As the website name describes “wildlifephotos” I have changed my focus over the last 3 years and have been working on a challenging project to photograph the Cranes of South Africa. The end goal is to produce a coffee table book on the 3 species of Cranes in our country, called The Sentinels.
The idea was the brainchild of my colleague and friend, David Wheildon Oosthuizen who I have known for 40 years. He had collaborated on a book on Cranes for children and produced the paintings and illustrations. He believed there was a great opportunity to collaborate on a book on Cranes of South Africa.
I believe the project will take another year to complete and we hope to publish in 2018. The work on the Wattled Crane is about 90% and the work on the Grey Crowned Crane is about 70%. During the latter half of 2016 big progress was made on the Blue Cranes in The Overberg, Cape. Also further work was done in the Swartland,Cape and also in Nottingham Road, KZN Midlands.
The Wattled Crane work has mostly been undertaken in the KZN Midlands area with the support of KZNCF and its members. In the early days we spent months photographing at the Hlatikulu Crane Sanctuary with great support from Sandi Barrett and Nic Shaw.
Farmers in the area have also played a major role in the support of the cranes and my photographic project.
The big challenge with the cranes is getting up close to photograph them! At all times you must be aware of not disturbing them in their environment.
Hides (portable and fixed) need to be positioned in strategic places. The best opportunity for photographing the cranes is when they come in to roost at the dams in the early evening and also when they depart in the early morning! And this can prove to be quite challenging! The light at that time of day is difficult to work with!!
The above Facebook link has been of great assistance to me over the past year.
I’ve also started my own FaceBook Crane page, The Photographic Project on The Cranes of South Africa.