Kudu Crypsis


Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros), one of the most graceful large antelopes in the Mana Pools area, pauses in the shade of a mahogany tree. This animal often relies on crypsis (a synonym for animal camouflage and anti-predator behaviour, such as stillness) allowing close approach by the threat. Once in flight, those magnificent horns are tucked along the back of the antelope through head held high.
Population Trend : Stable; Threat: Least ConcernSource IUCN
(Canon EOS 50D/ EF-S18-200mm; 1/1500 sec; f/6.7; ISO 1250; 400mm)

Picture ©2011 Andrew Field – Simply Wild Photography

Digital Photography Terms
Lighting ratio is a measure of the difference between key light and fill light. Key light is the main source of light which casts shadows versus fill light which is the light that fills in the shadow areas. The higher the lighting ratio, the greater the contrast. Although this may be manipulate with f-stop adjustment, a more effective or practical adjustment can be achieved in post photo processing.

“When I was just starting out, I met Cartier-Bresson. He told me it was necessary to trust my instincts, be inside my work, and set aside my ego. In the end, my photography turned out very different to his, but I believe we were coming from the same place.”

– Sebastiao Salgado

Kudu on a Termite Mound

Kudu on the Hillock_2014_10_09_4809

One of the better known and more regal antelope found in southern Africa is the Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) standing here, so typically, on an old termite heap to gain elevation when reaching the surrounding foliage. This is not unique to Kudu: many antelope use height to better observe their surroundings. The kudu is mostly a browser, with its prehensile tongue, perhaps only seen grazing when there is fresh green grass about its domain, usually in deciduous woodland and riverine forest. Kudu are masters of crypsis, an ability to avoid observation or detection, when in thick bush. Their natural colour and camouflage tend to blend well into the thicket of Mana Pools.
(Canon EOS 7D 7/EF100-400mm IS USM; 1/90 sec; f/4.5; ISO 2500; 100mm)

Picture ©2014 Andrew Field – Simply Wild Photography

Photography Quotes
Ansel Adams was an American photographer and environmentalist. He pioneered photography in the American West and is famous for his black and white landscape photography, notably in the Yosemite National Park. He formed the f/64 club of photographers dedicated to large scale depth of field work. His images were widely published in various media including calendars, posters, and books. He published 24 books on the subject of photography.

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”

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Stuck in darkest Africa, lost in the wild and loving it! Don’t let me out of here…

The Kudu and the Baboon

Kudu and Baboon_2013_10_07_2313_768x474px

This may be an unusual pose of a Kudu bull (Tragelaphus stepsiceros). The antelope had been taking water from a puddle in a drying water pan and had sensed a noise or smell, much like its baboon companion. Initially this animal was identified as a Nyala, but on a second look the photographer actually believes it is a kudu… they are related and they may look similar occasionally, but there is no mistaking the difference between the foreneck hair markings of each animal. This animal is very distictly kudu!
(Canon 50D; f/10; 1/800sec; ISO-800; 400mm)

Picture ©2013 Andrew Field – Simply Wild Photography

Digital Wildlife Photographic Tips
Faster shutter speeds are essential for sharp images of animals on the move. While always giving consideration to lens’ focal distances when selecting your shutter speed, any action shot will require increased shutter speeds to freeze the action and give a sharp image. The closer the subject is to the lens, the faster it moves across your field of vision, thus the quicker the shutter speed should be. Think in terms of 1/1,500th sec and faster. Watch your exposure – adjust ISO if you reach the limits. Flip over to shutter priority when there is going to be action.