My East Africa, Madagascar & other wildlife photos

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Mazumbai Forest and Photography

Well. I can be quite a camera addict when I'm out here. Not with people - don't like to intrude their privacy too much - but with wildlife and nature. When everybody is using two hands to climb through steep slippery rainforest slopes, I still have a camera dangling round my neck.
But what about rainforests? It's hard to take good pictures of the rainforest so people who've never seen it can get a grasp of it.
It's green. Usually a bit dark - especially when you have a closed canopy. Plants, trees, fungi, vines, mosses, they all grow over each other, across each other. And the ground is loitered with dead plant remains. There are many layers in a rainforest. Some trees reach up to 40m high. Sometimes you can see through the undergrowth. Sometimes you can only see 2m far.

With taking a photo of a rainforest, you miss the depth. It's all green. You don't see much contrast.

You can compare it with a little girl of 9 years old. Give here a camera. Put her in the middle of a dense shoulder to shoulder crowd of 50,000 people at a rock festival. Ask her to take photos that really give a good overview of what that crowd is like. You'll only get photos of the backs of a few people with some more arms visible. You don't see or capture the crowd. How it is.
The same applies to rainforests. You can have a nice view through the branches and foliage when you are at a peak in the rainforest. But you can't get that view properly on photo. Neither the dense jungle you see. Sometimes the canopy is more open and there is less undergrowth. Then you can try to make a nice photo.
But still... You have to be there to know what it's like. To know the many shades of green. To experience the myriad of life that grows on each other. To smell and hear.

Still I love it. Rather be in the rainforest than out on the savannah. But I make less photos than on the average safari, for sure!

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