Wildlife Photography Blog - the spot for site updates plus photography and conservation news, views, and opinions

Date: Monday, 23 May 2005.  
A page has been added to the "Gallery" featuring Mongoose pictures.

Three Hi-Res Pictures have been added that can be downloaded and used royalty-free for commercial purposes. They are:

  • a lioness relaxing in the shade;
  • elephant female with two young youngsters she's protecting;
  • three antelope (impala) drinking at a waterhole in the early morning.

The images are all quite large, so will take a while to download if you're on a slow connection, but should provide good reference material for artists or anyone else needing hi-res images.

Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana
I spent a few days at a private camp in Mashatu Game Reserve (Botswsan's Tuli Block area) in early May.

One of the highlights was my first sighting ever of a leopard in a tree - and we went on to see two more, although neither as clear as the first one.

The first sighting happened on our first morning, as we drove slowly up a steep bank. Ahead was a large tree and, looking up at a branch caught in the early morning sun, I said to my buddy Andrew: "Wouldn't it be great if there was a leopard on that branch?" ... then looked away. Andrew, an experienced wildlife observer, looked further into the tree, and there, lying on a branch in heavy, dappled shade, was a magnificent male leopard!

We spent about 15 minutes just watching and taking pictures before another vehicle arrived, at which the leopard scampered rapidly down the tree and disappeared. Below is one of the pictures, together with a lesson I learnt about leopard sightings. (You're welcome to copy the "lesson" photo if you like - you can also download a clearer and larger version from here).

Leopard in tree Leopard camouflage
Below are two more pictures from Mashatu - one of a black-backed jackal and the other of a rock hyrax (better known as a "dassie" in South Africa).
Black-backed jackal Rock hyrax or dassie
It's a shock to the system, after enjoying wild animals in their natural habitat, to see the pictures sent to me by Mark Bent, who's running an oil firm in Eritrea. He says he took the shots at the local dump ..."hundreds of baboons come there each day".
baboons on garbage dump, Eritrea baboon in the rubbish, Eritrea

Book Review
If you're interested in photography as a career, then you should take the time to read my review of  Income from Photography.

There're very few photography books that give common-sense guidance for the aspiring photographer and "Income from Photography" strives to fill this gap.

It's in electronic format (ebook) and touches only briefly on the technical aspects of photography, with the bulk of the content aimed rather at the budding photographer with little or no commercial savvy.

The book won't suit everyone, but it may be what you need if you're at the crossroads in making career choices.

Reader Survey
Thanks to all who completed the Reader Survey. More than 120 visitors completed the survey, which has given me a better idea of who visits this web site and why. Here's a quick summary of the results:

Age groups: 18 or under: 18.9%  .........19 to 35: 27.6%  ........36 to 50: 29.1%   .........Over 50 - 24.4%

Gender: Female: 53.5%  ..........Male: 46.5%

70.1% found the site via a search engine and of those 74% used Google. Most (60%) were looking for wildlife pictures when searching.

Reasons for looking for pictures varied, with "general interest/browsing" at the top (34.8%), followed by "as reference for art/crafts" (20.1%), "other" (15.9%) and "school/college project" (14.0%)

It's interesting that a high 19.7% still think pictures on the web should be free to download for any use, while 35.4% believe they should be free for non-commercial use. Fortunately (for those publishing images on the web), the majority (44.9%) believe they should only be used with permission.

47.2% of respondents said they had previously bought digital goods over the Internet.

PC users are far in the majority at 81.9%, with 10.2% using Macs.

Internet Explorer remains the most popular browser (67.9%) with Firefox second at (14.6%), suggesting Firefox is not just for geeks but has moved into the mainstream.

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