The Okavango Delta
His latest book, Planet Okavango, was a tough one – they got stuck in thick mud and the vehicle broke down more than a few times. But it was truly worth it as you’ll see when you start paging through the book.
In the book, Hannes has an incredible shot of an impala in the mouth of a hippo that won him the Nature’s Best Photography Africa – Mammals of Africa award. He said that it was photographed on the very first day out in the Okavango Delta: As wild dogs chased impala, they ran into the water. Hippos killed the first impala but the second survived. A crocodile killed the third impala, a fourth also survived and then wild dogs caught the fifth impala. What a sight it was to see on their first day out!
The woman by his side
Noa does all of the film. Having a photographer and videographer in one vehicle can be an extremely challenging feat as with photography you can move about in the car, but with film you can’t move, otherwise the camera will move. So, they really had to work hart at getting footage for both their art forms. Hannes also says that after spending eight years together in the vehicle, he couldn’t have asked for better support. “She’s amazing – show me one woman who will sleep in a tent for eight years…”
Hannes’s gear list
- 2x Nikon D4
- 2x Nikon D600 (remote work)
- Nikon D800E
- DJI Phantom 4
- Nikon 105mm f/2.8, 300mm f/2.8 and 600mm f/4 prime lenses
- Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8, 24-70mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/2.8 and 200-400mm f/4 zoom lenses
- PocketWizard Remote Camera Trigger
What goes into Hannes’ post-production?
Post-processing is quite a touchy subject when it comes to photography, especially wildlife. So it’s just obvious that I’d ask him about his thoughts on the topic. “I don’t enjoy editing, but I do have to clean my sensor due to dust out in the bush.” That’s why Hannes has come to enjoy competitions as they give you rather strict post-production guidelines and if you don’t follow them, you don’t win the award. So generally, Hannes will use the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year guidelines in his own day-to-day editing: adjust contrast, sharpen the image and add a bit of colour if needed.
What he enjoys about working in nature
He enjoys staying in places for a long time as it’s only then that you really get to know the environment, its movements and its wildlife. The best thing about working in the bushveld is that it gives you the chance to get to know the animals and their different personalities. “It takes time, but it’s worth it.”