This month, all the reader pho­tos were taken in Botswana. Want to ex­pe­ri­ence every­thing our north­ern neighbour has to of­fer? Turn to page 73 and join go! and Mpafa Travel on a pho­tog­ra­phy tour in 2019!

go! - - Contents - BY TOAST COET­ZER

This month, all the reader pho­tos were taken in Botswana: Oka­vango sun­sets, gi­raffes on a mis­sion, and a scrap be­tween two li­ons.


@mbar­rettpho­tog­ra­phy Nikon D90 Nikon 18 – 105 mm lens

MICHAELA WRITES: I took this photo at sun­set in Moremi Game Re­serve. It was win­ter and there was mist com­ing off the ground; prob­a­bly the re­sult of the tem­per­a­ture of the Oka­vango Delta drop­ping as night ap­proached. These im­palas ap­peared out of nowhere, danc­ing across the fore­ground as I snapped a shot of the sun­set. Africa is truly a place of sur­prises!

TOAST SAYS: Pho­tog­ra­phy is an end­less search for the per­fect mo­ment; that frac­tion of a sec­ond in which every­thing comes to­gether. You need good light and com­po­si­tion, but also the X-fac­tor. The X-fac­tor in Michaela’s photo is the herd of im­palas, which bounded through the oth­er­wise quiet scene. That leap­ing im­pala ewe, in par­tic­u­lar, makes her photo our win­ner this month. It looks like the an­te­lope is leap­ing over a ball of light. The “ball” is ac­tu­ally lens flare, which hap­pens when you shoot di­rectly into the sun, or at right an­gles to it. Lens flare is not al­ways de­sir­able, but in cer­tain sit­u­a­tions it can add at­mos­phere to your shot. In this case, it works! Well done Michaela, you win a Steven­son-Hamil­ton leather hat.


Nikon D7000 Nikon 70 – 300 mm lens

TOAST SAYS: In March this year, Mariet and her hus­band Nol­lie (see his red-billed fire­finch photo below) did our Mpafa pho­tog­ra­phy


Nikon D7100 Sigma 150 – 600 mm lens

TOAST SAYS: Nol­lie took lots of great pic­tures on the Botswana tour. He’s prob­a­bly won­der­ing why I chose this one! My rea­son­ing? It gives you a new ap­pre­ci­a­tion for a bird that most pho­tog­ra­phers tend to over­look be­cause they’re too busy scan­ning the veld for li­ons and leop­ards. On the go! and Mpafa photo tour, you don’t spend every day in a na­ture re­serve. Some days are set aside for trav­el­ling from tour of Botswana and the Zam­bezi Re­gion in Namibia. I was also on the tour as the pro photographer. The tour usu­ally kicks off at Kubu Island, but the Mak­gadik­gadi Pans were too wet so the start point was moved to Ti­aan’s Camp next to the Boteti River. The next Point A to Point B, or for re­lax­ing in the camp­site. There are birds ev­ery­where, even right next to your tent, which is where Nol­lie snapped this red-billed fire­finch. Pho­tog­ra­phy is not about where you are, but about what you see. You can drive around the Kruger Park for a week and take hun­dreds of pho­tos with­out cap­tur­ing any­thing spe­cial. Or you can walk around your camp­site one af­ter­noon and find some­thing un­usual be­cause you see the world dif­fer­ently. Thanks Nol­lie, for show­ing us the beauty right un­der our noses. morn­ing tour leader Douwe Vlok ad­justed the itin­er­ary and the group trav­elled through the Mak­gadik­gadi Pans Na­tional Park, across the river from Ti­aan’s Camp. This lesser-known park is full of sur­prises – we saw large herds of ele­phant and at least 40 gi­raffe at a wa­ter­hole deep in the veld. Ev­ery­one clicked away try­ing to get the per­fect shot, hop­ing their ve­hi­cle was in the best po­si­tion. Mariet nailed it. I like the re­flec­tions in the wa­ter and the way the cheeky gi­raffe on the far left is stick­ing out its tongue!


Canon EOS 60D Tam­ron 18 – 400 mm lens

TOAST SAYS: One of our favourite stops on the photo tour is Drifters Maun Lodge, east of Maun on the banks of the Boteti River. The tour group usu­ally gath­ers on this jetty to take pho­tos at sun­set. Some­times, if you’re lucky, a man in a mokoro will pole past… Marietjie’s photo is dif­fer­ent. This is the kind of holiday snap I like. It shows how you can trans­form yourself – and start to re­lax – by do­ing some­thing as sim­ple as kick­ing off your shoes and feel­ing the grass, the sand and the jetty be­neath your feet. In­deed, the go! and Mpafa photo tour of­fers plenty of time for re­lax­ation. As we travel, we’ll teach you how to take bet­ter pho­tos, whether you use a cell­phone, a point-and-shoot or a D-SLR.


@tooltime­todd Nikon D5600 Nikon 70 – 300 mm lens

TOAST SAYS: Todd is an Amer­i­can who joined the go! tour ear­lier this year, thanks to his South African friend Carel Pre­to­rius. Todd was an en­ter­tain­ing travel com­pan­ion be­cause he found every­thing in­ter­est­ing. He of­ten asked Carel to pull over so he could take pho­tos of don­keys, pot­holes, women car­ry­ing fire­wood, Nguni cat­tle… All the things we South Africans take for granted. Travel pho­tog­ra­phy is an art. Peo­ple of­ten get stuck tak­ing pho­tos of land­scapes and wildlife and they miss the other de­tails that breathe life into a re­gion, like fruit sell­ers on the road­side or a herder and his goats mak­ing their way home. This is the ferry at Mo­hembo – at the north­ern part of the Oka­vango Pan­han­dle where Botswana meets Namibia. It won’t be op­er­a­tional for much longer be­cause the govern­ment is busy build­ing a bridge. For that rea­son alone, it’s spe­cial that Todd man­aged to cap­ture this scene – soon it will be part of Botswana’s his­tory. Have you been on the Mo­hembo ferry? Pay it a visit be­fore the land­scape is tamed…


Canon EOS 6D Sigma 150 – 600 mm lens

JAC­QUES WRITES: We were in the Mabuase­hube sec­tion of the Kgala­gadi Trans­fron­tier Park. Be­tween Mpay­athutlwa Pan and Bosobo­golo Pan, we came across these two li­ons in the road. The male stood up and sniffed the fe­male. She walked away in a huff be­fore turn­ing around to put him in his place. This was his re­ac­tion. Mabuase­hube is an amaz­ing des­ti­na­tion for wildlife pho­tog­ra­phy be­cause it’s not as busy as the South African side of the Kgala­gadi – you al­ways have a ring­side seat to the ac­tion. You hardly even have to leave your camp­site – we saw a leop­ard drink­ing wa­ter in the shower! The an­i­mals are also less skit­tish.

TOAST SAYS: This ac­tion-packed shot has lots to look at: dust, teeth, claws, mane… Jac­ques’s Sigma zoom lens is one of the best val­ue­for-money op­tions on the mar­ket. It per­forms best in the mid­dle of the day, when the light is bright. Jac­ques’s shut­ter speed was 1/250 sec­ond, which is a bit slow for an ac­tion shot us­ing such a long zoom. (No­tice how the male’s face is a bit blurry.) When you’re shoot­ing a fast-mov­ing sub­ject, try to use the fastest shut­ter speed pos­si­ble. Use the following guide­line: If you’re us­ing a 150 – 600 mm lens and you’ve zoomed to 400 mm, use a shut­ter speed of at least 2x the fo­cal length, i.e. 1/800 sec­ond. If you’re zoomed to 600 mm, use at least 1/1200 sec­ond. The closer you zoom, the greater the risk of cam­era shake. The only way to com­bat this is to sup­port yourself while you’re tak­ing the shot: Rest your el­bows on some­thing, use a mono­pod or a tri­pod, or bal­ance your cam­era on a bean­bag on the win­dowsill of your car. And use a fast shut­ter speed! Good work, Jac­ques.


Nikon D3100 Nikon 70 – 300 mm lens

MARIE WRITES: In Fe­bru­ary this year, we camped for seven days at Mpay­athutlwa (stand 2) in the Mabuase­hube sec­tion of the Kgala­gadi Trans­fron­tier Park. Li­ons roared at dawn every day – maybe they wanted to make sure we were aware of their pres­ence. One morn­ing we were treated to an­other spe­cial sight­ing: This fe­male leop­ard came to drink wa­ter at a tap about 12 m from our camp­site! We’ve been camp­ing in Mabuase­hube for many years and this was the first time we’d seen a leop­ard come to drink dur­ing the day. The next morn­ing, about eight li­ons came run­ning to­wards us across the pan – what a sight! They spent the day lolling in the shade of the A-frame unit in the camp­site. It was 38° C and they got up of­ten to drink wa­ter. For­tu­nately they left to hunt as night-time ap­proached.

TOAST SAYS: Mabuase­hube be­longs to the li­ons and the leop­ards. Bear that in mind be­fore you pay a visit. You have to look over your shoul­der all the time, even if you’re just head­ing to the bath­room. Crea­tures with sharp teeth lurk ev­ery­where. But it’s this prox­im­ity to big preda­tors that lures hard-core na­ture lovers to Mabua in the first place. ( That’s you, read­ers!) Marie did a good job with her leop­ard photo. The light was bright so every de­tail is clear, the back­ground of yel­low duwweltjie flow­ers is un­usual, and the leop­ard is mak­ing di­rect eye con­tact with the cam­era. Eek! It’s a sight­ing you will re­mem­ber for­ever.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.