Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The Promise of Rain

I've been keeping this photo under wraps for a while...just never felt like it was time to share it - until now. By now, if you've followed my work for some time, you would know that I have this sort of fetish for contextual atmospheric wildlife photos taken with shorter focal lengths. I simply love the scenery of Africa too much to resort to frame-filling portraits in the majority of my image-making.

This photo shows a herd of desert-hardened Oryx, also called Gemsbok, moving across the barren Etosha salt pan as the first summer rains roll in from the distance. Etosha is a hot, harsh and unforgiving land for most of the year. However, towards the end of November a transformation happens - clouds start to form, moisture is tangible in the air, and storms start to build across the endless horizon. Water comes to this land, much needed sustenance, preserving life and keeping this fragile ecosystem in the right balance.

This image is being released into my limited edition monochrome print series. It was taken with the stunning 36 megapixel sensor of the Nikon D800 and will print massively for a beautiful adornment for a home or office wall. Only 30 of these prints will ever be sold, each one signed and numbered, delivered with a certificate of authenticity.

If you would like to own an edition of this print, please send me an email at PRINTS@morkelerasmus.com to discuss your custom sizing, print medium (fine art canvas or Hahnemuhle Fotorag) and obtain a personalised quote. I handle each print personally.

Please do click on the image below to display properly against a dark background...

This photo is the copyright of Morkel Erasmus and unauthorised use is prohibited.
Photo Techs:
Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 VR-II @ 175mm
Circular Polariser
f8.0  |  1/400 SS  |  ISO-900

I hope you enjoyed viewing this one! Have a blessed day, folks...

Morkel Erasmus

Sunday, 17 May 2015

All in the eyes

The eyes have it, they say.
A picture is worth a thousand words, they say.
Whoever they are, they said it.

On our recent short visit to Singita in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve in South Africa, we were fortunate to spend some quality time with an old male leopard called the "Camp Pan Male". He is estimated to be around 16 years old, which is very old for a male leopard (especially considering the amount of other males he's had to run into over the years).

Have a look at this photo.
What does it "speak" to you??
Think about it for a few seconds before reading on.

Nikon D3s  |  Nikkor 500mm f4 VR-II  |  f5.0  |  1/500 SS  |  ISO-1100

There's a very compelling story to this image - it was taken at the end of a very emotional sighting of him trying his best to feed on a kill he'd stolen from another leopard. His legs were wobbly, his hips looked cripple, and his teeth were worn down. He couldn't get into the very small tree that the kill was hoisted in. I will make the entire story the subject of a different post, because there's some good video footage that my wife caught of the event that would give you an idea of what went down.

Anyway, here he was lying in the grass after exerting all his energy to grab a bite or two...and as he longingly looked up at the kill he was unable to wrest free from the branch it was snuggled into, he looked forlorn...defeated. I was looking into the eyes of a dying leopard. He knew it. I knew it. 

As of today he is still alive (it's merely a week after we were there), but his condition was pretty poor, and we were probably some of the last people to see this leopard alive...and that makes this image special to me.

Morkel Erasmus

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Returning to the Sabi Sands

It's been a while.

3 years to be exact.
3 years since I was able to last spend time in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, a jewel in the lowveld and one of the best places to view and photograph leopards in all of Africa.
3 years ago, I didn't have much luck. I was only there for 2 nights and with the constant rain we only found one leopard on the last afternoon as I was about to leave the reserve.

Despite living in South Africa and going on safari frequently - leopard photos are a bit lacking in my overall portfolio. I've enjoyed amazing sightings of most of the other iconic African mammals, but leopards keep on avoiding me. THIS encounter in Kruger was the most memorable, but I am yearning for a fresh dose of leopard-awesomeness.

This weekend, my wife and I are returning to the Sabi Sands.
Between the properties of Singita and Leopard Hills, I hope we will be lucky enough to spend some quality time with Africa's beautiful secretive predator. At the very least, we should have a great time and recharge some of our own batteries.

Have a great weekend, folks.
See you on the flipside...with some new images I hope!

Morkel Erasmus