Did you ever have doubts, if the images in a coffee table book were really images from the Okavango Delta and not from the Kruger Park? Photoshop makes everything look a like, so why not in a wildlife photo book? Well there are vegetation and animals species that would spoil the trick, but more reliable is the light. Although the great wildlife destinations like the Masai Mara, the Okavango Delta and the Kruger National Park are all in sub-Saharan Africa, their light is completely different and recognizable in images. The light of the Kruger Park is more pale and harsh. It doesn’t have the warm depth of the light in the Okavango Delta and the Masai Mara, not even in the golden hour. The Masai Mara light is bright between the golden hours, but it got still this earthy tone to it only East Africa has and the warm light just after sunrise and before sunset is marvelous and distinguished from all other wildlife areas. The light in the Okavango Delta enhances in a beautiful way all colors and makes them greatly saturated and eye catching. And of course the color of the animals differs in different light. So even if you look at an elephant portrait of a clean elephant (no soil on his face) the light tells you where he was. No cheating possible.
Try it yourself and put some photo books or images from the Internet of the different areas next to each other and you will notice the difference. The light tells where they come from. And if not, there might be something not quite right. Light doesn’t cheat.
Happy light capturing!
Ute Sonnenberg, www.rohoyachui.com