With the onset of a busy year both personally and in terms of work (new job), photography has had to take a back seat. However the craving to be out in the field is still intense and the desire to create work of originality and aesthetic still lingers on. It is surprisingly difficult to create something different and depends largely on patience and skill with a lot of luck thrown in. I am not the kind to sit patiently at a waterhole waiting for the game to arrive (and this is particularly difficult with a car of kids). Only I can seem to sit watch a leopard plot its next move from the boughs of a tree for 2 hours!
So my general modus operandi is to be on the move and cover a lot of ground, in my landy. This can result in chance encounters but results in a lot of misses. There is no greater anguish than missing that shot of a lifetime (such as failing to catch the lion chasing the cheetah in the same frame). This is where rushing round as driver and photographer can be tricky. I have mastered the art of being able to drive, follow an animal and take photos at the same time’ though it has its resultant limitations.
Some of this year’s trips included 4 days in Kruger and a few days in Pilanesberg. Sadly my trip to Namaqualand, West Coast and Kgalagadi had to be cancelled due to work commitments.
I am continuously tortured by the desire to get new gear but it just seems to get more and more expensive each year, faster autofocus, faster burst rate and higher continuous shooting, more pixels and longer lenses but I need to learn to be content with what I have. Some cameras are ideally suited to particular work others are just too slow and are great at catching stationary animals and landscapes but one needs to be able to work around these limitations. I think we often think so much about the gear that we forget why we are really in the field. I do however think I need a wide angle lens it he range of 12-24 mm…Maybe next year!
My next plan t is to pursue more film based panoramic photography, it is an age since I used my large 6×17 Fotoman with 90mm Caltar Lens and though there has been desire to “sell everything and start again” this is just not viable when you are making little or no income from photography. I am hoping to get to the Sabie and Graskop and Blyde River area for a few days.
Another thing I deem important is to meet other people in the field and gain their perspective and understanding. Recently when I was at Pilanesberg I met a wonderful lady, passionate photographer and painter who shoot black and white. Having seen her work I was bowled over and decided to shoot B&W for a day..What a revelation. It will not be the last? There is always something new to learn and this is another goal for the remainder of the year.
I attach some of my favourite pics from October 2011 to November