Black & White Night Leopard

Hi all…it is getting very close to Christmas now and I am going up to Swakopmund for a while with Noa to get my vehicle serviced and to chill a bit. This is therefore my last blog post for 2010 which will probably resume somewhere around the 4th January 2011. I just want to thank all of you who have been following this blog so far and for all the support that you have shown me and my business: ‘Lochner Photography & Publishing’. The blog has not been up and running long so I am really pleased with the way the views are increasing so I hope it grows and grows in 2011. Let me know if there is ever anything in particular that you want me to show you (photo-wise) or if you have any other queries or questions I can help you with. I am really looking forward to what 2011 will bring me! I would also like to say a huge ‘Thank You’ to our sponsors for all of their support. They are listed on the right column on the home page.

Today’s photo is a black and white one which I decided to share it today because I can’t share it tomorrow for ‘Black & White Friday’. This leopard looks alert and in the hunt. I like this photo because its eyes and face are really in focus. This is tricky to get at night so I am happy with it. The eyes are also really clear, big and bright. Again, I will say that I love leopards and that they are one of my favourite animals to photograph as I am sure most of you will agree. Enjoy it and let me know what you think…

Thanks again to everyone for their support and come visit me in the Kalahari sometime in 2011. Take care and have a great party over Christmas and New Year! See you next year from both of us in the Kalahari.

Ready to strike

Hi all…today’s photo is one of those that most people would not like to be in the situation to be able to take this shot. But this is what I do and do what I need to (respecting the animals and park rules ALWAYS!) in order to get the shot I want. This puff adder is in his ‘ready-to-strike’ defensive position which is not a position you want them to be in when you find them, that’s for sure. There are lots around here though so you need to take care when walking around the park as they are lazy and rely on camouflage for protection. They will sometimes hiss loudly if you are disturbing them which is a great warning to you to get out of its area as quickly as possible. They have a triangular head and strike with such force that they say that most of its prey die from the trauma alone and not necessarily the venom. This snake is responsible for more deaths than any other African snake so please treat them with respect and lots of caution. They have cytotoxic venom which is injected deeply because of the size of their fangs. This venom attacks and destroys tissue and blood cells which presents itself as painful and fast swelling. You can almost see the venom on its tongue in the photo I have shared with you. It looks like it has an almost ultra-violet coating on it. These are the things you have to remember when in the bush-you are just visiting and the animals here are serious and do not play around. Please respect this so that everyone can enjoy visiting these places for a long time to come…enjoy…Let me know what you think…cheers until tomorrow.

Twilight Leopard

Hi all…so as you know it gets really hot up here. Noa and I like to drive around early in the mornings before the sun gets fierce and then in the late afternoons again until late when it is cooling down again. This leopard we stumbled upon on one of our evening drives which was great for us because leopard are really difficult to see in this park. They are very good at sneaking around and staying just out of sight. What made this find great was the colours that were around because of it being twilight. I was able to capture really unique and interesting colours in the background and around the leopard. The greens are emerald, the sky is pink and purple and even the ‘token-burnt-orange’ ground of the Kalahari is a dull grey/brown. All of these colours contribute to the leopard standing out in the photo. Yet another great background the Kalahari has given me for one of my favourite animals that I love to shoot with my camera!

Enjoy folks and let me know what you think…

If you are traveling these holidays, take care on the roads. Cheers.

Like a painting…

Hi all…greetings again from a HOT Kalahari. I hope that all of you had a fun and safe weekend. Probably lots going on holiday all over the country. I know the camp sites around here have filled up and we are getting lots of visitors popping in to our camp site to say hi which is nice. It is cool to meet people who know me from seeing my work etc. So thanks to all that have already and for those of you still coming, don’t be shy to say howzit.

So today’s photo I have for you is of a cheetah on one of the ridges around Samevloeing area. I like this one because of the contrast of the cheetah’s colouring to the blue blue background. There is no shortage of incredibly blue skies here in the Kalahari, in between the thunder and sand storms that is. The cheetah is getting a great view of what game is where from this ridge, probably trying to see if there is anything worth attempting to hunt. It looks very regal poised on top of the ridge, looking down on everything else. The Kgalagadi Cheetah Project, by Gus and Margie Mills, collars cheetahs to gain really important information about them in this park. As you can see, this one is not collared but this project has about 10 radio-collared cheetahs now giving the researchers very valuable info about their feeding, ranging and reproductive behaviours. It’s a good-looking cheetah.

Take a look and let me know what you think… Enjoy the holidays. Cheers!

Black & White Brothers

Hi all…most of you are probably confused today as to what day it is because of the public holiday yesterday so I thought I would help clarify things by keeping to my ‘Black & White Fridays’ photo. Hopefully this will remind you of what day it actually is. I know I lose track of the days all the time up here so blogging also helps me keep track. When this fails then there is always Noa here to keep me on my toes.

Anyway, today is a little sentimental for me because it is a black and white photo of my favourite two brothers (Mufasa and Murtu) in the park. Mufasa is the prettiest of the two. These two often kept me company in and around Rooiputs for my last over-two-year project so I love seeing them and the way the interact so beautifully with each other. It gets a bit lonely being in the park for over 2 years by yourself in a place like Rooiputs so I was really happy with the company. At the end of the day-they are just a couple of really good-looking chaps so here is the photo…take a look and tell me what you think…

Have a great weekend guys and try get yourselves outdoors.

Cheers til Monday.

Thunder at Polentswa

Hi all…wow thanks for all the nice comments and compliments about my photo from yesterday. I really appreciate it! It is one of my favourites so I am really glad you liked it.

So from all the excitement yesterday, today’s photo is from one if my favourite places in the Kalahari – Polentswa. This tree is one of the ones I love to shoot in my photos as it seems to frame things nicely. As you can see, I think it is also beautiful enough to have it as the subject all by itself. Capturing lightening is not easy to do but I have gotten pretty good at it over my years up here in the Kalahari. This place gives me lots of chances to practice I guess. There are a few different elements going on in this shot which to me makes it interesting and has a feeling captured in it. The illuminated tree in the foreground with the dark purple clouds and lightening strikes in the background make this photo feel eerie and ominous. Thunder storms out in the middle of nowhere tend to have this feeling though.

Take a look and let me know what you think…

nikon D3, 24-85mm f2.8-f4

I hear that it is a public holiday tomorrow so enjoy it! Do something outdoors if you can!

Cheers til tomorrow…

One from my List!

Hi all…today you are all in for a real treat. I finally was able to capture lions in the rain! I have this list of photographs I want to capture sometime in my career and this was one of them that I can now tick off!!! Very happy about this one! I always wanted lions in the rain and this time I even got a bonus with the sun peeking out briefly. This shot was taken with my new baby-Nikon D3s, 600mm F4. The lionesses look content with just putting up with the downpour for a while as they know, as well as I do, that the showers here in the Kalahari do not last very long. They provide a short relief from the scorching heat usually rolling in around 4-5pm to cool things off.

Enjoy this one and let me know what you think. I am very happy with it.

Bedinkt nikon D3s, Nikon 600mm f4 Cheers til tomorrow.

Unexpected Behaviour

Hi all…I hope the weekends were good for you. I guess that everyone is in this time of gearing up for Christmas but up here we are totally oblivious to it. We have however noticed that the holiday-makers have started arriving. I just hope that they don’t disturb us too much because the very little amount of sleep we get at night (usually 5 hours) is precious. I will be taking a little time off to go up to Swakopmund to get my vehicle serviced so that will be our little holiday away from the park and campers.

Anyway, to get to the photo I will be sharing with you today…we were sitting watching a few lionesses just relaxing (as lions do best) when I noticed a brown hyena coming strolling down towards us. It did not seem to take notice of us (which is what we want) AND it did not seem to be aware of the lionesses either. As the brown hyena got a little too close, the one lioness decided that he needed to be taught a lesson when approaching them so she got up and chased the hyena away. The image is not very clear (or good) but it was low light and very difficult to capture clearly as it was unexpected like I said. For those of you that are interested, it was taken with my Nikon D3, 600mm lens, F4. You can still get the idea of what was happening though so take a look…

nikon D3, 600mm f4

Any stories from you guys of unexpected behaviour in the bush from animals?

Cheers til tomorrow.

PG 13 ‘Violence’

Hi all…so I know you can find much much worse on the Internet but I still thought I would warn people about the photo I am sharing with you today. It has some blood and guts in it and I know that not everyone likes this kind if thing.
So…for the rest of you, I found this leopard that had just taken down (all by itself) a gemsbok! I was so impressed as I am sure you all are too. For this cat to bring down one of these antelope is a very big achievement. Well I guess when the reward is that great for the leopard then it is definitely worth it.

It gobbled as much of this kill as it could as it was too big for the leopard to drag and store up a tree. Soon the other scavengers (hyenas, jackals and vultures) would come along and it wouldn’t have much chance after that.

Take a look and let me know what you think…

Cheers til tomorrow.

Step into my office…

Hi all…another scorcher of a day here in the Kalahari, about 40 degrees in the shade so bring your swimming costumes if any of you are coming up here anytime soon. Today I thought I would give you all a glimpse into my world and how I do my job with Noa here beside me. The first photo is of us practicing our thunder-storm and lightning capturing skills. She is using the video camera and me with my usual cameras. This is one of the great things about this place where we get really frequent thunder storms that make for great photographs and footage. Take a look at the dramatic sky we get to capture as well that gives us the most amazing backdrops. nikon D3, 24-85mm f2.8-f4

The next I am showing you is of the inside of my mobile office. My photography vehicle enables me to do SO much more than my previous bakkie. Don’t get me wrong, it served me well, but with this new vehicle I have the advantage of an almost 320 degree view of the bush whilst staying in my car. I have to obey the rules just like all of you! This is where all the hard work gets done and where I spend the majority of my time so take a look…

nikon D3 Nikon 12-24mm f4

That’s all from me today. At least you now have an idea of where I am most of the time and what I work with. Cheers til tomorrow.