Returning to my field research site in the Kalahari desert, I took my SLR camera trap in the hope of catching something special. Working with my good friend Dylan Smith, who knows the area and its beasts like the back of his hand, we managed to get some beautiful shots of the female leopard that is gradually repopulating the reserve. She appeared a few years ago, perhaps having worked her way down from Bostwana. With a male who is also occasionally seen, she has now successfully reared at least two litters on the reserve. And from the looks of our images she may just have produced her third. Its fabulous to have these beautiful cats back on the land after so many years away.
WiLDiMAGES - Andy Young Photography
I am an evolutionary biologist seeking to capture something of the world.
My research frequently takes me to Africa's wild places, but much of my photography involves hunting for peculiar mammals on other continents. I have a particular interest in camera trapping and noctural photography. My two primary subjects are Humans and The Wild.
Follow me @animalsocieties
I finished trouble-shooting my SLR camera trap just a few hours before leaving for my research site in the Kalahari. The potential for environmental portraits of noctural creatures is unparalleled in the area, ranging from small antelope, through aardwolves and aardvark to leopard, lion and the Kalahari special, the brown hyena. In setting the trap, you're effectively setting up a wild studio in to which your animal must walk. I look principally for that rare congruence of an active trail for the target animal and an immediate background that conveys something of its context; the goal being to produce an intimate environmental portrait that a traditional long-lens approach would struggle to capture. Keeping the camera close to the trigger line, using a wide angle lens, and lighting the scene with wide-angle off-camera flashes that leave light levels falling off at the edges of the frame can all help to capture these quiet moments in the darkness. I was stoked with both of these images for quite different reasons. I built the trap using Emmanuel Rondeau's outstanding guide here.
Brown Hyena - Kalahari desert
I've been working in the Kalahari desert for fourteen years, so it was with great excitement that I finally encountered my first Pangolin; without a doubt one of the coolest mammals on the planet...
The Honey badger is one of Africa’s most enigmatic and elusive carnivores, so I relished a chance to get up close with one, out and about in its natural habitat. A good friend at my research site in the Kalahari desert is raising an orphaned cub, who is quite a handful at eight months old - he loves a wrestle and firmly grips my boots as we walk through the bush at dusk.
Headed to Aliwal Shoal off the KwaZulu Natal coast with Jim, hoping for a close encounter with a tiger shark. A whirl of black-tips and silkies brought wide smiles, and the recharging strobes drew inquisitive bumps from the bolder among them. As we dropped into the whirl for a second time, a broad icicle-striped torpedo cruised slowly through the blue, silenced our bubbles and was gone. Magic.