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Rescued From The Archives

When I am not in Africa, I'm often dreaming of it, planning mine (or other's adventures) or going through old content. When I first picked up my camera I used to take thousands upon thousands of photos. Now however, my shooting has become more refined and my picture figures normally stay in the hundreds rather than thousands. That said, sometimes I can be a bit trigger happy, as I like to experiment with different settings, angles and anything else that may cause a photo to be 'different'.

With all the content gained from a trip, there are always one or two photos that slip through the net, and get stored away, out of mind on one of my hard drives. In this instance I was flicking back through my photos of a particular sighting I had in Tarangire National Park. I wanted a shot to accompany my 'Last Ray' photo for my next episode of Into the Wild, and I stumbled across, what I think is quite a beautiful photo.

It was mid-morning and we had arrived at the Tarangire Swamp. Although Tarangire tends to be extremely dry during October, the swamp that covers around 10% of the National Park is a permanent water source for the animals here. As the day heats up, you can be sure of an abundance of elephants, buffalo and plenty of plains game coming to quench their thirst.

As it was, we were making our way to the outer reaches of the swamp and came across a herd of buffalo numbering around four-hundred. A herd this size is always a magnificent spectacle to behold, especially when they surround your vehicle. Whether we looked left, right or behind us, we were totally immersed within the herd.

Some people find buffalo ugly and others find them notoriously difficult to photograph, however I love their attitude and their curiosity. This combination often makes for some great eye contact shots, even when the sun isn’t as soft as one would like it to be.

Buffalo in Tarangire
Rescued from the archives

As you can see with my photo, I have captured that typical buffalo attitude as it checks us out but what I particularly like about this shot though is that it portrays the buffalo in its environment. Often wildlife photographers will isolate an animal by either choosing a close up portrait or using an F-number that extracts the content of the background and turns it into a colourful blur.

Instead, I chose to show this buffalo within its herd, the individuals may not be in full focus but you get the sense of being immersed within the herd as well. This is also helped by the numerous egrets that are found dotted throughout the scene.

All in all, I think I did a good job in saving this photo from being lost in the archives forever.


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