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Antelope Archives

Pair of Impala Fawns (from Facebook)

Getting an Earful! (from Facebook)

Waterbuck Male – a Handsome Chap!

Portrait of male waterbuck showing the long, heavily-ridged horns Caption: Male waterbuck portrait showing the long, heavily-ridged horns, Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Camera: Canon EOS 50D; Lens: Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM telephoto lens; Focal length: 400mm; Shutter speed: 1/1250; Aperture: f/5.6; ISO: 400

Author Robert Ruark once described the male waterbuck as “ruggedly handsome” and the waterbuck portrait above gives credence to this view.

Only the males carry the long, heavily-ridged horns. They curve gracefully back and then slightly forward near the tips (below).

Waterbuck male showing long horns curving back then forward at the tips

Here are quick facts about the waterbuck:

Scientific name: Kobus ellipsiprymnus
Shoulder height: 1,3 m
Weight: 250 – 270 kg
Gestation period: 280 days
Life expectancy: 15 years

See also safari guide Roddy Smith’s article, The Ruggedly Handsome Waterbuck, for more.

Waterbuck Duo – Such Good Looking Girls!

Pair of attractive waterbuck females, close-up Caption: Two pretty waterbuck females blend subtly with the muted winter colors in the background, Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Camera: Canon EOS 50D; Lens: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM telephoto zoom; Focal length: 260mm; Shutter speed: 1/250; Aperture: f/5.6; ISO 400

On a visit to the Kruger Park earlier this month, I was surprised by the number of waterbuck and kudu we saw. One expects to see big numbers of impala, but the numerous sightings of these larger antelope, both small herds and individuals, was a definite bonus.

I’ll be adding more photos of these attractive antelope (waterbuck and kudu) in the next few posts.

Impala Running at Full Speed

Impala running, motion  blur effect Caption: Young impala ram running at full speed through winter vegetation, Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Camera: Canon EOS 50D; Lens: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM; Focal length: 70mm; Aperture: f/8; Shutter speed: 1/25; ISO 100.

I shot this photograph at a slow shutter speed (1/25 sec) while panning the camera to get a motion blur effect.

On my Canon 50D, I have one of the “Custom” settings configured for this type of photography so I don’t have to change a bunch of settings when I suddenly see something that lends itself to motion blur.

My C1 button is configured like this:
Mode: Shutter-priority (TV)
Shutter speed: 1/25
ISO: 100
Focus: AI Servo
Drive Mode: High speed continuous
White balance: Auto

I set the ISO as low as possible rather than the 400 ISO I use for most my wildlife photography. If I used 400, in bright light the slow shutter speed would need a tiny aperture, quite possibly beyond what the lens provides.

The above photo was shot in overcast conditions which meant the light was pleasantly soft and the aperture necessary for correct exposure at 1/25 was only f/8. This is a bonus, as very small apertures show up any dirt or debris on the sensor. The soft light also means the image colors are fairly muted and less harsh than would have been the case in very bright light.

For more images and information about panning and motion blur, see Wildlife Photos, Motion Blur Effect

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