In the first morning light the dominant bull blows a splash of water through the nose to impress the others ... and maybe the photographer on the shore as well
D3s, 600 4,0, f/4,5, 1/640, ISO 720
In the bush right outside Masai Mara NP we found this pond completely covered with a green carpet of floating water hyasints. Beeing of considerable size, this was the favorite daytime hideaway for a school of local hippos. The situation offered some very special opportunities to "shoot" hippos in the water from a superlow angle. The first attempt was done in mid day. Knowing that hippos are one of the deadliest animals in all Africa (only malaria-infected mosquitos kill more people) , the approach was done by driving the car all the way down to he shoreline, almost with the wheels into the mud, and then shooting from a relatively safe position from underneath the car, ...with the head up in an oily gearbox and elbows down in the soft mud. Of course the photography this day was spoilt by harsh mid day light, but it certainly gave some very good experience for the next approach.
Next morning, in the dark before dawn, we entered the muddy shore in the very same way, took position under the car and waited for the morning light to rise with hopefully superb backlight against shady dark slopes in background. We got some nice shots, but the animals were a bit skeptical to the car and so, unfortunately, kept their distance. We had to get closer.
Next morning : third attempt. This time we got out of the car at a distance, sneaked down to he shore in the dark, crawled all the way down to the water with elbows in muddy hippo pooh ... and again : waited for the morning light to come. Knowing about the hippos bad reputation, this was of course ... "a bit risky" !! If an animal was to come from the back heading for the pond to sleep off the day ... and we were between the hippo and the water ... we would be in serious trouble !! This is why a person was posted in the background keeping lookout for possible trouble from the back. I was prepared to leave my "Big Mama" (the 600) in the mud ... and run for my life !!
Luckily no running in panic this morning
Pictures : Of course the situation offered little variation, and the pictures look much the same. I could have shown you one picture ..... but holding back is not my style.
Mother & son ? Particles in the air are basicly insects
D3s, 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/250, ISO 2200
D3s, 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/800, ISO 640
D3s, 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/800, ISO 560
Dominant bull blowing fountain through the nose
D3s, 600 4,0, f/,6, 1/1000, ISO 450
D3s, 6004,0, f/5,6, 1/800, ISO 560
Dominant bull coming to check us out
D3s, 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/800, ISO 720
Female with calf. The warm humid breath from the nose can be seen in the cold morning air.
D3s, 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/250, ISO2000
Dominant male coming close to check us out
D3s, 6004,0, f/5,6, 1/1000, ISO450
Dominant male ..... with morning sun right into the lens
D3s, 600, 4,0, f/5,6, 1/800, ISO 360
D3s, 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/250, ISO1100
Assumed temminck`s stint (temminck snipe / Calidris temminckii), a bird from the cold north on winter holiday in eastern Africa. Any keen birders out there that can confirm it ??
D3s, 600 4,0, f/6,3, 1/1000, ISO 1800