem Compion
Wynand van Wyk

Image © Gerry van der Walt

What does next year hold for wildlife photogrpahy?

Who knows. What we can be sure of that many people, like the photographers mentioned above, will keep on pushing the boundaries.  They will keep on producing images that inspire and make us all want to grab our cameras and head out into the wild places of the world.

Image © Gerry van der Walt

I also believe that photographic safaris will keep on growing in popularity.  These safaris give you the opportunity to, not only shoot alongside a professional wildlife photographer, but to go to the most amazing destinations, while being presented with the best photo opportunities anywhere.  To that end, next year will see a few interesting partnerships take place so make sure to watch this space!  What?  Did someone say Bush Warriors Photo Safaris?  Like I said, watch this space!

Image © Gerry van der Walt

On that note I am going to say goodbye and wish you all the very best for the holidays!

This festive season I wish you the tenderness of the past, courage for the present, and hope for the future!

See you all in 2011 and rememeber to keep those shutters clicking!

Gerry van der Walt

Click here to see ALL of our Bush Warriors Wildlife Photography Workshops!

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Photo of the Day

Posted in Photo of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2010 by Caroline Thompson

 

“Going in for the Kill”

Photo credit: Peter Thomas

  

This photo wonderfully conveys how handsome and powerful this bird of prey is.  With wings spread, the Lanner Falcon’s creamy-white throat and underside give excellent contrast to its dark striping.  This bird exhibits considerable variation throughout its range in body size, coloration and degree of spotting and barring.  These falcons typically hunt by horizontal pursuit and takes bird prey in flight. Their large tails provide a maneuverability that allows them to take a variety of small birds as prey.

There are five known subspecies of Lanner Falcon today, found across Africa, the Middle East, and central and eastern  areas of Mediterranean Europe.  While the species as a whole has been assessed as being ‘lower risk’ by the IUCN, the European subspecies (Falco biarmicus feldeggii)  is listed as ‘vulnerable’ in the European Red Book.  This subspecies underwent a significant decline between 1970 and 1990 and, today, likely fewer than 480 breeding pairs of remain.

While the species is common and widespread, with the exception in Europe, this falcon is often shot and unintentionally poisoned by tainted carcasses set out for predators thought to be preying on livestock.  Lanner Falcons’ eggs and chicks are sometimes illegally collected from the wild for falconry.  This raptor is also threatened by continued habitat loss and use of pesticides that are believed to alter their breeding success and  the availability of prey species.

 

Please click here to see ALL of our Photo of the Day winners and for more information on the Bush Warriors Photo of the Day Contest, including how to enter.  Enjoy the beauty of nature, just as it was intended to be!

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Photo of the Day

Posted in Photo of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2010 by Caroline Thompson

 

“Peace and Tranquility”

Photo credit: Fred von Winckelmann

 

Painted Dogs (also called African Wild Dogs) are the second rarest canid in Africa, after Ethiopian Wolves.  Fifty years ago, these beautiful predators could be found in 39 countries south of the Sahara desert. Today, they are found in only 19, and are considered ‘endangered‘ by the IUCN.  Their populations have suffered an extensive and rapid decline due mainly to habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as conflict with and persecution from humans.  For quite some time, many who share the land with these animals have viewed them as vicious, vile, livestock-killing mongrels.  As a result, many have been shot, trapped, and poisoned.  Zimbabwe-based NGO, Painted Dog Conservation, has made significant efforts to save this species from extinction and has been very successful in changing perceptions of these fascinating creatures.

Historically, packs of over 100 could be seen in the savannah, but the reduction in their range and numbers has resulted in smaller pack sizes averaging between five and twenty individuals.   African wild dogs differ from their canid relatives in that they have four toes on each of their front feet instead of five.  Their long legs and lanky body aid them in speed and endurance.  They have large round ears that help to keep them cool and provide excellent hearing. Their coat is adorned with splashes of black, white, and varying shades of brown, hence the name ‘Painted Dog’.  Each dog’s markings are unique, helping researchers differentiate between individuals.

 

Please click here to see ALL of our Photo of the Day winners and for more information on the Bush Warriors Photo of the Day Contest, including how to enter.  Enjoy the beauty of nature, just as it was intended to be!

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Photo of the Day

Posted in Photo of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2010 by Rashell Hallford

 

“Out of the Grass, Into the Stripes”

Photo credit: Shazaad Kasmani

 

While most know that zebras’ stripes serve as camouflage for protection from predators (when grouped together, their stripes make it hard for a predator to see just a single individual), there remains the conundrum of: Is it a black coat with white stripes, or a white coat with black stripes?  Zebras are usually perceived as having white coats with black stripes because the general observation is that the stripes end on their bellies and legs, with the rest of the body white.  If you take a look closer, zebras actually have black skin underneath their coats.  So what it really comes down to is: are you a “the coat is half black” or a “the coat is half white” person?

This unique coat has made the zebra a target of poachers for a very long time. This, in conjunction with habitat loss and competition with livestock for resources, have been major threats to zebras throughout Africa.  Particularly hard-hit, have been Grevy’s Zebras (listed as ‘endangered’) and Mountain Zebras (listed as ‘vulnerable’).  The Quagga was a subspecies of the Plains Zebra that was once found abundantly in South Africa’s Cape Province.  Unfortunately, overhunting drove the Quagga to extinction more than a century ago.  The last known true Quagga died in the Amsterdam Zoo in 1883.

 

Please click here to see ALL of our Photo of the Day winners and for more information on the Bush Warriors Photo of the Day Contest, including how to enter.  Enjoy the beauty of nature, just as it was intended to be!

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Photo of the Day

Posted in Photo of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2010 by Caroline Thompson

 

“After the Rains, There is Beauty”

Photo credit: Jill Vickerman

 

The Angulate Tortoise, like the one in Jill’s photo, is named after the black triangles on the marginal scutes. It is native to South Africa and can also be found in a small area inside Namibia.  Without proper permits, it is illegal to capture Angulate Tortoises in the wild to keep as pets in both South Africa and Namibia because all tortoises in both of these countries are protected species. While not endangered, the Angulate Tortoise could suffer future declines if populations and habitat are not closely monitored.

 Tortoises, especially those that are small and young, are often victims of the black market pet trade. Earlier this year, biologists and conservationists announced that Radiated Tortoises (similar to Angulates in that they also have beautiful markings on their shells) are being collected for use in the illegal pet trade to such an extreme that they are now dangerously close to extinction.  Yet, only a decade ago their populations were considered stable!  Certain pet expos are notorious for having exotic animals (especially tortoises) available for sale, regardless of their population status in the wild.

 

Please click here to see ALL of our Photo of the Day winners and for more information on the Bush Warriors Photo of the Day Contest, including how to enter.  Enjoy the beauty of nature, just as it was intended to be!

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Photo of the Day

Posted in Photo of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2010 by Caroline Thompson

 

“Zebralicious”

Photo credit: Nick Turner

 

Zebra foals are born with brown and white coloration, and develop the black and white coloring with age.  For the first few days of their life, the mother will keep her foal away from the rest of the herd, until it learns her smell and voice.  Zebra foals are able to run within an hour of birth!
These horse relatives might appear to have fat abdomens.  In truth, it is bloating caused by the bacteria in their gut, which helps them to digest food.  Fat is stored in the animals neck, which enables scientists to determine the health of the zebra quickly.  Healthy animals will have a thick layer of fat around the neck, causing their mane of hair to stand upright.

 

Please click here to see ALL of our Photo of the Day winners and for more information on the Bush Warriors Photo of the Day Contest, including how to enter.  Enjoy the beauty of nature, just as it was intended to be!

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