Get Low Down For Impact

Photo: Bianca Steyn
Whenever it is physically possible and safe to do so, I look for opportunities to get low down to the level of my subject. It can be inconvenient and at times uncomfortable, you get dirty and you may need somebody to keep a look out for your safety. But, you can create so much more impact than towering above your subject and photographing it from above.

I photographed this Flapped-Necked Chameleon earlier this month while leading a photography safari for Penda Photo Tours. Rexon and James, our guides and trackers spotted it strolling across the track as we drove through the Djuma reserve in Sabi Sands. Once we had checked it was safe we dismounted from our 4wd and I encouraged those who joined me to get low down and dirty!

Flapped-Necked ChameleonFlapped-Necked Chameleon, Djuma Reserve, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

By using a wide aperture for a shallow depth of field the chameleon stands out so much more and has much more impact than being photographed from above. We also create a much more intimate connection of being in our subject’s world rather than an observer’s point of view.

This photograph was taken a few seconds after the photograph above and it illustrates the huge difference we can make by just adjusting our own position.

Flapped-Necked ChameleonFlapped-Necked Chameleon, Djuma Reserve, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

I have to take my hat off to our guide and driver Rexon plus tracker James for spotting this tiny chameleon as we were driving along!

Baboon SpiderBaboon Spider, Greater Kruger, South Africa.

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