A popular US movie with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman was ‘The Bucket List’.  The premise was pretty straight forward.  If you have a terminal problem, what are the ‘must’ activities you need to achieve so you have no regrets.  Obviously, such a list could gravitate to family, but my question is specific to wildlife viewing and photography.  What is your bucket list?

I believe that you have the best chance of fulfilling your bucket list if you have thought about it and about the composition details you will need.  Luck often follows the well prepared.

Here’s my bucket list:

  • Having my kids with me on a great safari
  • A great safari with my girlfriend (must be bug free and her not constantly afraid I am taking too many chances)
  • Great portraits of some of the people of Botswana
  • Shoot the great migration (I know it’s a Kenya/Tanzania thing)

    The Wildebeest Migration on the Mara River

  • A rhino in the open from a low angle … preferably in a morning mist.
  • star trails with the perfectly shaped baobab in the background
  • Seeing a cheetah, lion, leopard or croc kill unfold before my eyes and camera
  • Clear shot of a leopard in an isolated tree
  • A great action shot of a Malachite Kingfisher
  • A great wildlife shot ‘framed’ via shooting below the belly or chin of an ellie
  • perfect profile of a darter taking off, showing those perfect water step trails behind
  • Shooting from a helicopter. … elephants or buffalo crossing wetlands, a large flock of storks flying over a big herd (passing in a perpendicular direction), lone animals near sunset or sunrise when their shadows create great profile images, etc.
  • A ‘money shot’ of a storm coming with animals in the foreground

On my bucket list - animals from above (this image copyright Andy Biggs)

I am sure that as soon as I print this, I will think of other ‘dream shots’.  I have been lucky and can cross off several things including sunset silhouettes and being in the bush with my son, but I wouldn’t mind re-living any of the ‘crossed off’ bucket list items.

On my bucket list - The baobab with startrails (this image copyright Emil von Maltitz)