Akagera Revisited

Hi guys,

I hope the New Year has been as good to you as it has been to me.  Heather and i spent an incredible two weeks in the north and east of Uganda and i have come back with some breathtaking images.

But first i have some images from a brief 24 hours in Akagera National Park in Rwanda.  I love the north of Akagera and rate it as one of the best photographic locations in East Africa.  Largely because in the crater in the north you have limited opportunities to go off track and this makes the world of difference.  Being able to position a car five metres in another direction can make all the difference between good light and bad light.  And being able to spot game and then position your vehicle in the ideal location is a lovely way to watch wildlife.

I hate badgering an subject, i.e. driving up to it, taking some images and then when it moves on, driving up to it again and again and again.  What i prefer is to be able to watch an animals movements, anticipate where it will be and then position the car so that it passes on the right side, in the right light, and so you get the best images without stressing the subject.  Sometimes if you park you vehicle right and wait the animals will get curious and come up to you.

Back to Akagera.  One of the biggest draws in the northern section of the park are the Masai Giraffe which are almost always present and about a dozen in strength.  And this was my goal for the day, so the first hour or two was fairly frantic trying to find them, which doesn’t sound hard given their size but is surprisingly difficult.

And then through the frustration came another bucket list image, Crested cranes courting, in good light and with no background clutter in the frame.  I love Crested cranes, who doesn’t. But i do find them rather twitchy and have struggled to get great images of them.  Ok ones but not great ones!  This couple were warming up in the morning light and the male put on a lovely little display.

And then we found the giraffe!  Six adults and a very young baby, probably not more than a week old.

Now most wildlife photographers want big subjects that can fill the frame, but there is big and then there is giraffe big.  I cant say that i am completely happy with my giraffe work as a whole and find them a huge challenge to shoot right.  But practice makes perfect and if i had to spend everyday working with these graceful animals i would have no complaints, at all!

Hope you enjoy.

Stay well,

Chris

 

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