tomstables
tomstables

Head Shot



An unfortunate portrait of a Buffalo featuring a pesky Cattle Egret.

An unfortunate portrait of a Buffalo featuring a pesky Cattle Egret.
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2 Comments | Report
000gone
 
000gone September 05, 2016
I have had days like this.
IMIKEMEDIA PRO+
 
IMIKEMEDIA December 17, 2018
Ha!

Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken in Meru National Park, Kenya.
Time
I remember taking this photo just after midday after five unsuccessful hours of tracking a pride of lions we had heard the previous night. Despite the slightly frustrating morning, this hilarious scene instantly changed the mood and had the whole team in stiches. Whilst sunrise and dusk are usually the best opportunities to take photos – the timing of this photo is a reminder to always have your camera ready whatever time of day it is.
Lighting
I wanted this image to be crystal clear in order to try do justice to how funny the scene was. It was a case of manoeuvring the vehicle to a certain point and then getting out (safely) and moving to a tree to ensure the sun was fully behind me.
Equipment
This was shot on a Nikon D7100 with a Sigma 150-600m lens. Was shooting in a vehicle, using a beanbag instead of a tripod.
Inspiration
Simply the pure comedy of the scene we encountered! There are so many incredible wildlife pictures out there and it’s genuinely a real challenge to take something that stands out. As soon as I saw the Cattle Egret poised on the Buffalo’s head I knew the composition lent itself for a good photo. However, when the Cattle Egret did a poo with the buffalo looking straight at me - I knew I had something special. That’s why I love photographing African wildlife because it never ceases to keep surprising you.
Editing
I made some minor adjustments on lightroom, but from the beginning I wanted to keep the image as natural as possible. I think that way it doesn’t distract the viewer from comedy of the ‘Head Shot’.
In my camera bag
The first thing I’ll have with me is my Sigma C 150-600mm lens. It’s an absolute beauty and in my opinion is the most affordable quality telephoto lens money can buy. I also have a second hand Nikon 70-300m lens and a wide angled Nikon 15-55mm. I recently upgraded to a Nikon D7100 and it is simply awesome. Combined with some Nikon binoculars, I like to think my equipment bag is versatile enough for anything I encounter.
Feedback
As anybody will tell you, one of key requirements for a wildlife photographer is patience. Prior to taking this image I had spent 5 hours in the bush without taking a single image. But sometimes that’s just that way it goes - don’t lose faith and never put your equipment away until you’re literally back at your door. Also I am constantly looking at other wildlife photographers work. Not only is it a valuable reference point for what a good image looks like, but it is also a useful indicator for what has been ‘done’ before. Doing this enables you to realise what might stand out from the thousands of other photos out there and make more of an impression on your audience. In this case I knew this scene was unique and the resulting photo would be special.

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