After uploading the blogpost summarising my favourite photos and trips of 2013 (click here), I decided that I had to choose one solely for myself. This choice would not be based upon the amount of likes, comments or shares that the photo received. Not whether it was a fantastic image of a lion kill, a migration, a musk ox in the snow, or a Eurasian lynx climbing on a rock. Neither did it have to be an image that was technically difficult, involving days of planning and patience.
It had to be the one that brought the most joy to the bits inside me (insert one of your choosing – heart, soul, spirit etc).
I remember the morning clearly as I parked on the bridge spanning the Oliphants river in the Kruger National Park in South Africa. I was there before sun up and it was still pretty dark. On several bridges throughout the park, there are demarcated areas where you can get out of your vehicle and walk around. The river below was already buzzing with several species of birds and animals starting to move about and I happily waited in the cold African air (it was winter after all) until that moment before the sun came up.
I originally had some landscape photography in mind and was busy shooting with the Canon 16-35mm lens when I saw the little Black-winged Stilt moving about its business on the rivers edge. The colour of the dawn reflection around it was simply an outrageous orange. I grabbed the Canon 500mm instead and rested it on a beanbag over the bridge railing. I managed to get a sequence where the bird was the only object on the water. I smiled at the wonderful simplicity.