After three days of game drives including broken down cars and being chased by
an angry young elephant bull even after we where out of line of sight, we went
for a morning and afternoon river cruise on the Rufiji. This is mainly a
birding trip. But you can also witness rural life on the river. I abstained
from shooting people taking their morning shower in the river....
The village ferry:
Buckets for rent:
One of our biggest problems on the river was the minimum focusing distance of
our lenses. Our captain brought us so close to the kingfishers that we
sometimes had a tough time focusing.
My other major worry was working from a motor boat with a metal hull and the
300 (plus 1.4 converter) on a monopod and not having image stabilization. I
often ended up using ISO 320 or even higher to have short exposure times.
Still, I often used apertures that are not optimal (5.6) for even small
subjects, at short distances, so that upon close inspection, the good shots are
only sharp at they eyes, the bad ones elsewhere.
Not on this one though, he was way faster than the others in gobbling up the
fish, so by the time we really reached him, the fish was gone. This is a very
I sometimes forgot to increase the aperture where it would have been possible,
being too focused on getting the image rather than getting the image right. On
the other hand, if I compare shooting Kingfishers on the Rufiji river to the
efforts you have to go to, in order to photograph an Eisvogel (the small
malachite like Kingfisher that is resident in Germany), it was like birthday,
easter and Xmas combined, it is so easy.
The boat also allowed shooting hippos at the waterline, a rather nice perspective.
Or crocodiles entering the water...
Lunch at the camp provided other shooting opportunities:
On the afternoon cruise, we were again caught by a rain shower which provided nice light and fun at the shore.
It was interesting to see the mood of the kids change over time, from welcoming waving to anger to show off and waving again (I guess Peter making silly gestures was part of this). All shot with 420mm and a bit of cropping.
The light was pretty crazy:
More to come.....
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