The little things are often not seen or are overlooked in the wild, but a tortoise sighting always arouses interest. This Leopard tortoise (Stigmochelys pardalis) was walking next to the road side when spotted from a vehicle. Tortoises are reptilian and herbivorous (although they are known to chew hyena dung for calcium). Their natural defence against predators (jackels, hornbills and even leopards) is to retract their head and legs into their shells, although this proves in-effective to young tortoises, which are often victim to predators. It is said that egg incubation heat has some bearing on the sex of this reptile; the cooler periods of incubation during the cold months produce more males.
(Canon 7D; f/2.8; 1/1000sec; ISO-500; 110mm)
Picture ©2013 Andrew Field – Simply Wild Photography
Digital Wildlife Photographic Tips
Check your lens settings carefully before shooting your subject. No matter how familiar you may be with a lens, there is going to be the odd occasion when the settings are just not correct. Primarily a focus limiter on some lens often destroys an otherwise good image. Some lens have two focusing ranges (Canon 100-400mm IS has 1.8m – ∞; and 6m – ∞ settings) and often if you are shooting in the wrong range, especially closer work, then the lens may not focus or, as it does with the Canon, lock up the shutter until focus is achieved. Once adjusted, the opportunity may have gone!