Photo Tip: Never Forget that You Are at One of the Greatest Shows on Earth

During my last trip to Chobe, we were coming back from a little side trip to see a leopard in a tree.  Unfortunately, all we could see was the tip of a tail and also the legs of the impala kill well camouflaged up in a tree.

It was near lunchtime, the sun was high, so we decided to head to the lodge for a rest.  As we came along the Chobe River shoreline, we saw a huge pod of hippos.  Not that unusual into itself, but these hippos were not very happy.  Fighting was breaking out everywhere.  I took many shots, but unfortunately, the lighting was harsh, the distance was a little far for my lens, but not too far for easy binocular viewing.  To add to things, it seemed many of the good fights were slightly obscured by the bodies of other hippos.  From a pure photo standpoint, the scene was a waste.

We could have left unhappy … but we were in Africa … watching one of natures largest mammals fighting it out with amazing power and action.  We were mesmerized.  We watched for a full hour, totally skipping our lunch.  Yes, you’re paying a lot to be there.  Yes, you only have a few days to get all of the shots you want to get. … and Yes, the opportunity for the photo was missed, but … we could have been at work, or sitting in a house in central Pennsylvania, but, No… we were in Africa, watching one of the greatest shows on earth!

So, this photo tip is a little of a travel tip … a photo is just a photo.  Experience nature and the life and death battles all around you while you are in the bush.  Below are a few of what I did get during the ‘lost shoot’.  To enhance detail I have used Topaz Adjust 4 on several of these.  The mid day sun made for harsh lighting. Enjoy, not as great photos, but as a chance to imagine you were there.

A call to the greatest show on earth. Photo: P. B. Eleazer, Canon 50D, Canon 500mm with 1.4x teleconverter

Heated discussion Photo: P. B. Eleazer, Canon 50D, Canon 500mm with 1.4x teleconverter.

Note the torn flesh - this wasn't just a mock battle - P. B. Eleazer, Canon 50D, Canon 500mm with 1.4x teleconverter.

Splashes everywhere as the battle heats up. P. B. Eleazer, Canon 50D, Canon 500mm with 1.4x teleconverter.

The battle continues - P. B. Eleazer, Canon 50D, Canon 500mm with 1.4x teleconverter.

Well, some weren't fighting, but that Croc probably wishes the hippos would leave him alone. P. B. Eleazer, Canon 50D, Canon 500mm with 1.4x teleconverter.

Hippo Posing for a dental exam - P. B. Eleazer, Canon 50D, Canon 500mm with 1.4x teleconverter.

Land and water battles during my 'Greatest Show on Earth' - copyright: P. B. Eleazer

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