Close Encounter and an ‘attack’

From the archives. Shot in 2015 during a hike in the Eastern Cape. It was a hot midday and the animals had their siesta. Could approach them up to about 3 meters. That’s for me wild life photography: not in a game reserve but in the wild and up-and-as-close-as-possible.

This picture recently came under heavy attack (Instagram: @hermanvanbon) by a local wildlife photographer. Het mentioned that the photo was ‘crap’ (that’s his good right 😉 ) and that one can’t approach cheetahs that close without being attacked. I can imagine his thought behind that idea if you have your whole life being engaged in wildlife photography from the comfort of a game drive vehicle and in the presence of a ranger with a complete weapon arsenal (to exaggerate a bit). Next point he made is that there are no cheetahs in the wild in the Eastern Cape. Well that is certainly not true. On the contrary. Officially there should not be cheetahs in the wild in the Eastern Cape. But on numerous occasions they escape from the different game reserves and are not always recaptured. Unofficially the number is the wild is estimated up to a few hundred; mainly North of the line between PE and Plettenburg Bay. Source: Cheetah Metapopulation South Africa. Another thing one should know about cheetahs and other panthera species is that they are mainly active from sunset to sunrise and relatively inactive during the day and especially in temperatures above 30-35 degrees Celcius. After I made the picture I spoke with different nature conservationists and people of a panthera sanctuary about what happened that day and without exception they confirmed that in the circumstances I described it’s very well possible to approach even lions (except when there are cubs) up to a short distance provided you don’t sit down and keep yourself higher than they are. That’s a bit of animal psychology 😉

‘Spaghetti People’ (4 pictures)

Artist unknown except that she once lived in Aberdeen in the Eastern Cape, South Africa and created those long feet ceramic figures which were known as ‘Spaghetti People’. If anyone coincidentally knows her name and eventually more details please comment.

spagettipeople4 spagettipeople3 spagettipeople2 spagettipeople1

SOLD

Life size. European customer.

Made this picture last year during a hike in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Just stumbled upon two cheetahs sunbathing (it was a very hot day and wildlife is very inactive during the heat of the day). I prefer picturing wildlife in the wild and preferable without telelens. It takes patience and silent communication and, as in this case, a bit of luck.

Processed in opalotype.

CheetahWEB

 

The Prince Alfred’s Pass ….

… between the towns of Avontuur in the Eastern Cape and Knysna in the Western Cape is not for the faint hearted and for small cars.

It’s 84 kilometers of poorly maintained gravel road with numerous (deep) potholes, ravines, desolation and halfway the possibility for a refreshment. It took us almost 5 hours but this offbeat track was truly worthwhile the challenge. Some stunning views; just at those locations where we could not get out of the car (on one side a ravine and the other side a rock wall). So most of the pictures are taken in and around the ‘refreshment center ( 😀 )