Oxpeckers on the back of a Giraffe, South Africa

NOVEMBER 2011 – Several red-billed oxpeckers (Buphagus erythrorhynchus) sit on the back of a giraffe at Kruger National Park, South Africa. Photo © Mark Zanzig/zanzig.com


The story behind the image

A trip to Kruger National Park in South Africa is exciting and – unless you live in the area – probably a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. It’s an invitation for photographers who want to improve their wildlife photography skills.

When traveling to the park you should consider bringing a serious tele lens. I brought my Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM tele zoom. Mounted to the 1D Mark III with its APS-H sensor that lens behaves like a 130-520 mm lens on a full frame sensor. This means you can get really close to the animals even if they are quite far away. This photo was done at 400 mm focal length. Remember that you are not allowed to leave your car while in the park except at locations where it is explicitly allowed, so you are pretty much bound to your car. The 100-400 zoom range gives you a lot of freedom as you can quickly react to most situations.

Oh, and you will want to get up early to get decent shots in the morning light. Here, the sunlight was coming out after a cloudy early morning, and I like the soft light from behind the giraffe. #iwishiwasherenow


The high resolution image

Capture Date & Time27-NOV-2011, 08:09
LocationKruger National Park, South Africa
CameraCanon EOS-1D Mark III
LensCanon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM
ISO800
Exposure1/1600 sec at f/5.6
Digital Image Source FormatCanon Camera RAW (CR2)
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions3888 x 2592 Pixels
Copyright© by Mark Zanzig/zanzig.com

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