My favourite location in my African photo safari was Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. In Part 1 of this series I showed you one of the reasons why: the endless plains provide incredible opportunities to make minimalist images of wildlife in their environment.
But I made close-up photos too.
When it comes to the close-up photos, I think the most important thing is to capture some sort of animal behaviour. I wanted to show how the animals interact with each other, especially things you might not see in a zoo environment, and the Serengeti provides endless opportunities to see and experience wildlife interaction.
Like this zebra with a bird standing on his back. I’ve never seen this kind of thing in a zoo, but you see it all the time in Africa. It’s quite a common sight, but I think it makes a great photo.
The zebras are very affectionate with each other, always rubbing their heads together, and there’s just something about the way their stripes always line up.
The gazelles are everywhere, sprinkled about the landscape like icing sugar on a donut (I think most of the other animals see them that way).
I captured this precious little one nursing from it’s one horned mother.
Everyone always seems to like the lions. I don’t know, I guess I’m not a big cat person because I liked the other animals more than the cats. Still, I photographed this special moment between two male lions. You always see photographs that show the fierce side of the lions, so I wanted to show the softer side. In processing, I made the image soft to emphasize that feeling.
The leopards are elusive and sneaky, but also quite lazy it seems! Perhaps their burst of energy when hunting exhausts them for the rest of the day, but they are always lying around on rocks or in trees with their limbs hanging down like they don’t have an ounce of energy left.
I wasn’t expecting the vultures! There was a whole murder of them (I know it’s a murder of crows, but if you had seen them I’m sure you would agree they are best described as a murder when you see the bones they were picking). There were so many it was hard to get a good image that isolated one or two animals, but I did get this close up of a typical vulture expression.
And another of the aggressive walk that would make any creature give way.
The giraffes are graceful in their movements, even when running! But a group walking together at twilight light is a special memory.
My most precious memories from the entire trip are the elephants. I LOVE the elephants, especially the baby elephants when they play. If I ever go to Africa again, I will make a special effort to spend some time exclusively with the elephants.
This is one of my favourite moments when this baby elephant was trying it’s hardest to see me over his sibling’s back. So cute!
Even the moment this rainbow lizard stopped for a split second to look at me is a special memory.
All of these special moments is what makes any trip unique and memorable – and it’s what makes a photo unique and memorable too.