Day of the Jackal


Jackals, being nocturnal in their habits, do not appear in the day light open too often, so this early morning sighting was a pleasant surprise, but probably too distant for anything other than a record shot. This Side-striped Jackal (Canis adustus) was spotted, with its mate (they are monogamous territorial animals) in the Mana Pools area. This species is endemic to most of Zimbabwe and was once considered a pest, being persecuted for their role in rabies transmission. The Jackal is omnivorous and when hunting prefer to stalk and pounce on prey, rather than chase it down.
Population Trend : Stable; Threat: Least ConcernedSource IUCN 
(Canon EOS 5D Mk III/ EF100-400mm IS II USM; 1/2000 sec; f/6.7; ISO 320; 400mm)

Picture ©2016 Andrew Field – Simply Wild Photography

The World of Lenses
Close-up or Macro Lenses are used for photography in which the subject’s image on the focal plane is usually the same size or larger than the actual subject. Macro lenses allow the photographer to focus on subjects just a few millimeters from the lens (short focal distance). Although not common, bellows between the lens and camera body can achieve the same effect as a specialised macro lens (in fact they may sometime be used in combination). Extender tubes (which increase magnification) and reversing ring are other tools of macro photography (some call photomicrography).

“I believe that photographs should be simple technically, and easy to look at. They shouldn’t be directed at other photographers; their point is to make ordinary people react – to laugh, or to see something they hadn’t taken in before, or to be touched. But not to wince, I think. One of the most glib things that anybody can do with a camera is to be cutting or sardonic.”

– Lord Snowdon

Verreaux’s Eagle Owl

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Another sighting of Verreaux’s Giant Eagle Owl (Bubo lacteus), with its pink eyelids and big brown eyes, enjoying a little morning sun. This is the largest owl found in the region and frequents woodland savanna, riverine forest and thornveld. It is a nocturnal hunter, taking mostly small mammals and various sizes of bird, but is also known to take reptiles and insects. This owl may be seen occasionally hunting in daylight hours when it is normally found roosting on an habitual perch. They breed annually as monogamous pairs producing two chicks, one of which rarely survives.
(Canon EOS 5D Mk III / EF100-400mm IS MkII USM; 1/1000 sec; f/8; ISO 320; 560mm)

Picture ©2015 Andrew Field – Simply Wild Photography

Photography Quotes
The contentious Italian photographer, Oliviero Toscani, is well known for his design of controversial advertising campaigns for Italian brand Benetton and other causes. He trained in Zurich, following in the footsteps of his father, first working for magazines like Vogue and Elle, before becoming Art Director for Benetton. He is attributed with this quote:

“Some people look at a picture for thirty seconds, some for years. It doesn’t really matter because a picture is like life. You take out of life as much as you are able to take out of life, just as you take out of a picture as much as you can take out of a picture…”

Stretching It

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Nothing like waking up from a good afternoon nap in time to catch the last rays of light before dinner time. They say that lions (Panthera leo) are notoriously lazy animals, sleeping between 16 and 20 hours, mostly during the day, every day. This is an energy saving trait. They are nocturnal creatures that hunt most actively during the night. Lions living in woodland habitats, where there is greater cover, are known to hunt more frequently during the day. This lioness awoke from her slumber and took a good stretch before strolling off quietly, taking care not to wake up the ‘old man’ next to her.
(Canon EOS 5D Mark III/EF70-200mm IS USM + 1.4x; 1/400 sec; f/5.6; ISO 800; 222mm)

Picture ©2014 Andrew Field – Simply Wild Photography

Photography Quotes
Irving Penn is an American photographer who was best known for his fashion photography, portraits, and modernist still life work. His career included work at Vogue the renowned fashion magazine. He is attributed with the quote:

“A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it. It is, in a word, effective.”

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…

Hippopotamus Observations

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A hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius – Shona: Mvuu; Ndebele: Mvubu) peaks its head up from a pool and gives the photographer the ‘beady’ eye during the fading light. These beasts are stirring before moving onto land to feed nocturnally during the night.
(Canon EOS 5D Mark III /EF200-400mm IS II USM EXT; 1/500 sec; f/5.6; ISO 5000; 560mm)

Picture ©2014 Andrew Field – Simply Wild Photography

Digital Wildlife Photographic Tips

Macro shots of insects are perhaps best shot with a macro lens with a higher aperture setting (longer depth of field) f/11 plus. Moving subjects will require faster shutter speeds of at least 1/500sec so Manual mode would be the preferred setting. Adjust ISO according to prevailing light. Slightly under-expose the image to achieve greater definition in the studio.

The Elusive Verreaux’s Eagle Owl

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The Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl (Bubo lacteus), a seldom-encountered bird, caught early one morning basking in the sun in Mopani forest near the Zambezi River. The owl is distinguishable by its black face border and the pink eyelids. This nocturnal, avian apex predator is found in much of Southern Africa, with possibly the exception of southern Namibia and the thick rain forest areas. It has a preference for drier savannah and semi desert habitats. Verreaux’s owls feed mostly on small mammals including young monkeys, ground squirrels, rats and mice. They breed as monogamous pairs and occupy stick constructed nests of other birds.
(Canon EOS 7D; f/4; 1/2000sec; ISO-500; 280mm)

Picture ©2013 Andrew Field – Simply Wild Photography

Digital Wildlife Photographic Tips
Wildlife photographers are often faced with image opportunities that have very bright and dark areas in the frame and they need to consider whether to over or under expose to catch the more important highlights of the shot. In assessing this, one needs to understand that darker tones have more image noise while at the other end of the scale the more brighter tones cannot be recorded (or are clipped i.e. are pure white and give the impression of burn out). Choose to under or over compensate your exposure. It is most important to check image histograms, adjust and take again, if you have time.