A jackal drinking from a puddle, a hawk-eagle on the hunt and a crab playing peek-a-boo – Did your photo make the cut this month?
@karien.rouxkruger Nikon D7200 Sigma 150 – 500 mm lens
KARIEN WRITES: My husband often visited the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in his younger days, but I had never been. We live in Pretoria and for three years we tried to get a booking in the park, but to no avail. It was always chock-a-block. Finally we managed to get a booking for six nights and we set off. I had expected to see an arid desert landscape, but it rained for half the time we were there. On the fourth night we stayed at Gharagab wilderness camp in the north of the park. It rained right through the night, but cleared up by the time we departed camp the next morning. The road was flooded and at times it felt like we needed a boat! On the 112 km journey between Gharagab and Nossob, we drove through 113 pools of water. Yes, I was counting! We saw this jackal in the veld about halfway to Nossob. My husband parked our vehicle at an angle to give me a better view. The jackal stopped short of the puddle, but when it realised that we were harmless, it went over for a drink, always watching out of the corner of its eye.
TOAST SAYS: It’s a privilege to see an arid park during a period of rain. The landscape transforms before your eyes and you get the opportunity to take unusual photos. The weather also affects animal behaviour – you’ll see wildlife doing things they’d never do at other times of the year, like drink water from a puddle in the road! Karien used a long zoom lens; that’s why the foreground and background are out of focus. This technique works well for wildlife photography because you want your main subject to stand out. But just because certain parts of the image aren’t sharp doesn’t mean they’re not important. The foreground – the reflection of the jackal – is crucial in this case. Karien’s photo would still have been good without the reflection, but it would have lacked the wow factor. (If you decide to include a reflection, make sure it’s clearly visible. She also got herself into the right position for the shot.) Karien wins a StevensonHamilton hat for best picture.