Taking the Canon 5DS on Safari

I have always thought of my myself as a bird photographer. It is one of the most popular genres of photography and one that best utilises the advanced features such as fast focusing and high burst rate of action cameras. In 2008 I was using a Canon 1D Mark III for my bird photography and I loved it. It was a great machine and one of my favourite cameras that I had used. Back then, I was at the early stages of my career as a specialist wildlife photographic guide, and found myself in the bush doing less bird photography and more general wildlife photography. In addition, on the odd occasion I would take a few wide angle photos that I considered to be landscape photography.

When the Canon 5D Mark II was released in 2008 it was not only revolutionary for its DSLR video capabilities but also because it was the first affordable high resolution camera, at 21 megapixels. I bought myself one and knew that with the slower focus system and low burst rate it was not designed for action photography. My aim was to use it for animal and bird portraits, and for all my landscape photography work. I took it with me on safari and immediately fell in love with the superb high resolution. It really stood out as a landscape and wildlife portrait camera and as a result, I used that camera to take some of my favourite wildlife photos at that stage. For me, it really worked well to use both a top action camera and a high resolution camera when I was on safari.

Leopard, Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana   |   1/50 sec at f/7.1, ISO 1250   |   Canon EOS 5D Mark II + EF600mmf/4L IS USM lens   |   Aperture priority, -1 EV

Leopard, Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana | 1/50 sec at f/7.1, ISO 1250 | Canon EOS 5D Mark II + EF600mmf/4L IS USM lens | Aperture priority, -1 EV

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Safari Diary, MAASAI MARA – Sep 2015

SAFARI DIARY

Photo Tour, Maasai Mara in Kenya

7 September 2015

The Safari Link flight from Nairobi arrived at 11:00 at Ol Kiombo airstrip in the Maasai Mara National Reserve. My guests were welcomed to the Mara with with the sight of wildebeest as far as the eye can see. Our plan to drive to camp from the airstrip changed into a photographic detour with my guests photographing a crossing even before they had checked into camp. After this very exciting start to the photo tour we arrived at camp at 2:30pm, checked in, had lunch, and then it was time to go out again. During our first official game drive we fought through a sea of wildebeest to find a cheetah mother and her four small cubs as well as a few mating pairs of lions. These got the shutters firing fiercely and was a great way to start our week in the Maasai Mara!

20150907_6214 | ,  in 1-1600 sec at f - 8,0, ISO 800   |   Canon EOS-1D Mark IV + EF100-400mm f-4.5-5.6L IS II USM   |   Aperture priority, 0 EV

 

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Safari Diary, MASHATU – 2015/07/16

SAFARI DIARY

Photo Workshop, Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana

16 July 2015

It’s become a familiar feeling with the sun peeping over the horizon while driving on the N1 North towards Mashatu for the start of a new Photo Workshop. Five days at the closest wilderness to Johannesburg with some of my favourite people can only mean lots of fun to look forward to. After transporting a record amount of luggage and camera gear to Mashatu Tent Camp we got our workshop off to a good start with an afternoon game drive. To warm up the shutter fingers we decided to spend some time at an hyena den, photographing in golden light, before sundowner drinks concluded a great first day in the bush!

20150716_2723 | ,  in 1-800 sec at f - 4,5, ISO 640   |   Canon EOS-1D Mark IV + EF600mm f-4L IS USM   |   Shutter priority, -2-3 EV

 

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Safari Diary, MASHATU – 2015/06/20

SAFARI DIARY

Photo Workshop, Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana

20 June 2015

Today was the start of an exciting new “video” workshop to Mashatu by legendary cinematographer, Abraham Joffe. I went along to help out with still photography side of things. We arrived at Main Camp just after lunch and were quickly ready to go out on our afternoon drive. For most guests it was their first trip to Africa, so it was a great privilege for me to introduce them to our iconic animals while getting them up to speed with the photography. Our fist drive included elephants, elephants, elephants and cheetah in golden light. Sundowner drinks with a great sunset concluded a perfect start to the safari.

20150620_8400 | ,  in 1-400 sec at f - 5,6, ISO 200   |   NIKON D4 + 500.0 mm f-4.0   |   Manual, -1-3 EV

 

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Safari Diary, S LUANGWA – 2015/06/14

SAFARI DIARY

Photo Workshop, South Luangwa National Park in Zambia

14 June 2015

I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I’ve last visited South Luangwa. My three guests on this exclusive workshop and I were welcomed by our guide, Meyam, as we arrived at Mfuwe airport. I was excited to show three people over the next seven days why South Luangwa is one of my favourite destinations! We reached camp just before the afternoon game drive time, and although we had seen most of the animals, including lions and elephants on the way up, none of us wasted time getting ready for our first drive. An incredible start to the safari included elephants play-fighting, owlets in a spotlight and a leopard stalking impala. With all that excitement, we can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring.

20150614_7194 | ,  in 1-500 sec at f - 7,1, ISO 400   |   NIKON D810 + 500.0 mm f-4.0   |   Manual, -2-3 EV

 

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Safari Diary, MASHATU – 2015/04/25

SAFARI DIARY

Photo Workshop, Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana

25 April 2015

The April rains in Mashatu carpeted the land in a stunning green with yellow and purple flowers and I’ve never seen the bush this beautiful. Temperatures are also down with warm days and cool nights. I met the guests at the border for the start of the first scheduled photo workshop for 2015. After checking everyone into the lodge we embarked on our first game drive where we were blessed with good sightings of jackals in golden light and a leopard just before sunset. We toasted to another stunning day in Africa! Let’s see what tomorrow will bring!

20150425_2735 | , Mashatu Game Reserve in 1-800 sec at f - 4,0, ISO 2500   |   Canon EOS-1D Mark IV + EF200-400mm f-4L IS USM lens   |   Shutter priority, 0 EV

 

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Safari Diary, SERENGETI – 2015/03/09

SAFARI DIARY

Photo Tour, Serengeti National Park in Tanzania

9 March 2015

Our journey stared in Arusha and we arrived at 10am at the Southern Serengeti airstrip. We got to camp early and had time to settle in before the afternoon game drive. We were lucky to start our trip with a young male leopard up a tree. He was a beautiful specimen and we decided to stay with him for the whole afternoon as the light got better and he delivered some stunning poses. This was a great way to get our eyes in for the photography that would follow for the rest of the week! On the way back to camp we came across a Francolin on a termite mound, perfect for photographing against the setting sun!

20150309_0001 | , Serengeti National Park in Tanzania,    |    +    |   ,_

 

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Safari Diary, ANTARCTICA – 2014/11/20

SAFARI DIARY

Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica Photo Tour

19 November 2014

Our journey started in Ushuaia in Argentina – the southern most town in the world and the gateway to Antarctica. By this time Shem and I had been here a few days and that was a good thing considering that our luggage was lost on the way there and the few extra days was enough buffer to find it again in time for our trip. We were going to board the ship the next day, so in the afternoon we decided to hike up a mountain next to Ushuaia to take a few photos and getting our “shutter fingers” warmed up.

20141119_4079 | ant red, ant safari diary, ant unknown, Ushuaia in Argentina1-100 sec at f - 22, ISO 1600   |   NIKON D810 + 24.0-70.0 mm f-2.8   |   Manual, -1 EV

 

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Awards evening at the WPY 2013

I’m am both thrilled and honoured to announce that my image, “Sticky Situation” has won the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013 award for Bird Behaviour.

In my industry of wildlife photography, this is the highest honour bestowed from the leaders in wildlife photography, BBC wildlife and the Natural History Museum in London.

Photography is art and thus very subjective. What is beautiful to one person does not necessary strike an emotional cord with another. But, if you do photography for your own enjoyment, regardless of what anyone else thinks, then you’re on the right track.

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Purchase Isak’s winning photo

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Isak Pretorius would like to offer you the unique opportunity to purchase a 1/50 limited edition print of his Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013 award winning photo, “Sticky Situation”. The prints are hand autographed, numbered with a letter of authenticity, and can be printed to an number of different sizes on either canvas, matte fine art paper or textured glossy art paper. This photo received the highest honour for a bird behaviour photograph in wildlife photography’s most prestigious competition in 2013. The photo recorded an unusual moment in nature and has been described as “a striking composition that evoke real emotions” by the judges.

 

COST

– US$ 550 per print
– The cost includes prints made up to A0 (1189 x 841mm) in size
– The cost includes shipping to any international destination

 

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