Nov 7th, 2013
Reluctantly, I left my bulkier Wimberly head and tall legs at home opting for the more compact ball head and legs. Of course, photographing new and fantastic birds in the Cape Peninsula, I realized it had been a mistake. I made a promise that next time I would bring both and ditch something else.
However, once in Kruger 90% of the roughly 12,000 photographs I took during the last seven days of adventure were taken from the backseat of a rental vehicle. No tripod, no moving your feet, no getting down at eye level, no following tracks by foot or a bird to its cavity, most everything has to be done from the vehicle. You are forbidden to exit your car, except at camps, blinds/hides and a few, and far between, picnic spots and overlooks.
Time to learn a different set of rules, different critters and painfully different techniques … it was challenging! But it was also exciting, frustrating, full of surprises and oddly enjoyable! Yes, the Tripod Queen went without.
Kruger National Park is situated in the Lowveld, a wide coastal plain of fairly dry savanna, approximately 217 x 37 miles. I was immediately struck by how close the sky seemed to be to the ground, somehow making the whole thing more intimate with its inhabitants. Home to thousands of flora and fauna species, both large and small, Kruger is also known as “Big Five” country and one of the world’s greatest wildlife and nature conservation parks.
The savanna was teaming with life. Largely brown on arrival, the rainy season was beginning and new green grass shoots took hold following spectacular evening thunderstorms and torrential rain. Trees and shrubs leafed out and blooms opened, attracting birds and insects. The critters either had young, or were preparing to. Kruger captured my heart with the humbling sight of my first wild Bull Elephant and seven days later I left heavy-hearted.
Having had no choice but to start the slide down the slippery slope of breaking my own immutable rules, why not break the Granddaddy of them all, workflow? In keeping with the African sky, I ditched the workflow (just for now) and have cherry-picked a few of my favorite intimate images for you.
Yes, the Workflow Witch cherry picked!! Enjoy!