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Flinforth Mar 15
Incredible shot!
 
Awesome shot
 
ambermundy Mar 19
Great shot
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marcbaechtold May 13
nice work! Some nice colors and good contrast, keep shooting!
 
Very good
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Mar, 2018
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The Stripes of Nature



Why would an animal have such bold colors that do not blend with the background? Apparently, the markers create an optical illusion when the animals move which confuses the predators of Africa. So if you want to be save in Africa, wear your Zebra onesie
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Won Amateur Winner Depth In Nature Photo ContestJune, 2018
Won Contest Finalist in Depth In Nature Photo ContestJune, 2018
Won Staff FavoriteMarch, 2018

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Behind The Lens

Location
In Khwai, Botswana. It is situated near Moremi Game Reserve. A true wildlife heaven! This area has plenty of water year round, which attracts huge populations of wildlife. In the background you can see the devastating effect elephants can have on the vegetation. Most of the trees in this area were dead, completely run over by our trunked friends. In my perception the chaotic criss-crossing of the dead trees emphasizes the beautiful ordered black and white stripes of the zebra's. This is why I love this picture so much!
Time
It was in the morning hours. We set of that morning to find a leopard, which we heard during the night. We drove in the direction where we thought we heard him last when we entered this field of dead trees. We were like: Wow! This area is so photogenic. We stayed for the remaining hours of the morning, and completely forgot about the leopard. Managed to find her in the evening though ;-)
Lighting
We were lucky enough that we could positioned ourselves in such a way that the morning sun only illuminated the left side of the dead trees which gave the trees the same light-dark contrast as the markings of the zebra's. The same effect is visible on the face of the left zebra.
Equipment
Just a Nikon D3300 body with a 18-300 mm Sigma lens. Ooww, and Sisi (our 98' Toyota Landcruiser Prado) drove us around
Inspiration
Zebra's are one my favorite animals to photograph. They always stand out in their surroundings, which is something unique in Africa. Why would you wear a black and white t-shirt in a vibrantly colored world when there are lions strolling around, right?! In my opinion this makes them gutsy, which I really like. In this area however, they could somewhat blend in if they would ever try.
Editing
Not so much. I Adjusted the saturation and contrast by detail level a bit in RawTherapee. My goal with post-processing was to make the zebra stand out against the background. If I could change anything I would probably increase the saturation a bit more to increase the warmth of the picture.
In my camera bag
My girlfriend and I traveled through Botswana, Zambia and Namibia for three months to find a location to start a project related to Nature Conservation and Development Aid. In between the "working" part of our trip we also visited some of the most amazing wilderness areas in southern Africa (Okavango, Chobe, Etosha, Kaokavelt, Kafue, etc). As this part of Africa is mostly a desert, it was a challenge to protect out camera as good as we could (fine dust is the worst). One of the measures we took was to buy a all-in-one lens (18mm for macro to 300mm for zoom) so that we didn't have to swap lenses all the time. This prevented fine dust to accumulate on the sensor of the camera. In addition, we always carry the usual lens and body cleaning kit. And that is it for most of the time. Sometimes we bring a MeFoto Roadtrip tripod if we want to shoot a prolonged exposure.
Feedback
This picture would have been a lot more dull if it was shot just after you ate your midday sandwich. The trees and the zebra's would be illuminated evenly, which would have taken away most of the contrasts. In my experience it is true that our best pictures were taken in the first and last hours of the day, when the sun is low. The beauty of enjoying nature very early in the morning is that it is often a lot more quiet in comparison with the late afternoon. Luckily I am a morning person =)

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