This hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius – Shona: Mvuu; Ndebele: Mvubu) was resident in a close-by, dried out, pan where it normally spends the day wallowing in a small patch of mud and water. It was found browsing in the nearby shade of some mopani trees, shortly before the first rains arrived, in October, and the pan had all but dried up. It is a little unusual to have so close an encounter with a hippopotamus when it is out of water. The general propensity by hippo is to rush for the water when disturbed by humans. In this case there was no water.
(Canon 7D; f/6,3; 1/160sec; ISO-200; 250mm)
Picture ©2011 Andrew Field – Simply Wild Photography
Digital Wildlife Photographic Tips
Always attempt to get exposure right in the field, rather than back in the studio. Under-exposed images result in poor contrast and it is difficult to get good colour saturation from dark areas. There is more digital noise in these dark areas. Over exposure results in the loss of data in the blown-out areas of the shot that cannot be recovered no matter how good post field processing is. The safe bet is to us the correct in-camera exposure, but cameras can be fooled. Try exposure bracketing through a half to one f.stop range either side of the median. That means a shot below median, another at the median and the other above… and most DSLR cameras allow automatic bracketing.