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Thread: Hippo and Baby at Sunset Dam

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    Story Sequences Moderator and Wildlife Moderator Gabriela Plesea's Avatar
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    Default Hippo and Baby at Sunset Dam

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    Dear Friends,

    My companion and I spent two weeks in May in Kruger National Park, a place well known for its abundant birdlife as well as wildlife. The dams are populated by a great number of hippo, often found grazing on the water's edge. You probably know, the species is rather unpredictable and often aggressive towards humans. Cows are great mothers and protect their young fiercely.

    You might notice the pinkish tinge of their skin, this is particularly obvious in winter when the species bask in the sun a lot. Hippos have no sweat glands and no scent glands - what they do have, is sub-dermal mucous glands which secrete a viscous, reddish fluid we call 'blood sweat'. As the fluid dries it then forms a protective layer against sunburn and the loss of water, keeping the kin soft and pliable.

    Hippos like shallow water, this is because they need to touch the bottom of the dam with their hind legs. They do not swim as such, just propel themselves using their hind legs as well as use their little tail as a rudder. Adults can remain submerged for up to five minutes and they achieve this by dropping their pulse rate from about sixty to twenty beats. They also close their nostrils which have muscles on the edges, as well as fold their ears back.

    Babies are born on land or in shallow water but they are able to suckle under water. Adults weigh up to 2000 Kg. The species' lifespan is about fourty years.

    Hope I did not bore you with this lengthy introduction... Here's a scene I quite liked because it was taken late afternoon as the light started to fade. The little hippo was very playful and at some stage tried to catch the egret when it flew off its mom's back. This is not the best image from this sighting, I shall post others as I get to process.

    Techs:

    Nikon D5
    Nikon 500mm F4
    ISO 5000
    F5
    0EV
    1/2500s


    Hope you have a wonderful rest of the week-end, many thanks for viewing and for your kind comments on my previous images.

    Warmest regards,
    Last edited by Gabriela Plesea; 06-26-2022 at 07:52 AM.
    Gabriela Plesea

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    Hi Gabriela, I like your image, I don't recall seeing hippos before. The light is wonderful, the bird also piques my interest. Your comments were quite informative, other than being dangerous I was not aware of the other facts. Thank you for sharing.
    Joe Przybyla

    "Sometimes I do get to places just as God is ready to have somebody click the shutter"... Ansel Adams

    www.amazinglight.smugmug.com

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    Macro and Flora Moderator Jonathan Ashton's Avatar
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    I enjoyed your narrative as always Gabriela. The image looks quite dramatic, I like the light and the fact that the eyes on both hippos are in focus. Egret looks pretty unconcerned about it's safety. I am looking forward to seeing more.

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    Story Sequences Moderator and Wildlife Moderator Gabriela Plesea's Avatar
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    Thank you so much dear Jo and Jon, really appreciate your time to view and comments.

    Jo, there are lots of hippo in the Kruger, I am so surprised you did not see them! Or hear them. Just about every dam has hippos. Perhaps less so in the dry season but we have had lots of rain this year so dams are full.

    Shall gladly show you more as I get to process, the little one was delightful and playful so we spent quite a bit of time watching and photographing him and his mom. Jon, at some point he tried to bite the egret, LOL. I promise to share more soon.

    Warmest regards,
    Gabriela Plesea

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    BPN Member jack williamson's Avatar
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    Great light and composition, love the addition of the bird. Mom is giving you the don't come any closer look.

    Jack

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    Lifetime Member Marc Mol's Avatar
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    A wonderful early evening scene Gabriela, love the eye contact from both and the typical seemingly indifferent Egret going about his surveillance work, well seen!

    TFS


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    Story Sequences Moderator and Wildlife Moderator Gabriela Plesea's Avatar
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    Many thanks for your kind comments, dear Jack and Marc!

    Always keeping a safe distance when it comes to hippos

    Kind regards,
    Gabriela Plesea

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    BPN Member Sanjeev Aurangabadkar's Avatar
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    Hi Gabriela, this is a fine image. Love the light, the hippos facing us and the Egret in a nice addition to the scene. Well composed. T F S.

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    Story Sequences Moderator and Wildlife Moderator Gabriela Plesea's Avatar
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    Thank you Sanjeev, and so nice to have you back
    Gabriela Plesea

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    BPN Member haseeb badar's Avatar
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    Hi Gabriela -- Nice information shared and the scene looks pretty nice with the egret adding to the scene. I do see some noise in the frame but its a matter of taste in this case to keep it or remove it.

    The light is pretty dramatic and adds to the image.

    Overall a pretty sight.

    TFS !

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    Story Sequences Moderator and Wildlife Moderator Gabriela Plesea's Avatar
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    Many thanks Haseeb, I so appreciate your feedback

    Image was taken late afternoon so yes you are right a tad of noice crept in. I did remove it to some extent but felt that going further would be detrimental to the frame, but you are welcome to RP if you like - you know I never mind!

    Hope you have a wonderful rest of the evening,

    Kind regards,
    Gabriela Plesea

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    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
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    Queen G,

    Sharp and beautiful. Aside from the bird :), the thing that I like best about this image is are the two perfect head angles with the hippos! Bad luck on the cave (?) on the bank -- its darkness detracts.

    with love, artie
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    Story Sequences Moderator and Wildlife Moderator Gabriela Plesea's Avatar
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    Sir Arthur! Thank you so much for taking the time to view and comment

    As you well spotted the bird was somewhat overexposed in parts. And it's a bit soft, but I had to compromise as light was fading fast. Tried various camera settings but the little hippo was quite active so in my better exposed images with nicer DoF he is either under the water or turned away from the camera, cheeky bug!

    The cave...must admit at the time I thought it was interesting and gave some context, since this is the path the hippo take to go out at night and graze. When processing I realised most viewers won't understand why I included it... but it was too late.

    I have more on those hippos so let us see if I can please the audience Extremely happy to hear from you and as always grateful for the honest critique

    Warmest regards,
    Gabriela Plesea

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    BPN Member Andreas Liedmann's Avatar
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    hi little sister ...
    coming late to the party .
    all my following comments have to be of short nature in the coming weeks , only one hand ready to use .

    nice image with the two facing the viewer and low POV helped to get connected , color and tone looking good overall , might burn the bg to make the big large blob less obvious !!!!!

    A

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    Story Sequences Moderator and Wildlife Moderator Gabriela Plesea's Avatar
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    Hello Andreas,

    Must be so tough to manage everything with one hand, I am so sorry Boetie. Thank you for comments and suggestion, shall implement and see what happens

    Hope you have a pleasant and restful week-end,
    Gabriela Plesea

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