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Bush Warriors Wildlife Photography Workshop: You Can Photograph Wildlife in the Rain!

Posted in Wildlife Photography Workshop with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2011 by photoafrica

Let me start off by wishing you all the very best for the New Year.  I hope that you had an amazing festive season with family and friends and that you are ready to get 2011 underway!

Rain.

Normally not something associated with wildlife photography, but—and this is one of my own photographic goals for 2011—breaking out of your comfort zone is one of the best ways to move your photography into a new direction.

During the last few weeks, the Madikwe Game Reserve, where I am based, has been getting a huge amount of rain.  Instead of putting my camera gear away like I normally would do, I decided to go into the rain, clouds, and varying light conditions that can occur during an African rainstorm.  The results have been great, both from a image and mindset point of view.

It is so easy to get caught up in a rut and keep on photographing the same image over and over again, whether you realize it or not.  You have to make a choice to try something different and you have to not worry about the results.  Sounds strange right?  Not worry about the results?

It is when you head out into the wild, with no preconceived ideas of what you want shoot, that you will be free to shoot what catches your eye.  You can shoot what excites you!

Here are a few of the images I was able to shoot during the last few weeks.  I did not plan any of these shots.  I simply went out there, whether rain or shine, and photographed scenes that excited me.

Image © Gerry van der Walt

This young lion was very annoyed with all the rain and kept on shaking the water off him.  Seeing the pattern, we got ready, composed our images and waited.  As the youngster started shaking the shutters clicked like crazy.  The result?  An awesome action shot that I could never have planned for.

Image © Gerry van der Walt

Yeah, it’s a wildebeest.  When you go out into the wild you tend to see a lot of them.  The difference on this particular morning was the light.  The morning started off very overcast and dull, but as we sat watching some general game on an open plain, the clouds opened up for a few minutes.  They opened up just long enough for me to fire a few frames and this was the resulting image.   Plain and simple image of a very often overlooked subject but it’s all about the light.  Cloudy days can make for the most amazing wildlife photography.

Image © Gerry van der Walt

A vulture in a dead tree must be one of the most often shot silhouettes in the wild.  Is that a reason not to click the shutter again?  Absolutely not.   The dark clouds in the background made for a nice sombre atmosphere, to mimic the mood set by my subject.  Sometimes plain and simple is still great!

Image © Gerry van der Walt

Under normal circumstances I would never have even attempted to photograph this scene.  It was very far away and there was no major composition to speak of, but the weather changed everything.  We were sitting on a dam wall and the heavens opened up.  The rain came down so hard that we could barely even see the giraffes in the distance.  I pushed up the ISO to 3200 and used a beanbag to keep my camera still.  Click.  Success!  Normally, I would not even have thought about photographing this scene, but I’m glad I did.

After all of that I suppose you get the idea, but just in case, here are a few lessons that I took from my last few weeks and that could help to break you out of a photographic rut.

Don’t go out there with too many preconceived ideas.  Let your eyes guide you.
Don’t pack your camera gear away when the clouds start building.  There are a lot of ways you can keep your gear dry and still get the shots.
Don’t worry about the results.  Just go out there and enjoy yourself!
Don’t look at everything through your camera’s viewfinder.  Put the camera down every now and then, look at the scenes and subjects around you, and then shoot what excites you!

As this year get going, think of ways in which you can change the way you photograph nature and wildlife.  Ways you can improve your images.  Ways in which you can find new inspiration for photography!

I wish you a year of great sightings, awesome light and many shared moments online.  Don’t forget to submit them to the Bush Warriors Photo of the Day Contest!  If you have any questions or comments that you would like to share please feel free to either leave a comment or contact me directly.

Until next week!

Gerry van der Walt

Gerry van der Walt

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Happy Birthday Bush Warriors!

Posted in About, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2010 by Dori G

Note: Please play this MUST SEE video and enjoy.  This is what is at stake!

 

 

A year ago on November 13th, Bush Warriors was first launched into to the world.  This was my attempt to put the truth out there of what is really going on with our world’s wildlife.  Everyone loves nature and wildlife.  We all love lions, tigers, bears and dolphins.  We even love sharks, though we were taught to be afraid of them.  Wildlife and nature is gaining more popularity than ever, everywhere you look “a green lifestyle” is the new trend.  ‘Organic’ and ‘nature’ are buzz words surrounding corporate board rooms, the way we live,  and the food we eat.  It’s all about ‘going back to nature’.

The sad and unfortunate reality is that we are just about as far from nature as we can get.  In fact, we, as humans, are getting further from it by the minute.  Despite the growing popularity of the ‘green revolution’, species continue to be lost at unprecedented rates.  The fight to save species is not small or easy.  Many challenges block the path to success, including corruption, economics (both poverty and wealth), overconsumption of our natural resources, consumerist demand, and societal values.

Photo by Takeshi Igarashi

We live in a world where biodiversity is given due attention only when it is deemed profitable or there is some underlying financial interest in saving it.  Some even say, “What is the point in spending well needed funds on animals we know will be extinct from their natural habitat in a generation or two?”

If we truly open our eyes to see what has happened to the world around us, we will not be able to live with ourselves and the destruction of our planet that we cause on a daily basis.  Plastic bags that help us carry food from stores are killing our sea turtles, as they  are being mistaken for jellyfish.  Palm oil, as harmless as it sounds, is a real killer to many of our earth’s forests and all that inhabit them.  Yet it is widely used to give our foods a longer shelf life, so that we may enjoy our microwave popcorn.  The cost of palm oil is not just the cost of cheap, processed foods.  It is also costing us majestic creatures, like orangutans.  Valuable components of an ecosystem that also display many similar emotional and social behavior as us humans.  Now they slip into the brink of extinction and are being used, abused and slaughtered, while their natural habitat is replaced by palm oil plantations.

Rhinos and elephants, animal icons that we love so much, are systematically being murdered for their horns and tusks. In fact is its estimated that 102 elephants are being killed a day. That is almost a kilometer (over half a mile) of dead elephants on a daily basis.

Photo Credit: Michael Nicols

Since 1997, 353 new species have been discovered in the Himalayas, 1,220 in the Amazon and 1,231 in the Mekong region.  Our world has such a rich biodiversity,  and yet, with all of our knowledge and growing understanding of how fragile our ecosystems are, we are losing species before they are even discovered.

We citizens of the world must unite in a unified global voice saying, “Enough is enough.”  We must put a stop to the war taking place on our wildlife and natural world.  If we don’t, it will be lost for good and we will also lose ourselves in the process.

We need your help is educating and spreading the word. Please join our growing Bush Warriors global tribe in spreading the message.  We have created the Bush Warriors Ambassadors program that gives you tools for five second online advocacy.  All you need to do is paste our blurbs and links on your Facebook, Myspace, email, or any other social platform, and you are done. By doing this you have become an ambassador for change.

We have already grown so much in our first year, and plan to push harder and reach more people in our coming years.  Join us in our efforts and step up to be a voice for wildlife today!

Asante Sana

Dori & The Bush Warriors Clan