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Wildebeest and Flamingos

Wildebeest and Flamingos - 1D4, 500 f/4 + 1.4x TC, f/7.1, 1/600s, ISO 400

I was inspired to work on this image after seeing +Andy Biggs's latest post featuring Water Buffalos and Flamingos.   I captured the frame for this in the Ngorongoro crater at around mid morning, about 10:30.  There is a lake in the distance where the flamingos hang out and since this is a national park, vehicles aren't allowed off-road, so you make do with where you are.  I used a 1.4x teleconverter on the 500 and with all the atmospheric haze the pixels are pretty much mush so it sad unprocessed, unloved for the last two years.  Then, in a moment of inspiration this morning, I worked on a black & white version of this and with a combination of Silver Efex and Color Efex managed to get something acceptable.

I found the Ngorongoro crater both a frustration and delight to shoot.  It was a delight because the crater walls can make for very interesting backgrounds, giving images a more unique look than an image of animals on an open plain.  I found it frustrating because the park rules require you to only enter after sunrise and leave well before sunset.  This means you spend the day mostly photographing in challenging light.  One of the things I'm really looking forward to in Botswana is being able to get out during good light and being able to go off-road and get close to the wildlife.  You can do this if you stay at the private reserves.

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