Southampton student wildlife photographer Harry Ludlow took his camera to South Africa and came back with some impressive close up footage of our favourite Safari celebrities.
Take a break from whatever work your pretending to do, and enjoy his work, perhaps while listening to the Lion King soundtrack if you like to set a scene.
What kind of photography are you into?
I enjoy photographing various subjects, naturally wildlife and landscapes but also, in a more niche area, military aircraft. I do also shoot macro but really anything that looks cool and I want to keep a memory of what I photograph.
What camera do you use?
I use a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 which is a bridge camera so the lens is not interchangeable, however it has an equivalent focal length of 25-400mm which allows me to photograph wide landscapes and long telephoto subjects with ease, without needing to change the lens.
What drew you to photographing wildlife?
I photograph wildlife to capture the natural essence of life, which is for the most part, unaffected by human intervention. There are also a huge variety of colours and tones to play with that are aesthetically pleasing. I wish to capture a memento of whatever it is I was looking at.
Sometimes it’s also the behaviour the wildlife exhibits that makes the photo interesting. For example, how some animals have complex social structures (i.e. elephants), and others are solitary.
In modern day human life, everything is regulated. It’s a crime to attack someone, but there is nothing stopping wildlife from doing something similar, other than life or death. For this reason, I prefer shooting photos in places like South Africa’s Balule Game Reserve. Here animals can be a lot more isolated from humans, as they have had no prior interaction with them.
But the general rule for me is- I will photograph anywhere there are animals.
Giraffe – Shot within 200 metres of our encampent, this inquisitive giraffe peers over the African bush to view the commotion from the 4×4 vehicle. Although giraffes were abundant, they often proved difficult to photograph. This is thanks to them being very wary of predators due to how exposed their habitat is.
Bush Buck – This bush buck was browsing for food (being a herbivore) when we spotted it; as bush buck are usually solitary creatures, they tend to be nocturnal and so an early start was required to catch these out in the open.
White Rhino – One of my favourite photographs from my time in South Africa, this image shows the Oxpecker birds and are thought to exhibit mutualism with the Rhino, feeding off ticks. According to our guide, this was the clearest sighting he’d seen to date of a White Rhino so a very lucky opportunity indeed!
Butterflies – I believe these two to be Common Orange Tip and Brown-Veined White. Shot from inside the camp, many butterflies frequented this area and with a huge array of colours too.
Sharpe’s Grysbok – This Grysbok was seen actually while we were searching for what we thought was a cheetah. Although we ultimately did not see a cheetah, the Grysbok acted very differently to how they normally did around us. An alerted stance and ears scanning the undergrowth made it apparent that predators were nearby.
Vervet Monkey – This monkey is highly mischevious – the locals employ the use of slingshots to keep them from raiding the bins!
If you would like to share your wildlife photography and stories contact our science editor Trina Davies or get in touch with the Wessex Scene via e-mail or Facebook.