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The Africa Hornhill

The African Hornbill is a common bird in African and it has a sound that is typical of Africa. It’s a sound that as soon as you hear it, you will be able to identify it , even if you can’t see it. This picture is of the male African Hornbill and there are a number of different types of hornbills in African.

Vicki and I operate and own Africa Running Wild Safaris  and our safaris are aimed at any person who loves animals, nature, Africa and people who like taking pictures. Most people who join our Safaris will fall into one of those areas.

Even if you are not a photographer, the advantage that you get from the safari with Africa Running Wild Safaris is that we will where ever it is possible put you on the right side of the animal with the right light. So even with your ipad, you will be able to take a lovely picture with the right light on it.That is so important with your photography.

Light is the key to any picture that is taken. Whether it be  wedding pictures, industrial pictures, commercial pictures, animals pictures, portraits etc, light will always be the key  in the picture.If the light is not right, then the images is dead. Often we see people clicking away at a subject and the sun might be behind the cloud and by waiting for the sun to pop, will usually be the difference of the subject popping with the natural light on it.

There also pictures that we take place that you were not expecting and when they happen you  need to be ready  and have your camera ready to snap away.

This picture of the hornbill was just perched on its branch and the light was perfect.With the right light this bird has wonderful colors that stand out. They really do pop if you have the early morning light or late afternoon light on the bird.

We were stationary at the time when the  bird just landed near us. Both Vicki and I shoot with the Canon 100mm-400mm f5.6lens on a half frame senors, the 7dmark2 which gives a far better reach to the wildlife . It is such a practical set up and gives us the best results.We love the sharpness of this lens. It is outstanding.We cannot stress that enough. Also with this picture we shot it at f8 which gave us a shallow depth of field with this lens when we were zoomed in.The shallow depth of field is what gives this picture the depth to the picture. It has  made the bird pop even more as you are drawn to the bird. You don’t have any distractions in the back ground.As the branch goes off into the picture is goes out of focus and that is because of the shallow depth of field that we deliberately  chose to use.

So with a shot like this, where do you focus? Always the eyes and in this case, it was one eye. For 99% of the time you should always focus on the eyes of the animals where possible as the eyes are the window to our soul. For the picture to be alive, the eyes really need to be focused as the eyes are always the most expressive organ that we have. For those who have done any of our workshops, you will know how we stress this all of the time.

The hornbill is not a large imposing creature but it is a significant bird as it is typical of Africa and in this case, all of the elements came together. The subject was close enough that it was going to be imposing and it had the best light on it which made the like pop.

With the right light on any subject, its the first step in taking a wonderful picture. 🙂

Pete Dobré

Author Pete Dobré

Pete's photography is self taught. As a young child photography was an interest. His passion for the varying landscapes of Oz comes from frequent visits as a youngster, to his Gandparent's sheep farm in Barmera, a small country town in South Australia. Pete Dobré is a Freelance Photographer who blazes the trail for 6 months each year, capturing awe-inspiring images. Pete's work expresses his creative flair, emotions and love for the natural scapes of Australia. He remembers the hot day when he was 8, leaving town for the farm. His parents had an old car. Within about 2 kilometres of reaching the farm gate, they were bogged on a small red sand dune. The flies were buzzing continuously and the heat was beating down. Sticks, leaves and branches were wedged under the back tyres, to get the car moving. His mum was in a panic but Pete thought that it was exciting. From that moment he knew that he loved being out in creation, with the sense of adventure in the wild. This is where Pete's passion began. Photography for Pete is an expressive means for visual communication. He says, 'There is never a boring moment in my work. There is always something to photograph and I love being creative. The only limit to creativity is a lack of creativity.' Pete's aim as a photographer is to present images that provoke and stimulate the mind, to capture God's awesome creation and to share this with others. If Pete can do a little justice to God's creativity, then he is quietly satisfied. As a photographer Pete's inspiration and passion for his work comes from knowing God who created everything in the beginning. Knowing God, the Creator gives more substance and meaning to what he captures on film. Pete sees his role as freezing a moment in time and history which will never be repeated exactly the same again. The light, clouds and seasons will always be different. Pete's love for natural conditions at different times of the day, displaying varying moods and cloud formations makes his work very special and eye catching.

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