Exercise your eyes

While at Chobe, you will have the chance to take hundreds of photos each morning and evening game drive. I encourage you to take these pictures as many of these will be keepsakes you will treasure; however, after a few days, it is easy to get into a routine of shooting the same shot over and over.  Each time you may get a better angle and better image, but I also challenge you to exercise your eyes.  Look for something different in what you shoot and how you shoot it.

As sun sets on the Chobe, a lone Elephant makes a crossing.  The light was low and I new I couldn't get any detail on the elephant, but I could see water droplets coming from the trunk as the elephant crossed.

As sun sets on the Chobe, a lone Elephant makes a crossing. The light was low and I new I couldn't get any detail on the elephant, but I could see water droplets coming from the trunk as the elephant crossed.

Details of an elephants tail

Details of an elephants tail

I am not suggesting ignoring the rules of thumb that create so many great shots.  I truly believe in respecting methods such as the rule of thirds, taking advantage of the golden hours and managing depth of field.  What I am proposing is that to maintain a sharp edge, always look for the shot that no one else is thinking of shooting.  For this article, I have chosen a selection of elephant images.  I am sure I wasn’t the first to shoot any of these subjects, but they are clearly different from my primary shooting style.  By constantly challenging myself to think differently, I keep a better eye on the bush as a whole – which helps my more traditional images.

This exercise is not just to be as a field challenge, many of these shots will also become keepers. Several of these type shots I have taken in the past have become some of my more popular images in photo competitions and also highly requested as gifts by friends.  I know I was initially surprised at the interest in these alternative shots, but once you’ve been complimented by a friend on having taken a different angle, you will be motivated to continue the quest to exercise your eyes.

This article is short; by hope the included images expand your thinking.  With hundreds of animals per day to shoot, I am sure you will find a little something different somewhere.  Good luck.

Elephant drinking along the Chobe - I was too close and didn't have time for a lens change, so I composed what I thought would be interesting and gave it a shot.

Elephant drinking along the Chobe - I was too close and didn't have time for a lens change, so I composed what I thought would be interesting and gave it a shot.

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