Africa Safari (Kenya) Pt.8

Though small, Lake Nakuru National Park is a very unique environment. Marshy forest rings the lake creating habit suitable for birds and mammals we have not previously seen. Diversity reins here as grasslands, perfectly suited for the grazers, open beyond the forested area and roll on to the foothills of surrounding mountains. Add the incredible light reflecting off all these water surfaces and you have all the elements of a full blown studio. The lake acts as a giant reflector for this winter plumaged Grey-headed Gull.

Grey-headed Gull in Lake Nakuru

Grey-headed Gull lake Nakuru

Or these Cape Teal Ducks

 Cape Teal Ducks Lake Nakuru

Or Black-winged Stilt

 Blacked-winged Stilt Lake Nakuru

Or these Hottentot Teal Ducks

Hottentot Teal Ducks Lake Nakuru

The same body of water that behaves as a reflector in full sun for this African Spoonbill…

African Spoonbill Lake Nakuru

becomes a beautiful filter for the setting sun creating an entirely different mood .

 African Spoonbill Lake Nakuru

African Spoonbill Lake Nakuru

 African Spoonbill Lake Nakuru

The very same effect can be seen with this Cape Buffalo in full sun

Cape Buffalo at Lake Nakuru

and in the cooler light of dawn

 Cape Buffalo Lake Nakuru

and finally the beautiful Yellow-billed Stork at sunset.

Yellow-billed Stork Lake Nakuru

This couple better be dropping their treasured package at my son and daughter-in-law’s home presently or Kristi will be raising hell with their superiors!!

Yellow-billed Storks in Lake Nakuru

The Defassa Waterbuck, another large antelope, flourishes in the swampy forest surrounding Lake Nakuru. The female does not have antlers. Unlike the Ellipsen Waterbuck we saw in Samburu, there is no white bullseye on its rump.

Defassa Waterbuck at Lake Nakuru

Defassa Waterbuck in Lake Nakuru

Now, I don’t know if this mommy and baby Impala standing at lake’s edge are the same ones we caught a couple of days later in the swamp but anything is possible.

Lake Nakuru and Impalas

Impalas Lake Nakuru

Impalas at Lake Nakuru

The Olive Baboon troop living in the canopy of the swamp trees are more deserving of a half hour weekly reality show than a still camera. Noisy pranksters, constantly in motion, they would be a portrait photographer’s biggest nightmare.

Olive Baboon Lake Nakuru

A penny for your thoughts little one. I am sure your next scheme will be epic!!

Infant Olive Baboon Lake Nakuru

Even though I hold no special affinity for Baboons, this is one of my favorite shots of the entire trip. It is the thought process of making an image rather just capturing a photo that thrills me. Let me explain. A storm had left this section of the swamp with interlocking wind-blown trees laying all over each other creating a totally distracting background. Step 1: Open my aperture all the way up so only the plane of the Baboon would be in focus resulting in a completely blurred background. Step 2: Since it was shady and the sun was dropping in the sky, increase the intensity of the light allowed to strike the sensor (ISO for you camera buffs). Step 3: With the Baboon sitting still for a moment, I don’t need as fast a shutter speed to freeze action so reduce just a bit to allow more light on subject. Step 4: I want the sun behind the Baboon to create a soft halo of light rimming around his head highlighting his fur without losing the detail of his face. By repositioning myself, the inevitable sun flare is avoided and I made an image suitable for studio work. Just kidding……you know it was B.S. luck.

Olive Baboon Lake Nakuru

Click here to see Africa Safari (Kenya) Pt. 9

Click here to return to Africa Safari (Kenya) Pt. 7

2 responses

  1. Pingback: African Safari (Kenya) Pt.7 | Steve Upton Photography

  2. Pingback: African Safari (Kenya) Pt.9 | Steve Upton Photography

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