Through the Lens: Zebra Chaos

10th May 2018

The light levels were low in the very early morning as we waited for a large male lion to rouse from his sleep. We moved off to photograph elsewhere, planning to return a few minutes later and check on our lion!

A line of zebra were moving from their nighttime resting area to daytime feeding grounds, and passed close to our vehicle. With the light levels so low, it barely warranted a photo....except as a chance to create a blurred motion image. We set a low ISO, giving a shutter speed of around 1/30sec and waited for the herd to approach.

Zebra motion bur image from South Luangwa in Zambia.

As luck would have it, they began to bunch up as they got closer to us, and then one of the rear-guard twitched and the whole herd ran past our vehicle! We snapped a series of images, and chose the best from the series. This shot works as the youngster in the centre of the frame is relatively sharp - especially around head - and there are elements of other zebras in the corners to add the story of the herd.

Panning motion shots are perhaps not as hard as they appear. Using a low ISO and/or a small aperture, set your camera's shutter speed to between 1/30sec and 1/100sec (depending on the speed of your subject) and track the movement with your camera, taking a series of shots. Don't expect them all to work out! Many will be too blurry or have not enough "form". Choose the best from the series.

Feel free to post links to your favourites in the comments below!

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