Beak Licking


A little Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis) licking its lips after downing a minnow. This bird is a common resident of the pools at Mana. The Pied Kingfisher is not a migratory bird and is one of the more populous of the kingfisher family. It can be seen throughout the year and is a noisy bird, hard to miss.
Population Trend : Unclear;  Threat: Least ConcernSource IUCN
(Canon EOS 5D Mark III/ EF100-400 IS USM; 1/1500 sec; f/5.6; ISO 3200; 400mm)

Picture ©2016 Andrew Field – Simply Wild Photography

Digital Photography Terms
Tone is a term which indicates the darkness or lightness of an area of an image and the range between the two extremes giving rise to tonality or tonal range. A highly contrasted image is regarded as high contrast… the other end of the range, low contrast, which is synonymous with flatness. Tone can also be expressed in terms of temperature too, with blue tones denoting coldness and red the opposite.

“Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships! ”

– Ansel Adams



Tree Elephant

Elephant Tree_2016_10_10_2237

The texture on the rump of a bull elephant (Loxodonta africana) almost blends in with the tree trunk. That skin is very tough and about 2.5cm deep on the rump and back of the beast. Nevertheless, its skin is a very sensitive system and some say the elephant can detect small insects and the delicate probing, with their trunks, of others in the herd.
Population Trend : Increasing; Threat: VulnerableSource IUCN
(Canon EOS 5D Mk III/ EF100-400mm IS II USM; 1/250 sec; f/6.7; ISO 1600; 255mm)

Picture ©2016 Andrew Field – Simply Wild Photography

Digital Photography Terms
Center-weighted Mode is an automatic exposure estimate in which reflected light measured on or about the center of the viewing frame sets the general exposure of the image as a whole. Center metering is often a default setting on DSLR cameras, and especially point and shoot cameras.

“A photograph is not an accident, it is a concept. It exists at, or before, the moment of exposure of the negative”

– Ansel Adams

Defending his Range

Hostile_2015_08_22_9526This male lion (Panthera leo – Shona: shumba; Ndebele: isilwane) was a little more defensive than normal, having recently ventured into new hunting range, being the domain of other males in the area. The lions in Mana Pools exist within ranges of approximately 30-50km2. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, and he certainly was not taking any chances with photographers on the day, aggressively standing his ground and basically dominating the confrontation. Prudence dictated a tactical withdrawal despite being a ‘safe’ distance from the pride. Those ladies did look hungry.
(Canon EOS 5D Mk III/ EF100-400mm IS II USM; 1/640 sec; f/7.1; ISO 320; 300mm)

Picture ©2015 Andrew Field – Simply Wild Photography

A-Z of Photography
Noise is the generally grainy look found in digital images which sometimes manifests itself as spots of colour which should not be in the image, usually the result of low light photography using very high ISO settings. Noise seldom enhances a photograph and in some cameras noise reduction technology may be used to reduce this problem. Later model digital cameras seem to work well at higher ISO settings, with inbuilt noise elimination.

“I expect to retire to a fine-grained heaven where the temperatures are always consistent, where the images slide before one’s eyes in a continual cascade of form and meaning.”

– Ansel Adams

Face to Face

Face to Face_2015_08_17_0165

Bull elephants (Loxodonta africana) can be quite curious creatures. This face to face was typical of an encounter between man and beast where the latter has established some trust in humanity. These clever animals actually like to test one’s mettle in a seeming game of dare. You would not survive this encounter with a female elephant. The photographer was seated quietly in bramble with his back to a termite mound, hoping the bull would simply walk on by. It did eventually, but not before a thorough face to face inspection, with its trunk, of the wide eyed intruders.
Population Trend : Increasing; Threat: VulnerableSource IUCN
(Canon EOS 5D Mk III/ EF100-400mm IS II USM; 1/160 sec; f/6.3; ISO 640; 100mm)

Picture ©2015 Andrew Field – Simply Wild Photography

A-Z of Photography
Polarising filters only allow light vibrating in a single plane to pass through the filter and are used to eliminate reflections (which emit multi-directional light vibrations) and to deepen blue skies. The filter absorbs light vibrations outside the single plane. Most polarising filters allow a circular movement of the filter piece to enable maximum effect on cameras. Linear polarising filters tend to confuse most digital cameras with autofocus and metering systems.

“I am always surprised when I see several cameras, a gaggle on lenses, filters, meters, et cetera, rattling around in a soft bag with a complement of refuse and dust. Sometimes the professional is the worst offender! ”

– Ansel Adams

Red-billed Hornbill

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The Southern Red-billed Hornbill (Tockus rufirostirus) is such a commonly seen little bird, that few stop to take notice of it.  They are abundant in the Zambezi Valley.  It is a touch skittish, habitually taking flight if disturbed, so one doesn’t get close. This species frequents open savanna and woodland areas, with sparse ground cover and enjoys the Mopani woodland endemic to some Lowveld terrains. The Hornbills enjoy a varied diet including beetles, termites and larvae, and will even take vertebrates, including other small birds, especially nesting chicks. They will consume fruit and seed too, and are usually found foraging on the ground. In the Zambezi Valley the Southern Red-billed Hornbill is known to flock and migrate regionally. There is an unusual occurrence of some 1,000 birds having drowned in Lake Kariba reported on one occasion during such a migration.
(Canon EOS 5D Mark III / EF100-400mm IS II USM +1.4x III; 1/500 sec; f/8; ISO 320; 560mm)

Picture ©2015 Andrew Field – Simply Wild Photography

Photography Quotes

The Amercian photographer and environmentalist, Ansel Adams, is perhaps one of the most well know black and white landscape photographers, whose fine art work in the Yosemite National Park is well famed. Adams became a guiding light in the field of photography, writing extensively on the subject and teaching with emphasis on resolution, clarity and sharpness, which perhaps explains his founding of the Group f/64. He was a great lover of large format photography. Ansel Adams is attributed with this quotation:

“In some photographs, the essence of light and space dominate; in others, the substance of rock and wood, and the luminous insistence of growing things…It is my intention to present – through the medium of photography – intuitive observations of the natural world which may have meaning to spectators.”

This image, and others of your selection, can be acquired from the author printed on fine art canvas of photographic paper for wall mounting.
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Stuck in darkest Africa, lost in the wild and loving it! Don’t let me out of here…