Photographing rhino with a wide angle lens

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A wide angle lens should be an important part of any wildlife photographers kit. I’ve had a lot of fun with it over the years photographing animals like these rhino that one wouldn’t normally expect to be able to photograph with such a lens. White rhino as I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post Rhino Portrait can become quite relaxed in the presence of a safari vehicle if they’ve encountered it many times and if it hasn’t imposed itself upon them. This particular group are renowned by the guides at Mala Mala game reserve in South Africa for being super relaxed and tolerant of the landrovers. They were affectionately referred to as ‘Crash 6′ because the collective known for rhino is a crash. I think this is quite fitting considering their enormous size and weight.

I worked as a guide at Mala Mala for several years and so having become familiar with this group of rhino I knew that when I found them and if we were alone we were in for a real treat. By anticipating their movements I would often drive ahead of them and switch off the vehicle. Being comfortable with our presence and us having not threatened them in any way they would continue to graze and sometimes would come quite close to the landrover. Rhino have poorly developed senses of smell and sight and so they rely primarily on their hearing. A quite landrover parked on an open plain probably didn’t look too different to a termite mound to them.

It was a spectacular day with good looking clouds in the sky. Rather than photograph from a standard eye level or above position with a zoom lens I photographed from as low as possible to capture a fresh perspective and used my wide angle lens to get the rhino, the sky and the interesting landscape in the frame.

Shaun Walton Photography - White Rhinos

A ‘crash’ of happily grazing rhino.

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