Hello Namibia friend,
did you ever ponder the question, what it takes to become a successful wildlife photographer?
Then there might be a long list of honorable personality traits of a Frans Lanting or an Art Wolfe coming up in your mind right now, which perhaps includes the virtue of patience, knowledge, preparedness, ....
Well, after our recent Etosha experience I'm tempted to suggest you add another 'quality' to your list: 'stubbornness' :-).
Let me explain.
As you might guess, Wynand & I know a thing or two about Etosha, since we've lived & worked in the Park for a number of years. So it wasn't hard to pick the best month for photographing elephants, that would be September, our favorite waterhole, it's Okaukuejo, and plan our trip accordingly.
Our schedule reserved 5 days - ample time, or so we thought - for our dream scenario: witnessing large herds of elephants with small calves coming in to drink, play and socialize in the late afternoon for atmospheric shots in dust-laden air that's tinted orange by the setting sun.
Ahhhh, what an experience this would be ... I'd already had very clear images in my head, especially of the little ones, I wanted to focus on.
So from our side, it had all been planned out ..., but somehow it seemed it hadn't gotten through to the ellies that clearly ;-)
'Cause this is, what happened.
4 o'clock, WE are there, but no elephant in sight during best light ... [what a pity]
we ARE back and again no ellies; right as we have to leave camp to get back to our accommodation that night outside the park, a herd rocks up ... [damn it]
we are BACK again - no herd, just elephant bulls ... [what's happening, guys?]
WE'RE BACK, hellooo - a herd appears out of nowhere, takes quick drinks & leaves in a rush.
We manage a few shots, but NOTHING coming close to our dream images [I.can.not.believe.it]
WE ARE BACK AGAIN ... [our last chance... we are kind of desperate ... but hey, hope dies last, right] and we wait, all ready and set to shoot...
At last, finally, in the end ... our prayers are being answered:
A large breeding group appears, shortly after a second herd visits - and they beautifully display all ellie behavior one could dream of during their long & relaxed stay at the waterhole.
Ahh, do we love elephants.
So what does this have to do with YOU?
Well, if you are a passionate wildlife photographer with a long list of dream shots in your head, just like us, we'd like to encourage you to take our experience as proof that it does pay off in wildlife photography to persistently pursue your dream images!
SO PLEASE BE STUBBORN!
With our best wilderness wishes,
Claudia & Wynand du Plessis
Namibia wildlife photographers - www.photos-namibia.com - www.photo-art-prints.com
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