21 Apr 2011

Ready To Die? Risks In Wildlife Photography

How much risks should we as wildlife photographers take to obtain an image? I have had my share of critical and sometimes dangerous moments in my career. Looking back at some of those instances I realize that in the heat of the moment the passion and eagerness to get a great picture overcame any fear or caution I should have had. Observing wildlife for long periods I do have a good sense and may read their behaviour better than an average person, but ultimately wild animals are unpredictable. No wildlife image is worth loosing your life, better to count to ten and think again before you expose yourself to harms way.

This image with an eye to eye low level view with a young lion I took in Botswana's Savuti Marsh, a part of Chobe Nationalpark. A pride of about twelve lions where lounging on one side of a small waterhole. I knew they had been feasting on an elephant carcass not far off and choose to take the risk of getting out of my Landcruiser. I crawled under my vehicle and rested my 300mm on a small bean bag. The lions, especially the young ones, took an immediate interest in me and watched me intensely no more than six meters away. I must have not breathed the whole time and my heart was knocking like mad. I got some great shots and made it back into the safety of my car without incident.

Tell me about your risky moments.

Lion At Waterhole, Savuti Marsh, Botswana

1 comment:

  1. "Tell me about your risky moments"

    How about being chased by the elephant after a quiet "photo session" on the very first walk in the bush on Zimbabwe camping trip. As the race for life was being lost Liman, our local guide, stopped running, turned around and went at the beast yelling at him. The elephant stopped and and eventually turned away. Lucky for us we did not have to carry any bodies back to the land rover...that we had no idea where to find.

    Nevertheless I have got the shot. It is hanging in my grandson's room who loves the story.

    Still cannot forgive myself for not stopping to take a picture of raging ball.