<< Previous Next >>

Cooling Down

Cooling Down
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-10-12
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds MkII, Canon 400mm 2.8 IS
Exposure: f/8, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Namibia
Date Submitted: 2008-12-07 3:36
Viewed: 4448
Points: 50
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This was taken with my 400mm 2.8 + 2x converter from the 4x4 window.

We were rather surprised to find this hyena bathing or cooling down in the waterhole when we arrived at around 4pm. I suppose we tend to associate hyenas with being rather dirty animals - which is a bit stupid really - they fulfill a vital function in the ecosystem.

Physical description
Spotted hyenas are the largest members of the hyena family. They are dog-like animals with a sloping body, as their front legs are longer than their hind legs. They have a short, sandy coat, covered with dark brown spots on the body and legs. Females have enlarged sexual organs, which are difficult to distinguish from the males'. These are displayed in meeting ceremonies, which reinforce social bonds and hierarchies.

As well as scavenging, spotted hyenas hunt medium to large hoofed mammals. They are efficient hunters, and as well as targeting young antelope, they are also capable of bringing down animals as large as buffaloes and zebras. They consume about 3-6kg of meat daily. They have extremely powerful teeth and jaws allowing them to crush bones and feed on the nutritious marrow inside. They have highly concentrated hydrochloric acid inside their stomachs allowing them to digest bones. As well as meat and bone, spotted hyenas supplement this with fruits, eggs and invertebrates.

Spotted hyenas are often seen in groups called clans, which can range in size from 5-80 members. They are female-dominated - all males are subordinate to all of the females. Males leave the clan that they were born in when they reach adulthood, but females tend to stay and inherit their mother's rank. The clan defends a territory from intruders, and the territory can range in size from 40-1000 sq km. Spotted hyenas are most active at night.

siggi, SelenE, Alex99, horia, jaycee, nglen, Evelynn, Dis. Ac., Pentaxfriend, eng55, CeltickRanger, boreocypriensis, albert, Argus, uleko, Adanac, anel, aes_thor has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-12-07 3:40]

Hello James
I like your picture of the hyena.Very nice composition and colors.Your note is excellent, very informative.
Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-12-07 4:12]

Hi James,
A very nice capture of this hyena. I like the pose you captured, color tones, reflections , POV and the movement on the water.
All the best,

Hi James!

You present us an interesting and pleasant wildlife picture. Together with the detailed notes this is a valuable contribution.

Kind regards


  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-12-07 6:08]

Hi James.
Terrific shot. Its colours are amazing. You managed to create an impressive three-dimensional picture. I am amazed with transparency of the image and clearness of the "paints". Great lights, precise white balance, extreme details and razor sharpness of the image. Scene is wonderful and very natural. True wild nature shot. My compliments and TFS.

I've been accused of being a hyena before...I tend to laugh a little too much...so I have a special place in my heart for these creatures. Plus, any species female-dominated has to be good. ha ha
Love this capture. You captured a vulnerability in this shot.Wonderful photo.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-12-07 7:52]

Hi James

A wonderful shot of this hyena and indeed, as you said in the note, a rather original one since it's not often we see one taking a bath.
However, you are again right: their role in the ecosystem is a crucial one and they are very well adapted animals for their purpose.

The photo itself is gorgeous, with impeccable sharpness on the hyena (despite the huge focal length) and with those circular ripples on the water that create such a nice composition and strengthen your focal point in the shot.

Bravo and TFS

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-12-07 8:00]

Hi James,

Wonderful shot of this Hyena in the waterhole. He has a skeptical look on his face - maybe the water is cooler than he expected? The hair on his neck is standing straight up. Nice natural colors and good details of his face and coat. But the posture and expression are what I like most. Wonderful natural setting and composition.


  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-12-07 8:10]

Hi James. This is a very clear picture of the Hyena . The close up shows the markings of the coat with good detail and colour. You have used the light well in this one. all with interesting notes .TFS.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-12-07 8:30]

Hello James,
So sharp with a focus length of 800 mm.! Fantastic. And in superb clear and natural colours. It looks like these hyenas have always the same expression with their sharp eyes. Wonderful composition and POV.

Hi James,

This looks sharp to me. We are still trying to decide about using our 2x converter with our 300 2.8. I think there is a noticeable difference between your camera and ours.

I like the action in this shot and his seeming obliviousness to your presence. Even though he doesn't look like he's moving the circular ripples show that his is and add a lot more interest to the photo.

I thought hyenas always travelled in groups... but apparently not. Thanks

Evelynn : )

Hi James,

great shot of this hyena are taking a bath or something.
Very sharp and beautiful colours.


Hello James,
magic moment! good POV, nice capture.

Hi James,

Excellent capture
Perfect compo with beautifull light and great sharpness showing fine details

TFS Thijs

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2008-12-07 12:55]

Hi James,
Excellent capture.I liked sharpness,details,lighting and composition a lot.
Thanks for posting.

hello James

excellent shot of the Spotted hyenas cooling in the water,
with fine POV, DOF and framing, excellent sharpness and details,



Ciao James, fantastic capture of beautiful Hyena, great diagonal composition with fascinating reflections, splendid light and colors, I like a lot, ciao Silvio

Hi Bro James, a great shot of this hyaena. The wave circles on the water surface are splendid.
TFS and cheers,

Hello James

Wow,the ripples around the hyena have wonderful colour and reflections.
Excellent sharp focus and detail.
You had a very good POV for this.
Nicely done.


Hi James,
Great capture, it's not often that you can see a hyena in the water!
Very nice light and colours and superb focus
Well done

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-12-08 3:14]

Hello James,
Great pose, POV, lighting and composition in the water in this fine image of a bathing Hyena. I guess this is a de-bugging bath!
Kind regards,

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-12-08 3:17]

Hello James,
I must say I didn't know Hyenas liked bathing!! A lovely capture, very sharp and in fine natural colours. I like the rings on the water too.
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-12-08 5:03]

Hello James,
Splendid image of this Hyena and its powerful jaws. They certainly do serve a great purpose in the ecosystem, but as many scavengers are loathed for serving that purpose. Wonderful clearity and color on this unusual image, thank you for sharing James.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2008-12-08 5:23]

Hello James,
Very original picture of this bathing hyena in the middle of blue cercles and magnificent reflections on the waterhole. You for sure had an excellent point of view and have made the best out of it.
Have a nice afternoon

Hi James,
interesting shot, animal looks great in the water, reflections of waves are making nice artistic effect. I would cropp some area from the top to remove the brown ground, it could improve the composition...

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-12-08 15:28]

Brilliant shot of this bathing Hyena (I thought it was a bear from the thumbnail!) :-)
Very good sharpness.
Great composition.
Perfect light.

Very well done,

Calibration Check