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Smile, your on my camera

Smile, your on my camera
Photo Information
Copyright: Niek Bouwen (SunToucher) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2385 W: 237 N: 3033] (11162)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-11-18
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Canon 400 5.6L
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/125 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): 40-49 points, Funny Faces, My photos @ Burgers' Zoo & Noorder Dierenpark, Your favorites [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-11-24 11:31
Viewed: 4855
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 54
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Yet another photo taken at Burgers' Zoo.

I had a really hard time capturing this fellow. All the animals at the safari area were all still sleepy, but this fellow was running around as if he needed to catch the first flight back to Africa. Or he was just showing off to the ladies. Anyway, for a short moment he stoped on top of a small hill and looked around as if he was king of the hill. Just for a few second, he looked at me. The smile on his face said it all....its my hill, and if you don't like it....

Thanks to Paul (PVS) I am able to ID the fellow:

Kobus ellipsiprymnus (Waterbuck)

General Characteristics
Body Length: 180-220 cm / 6-7.3 ft.
Shoulder Height: 100-130 cm / 3.3-4.3 ft.
Tail Length: 22-45 cm / 8.8-18 in.
Weight: 150-250 kg / 330-550 lb.
The shaggy, coarse coat is reddish brown to grizzled grey in colour, darkening with age. Facial markings are composed of a white muzzle, lighter eyebrows and insides of the ears, while there is a cream-coloured 'bib' on the throat. The most conspicuous feature of this antelope is a large white 'halo' or hollow ring which surrounds the base of the tail on the rump (in certain subspecies, most notably the Defassa waterbuck K. e. defassa, the area within the circle is covered with white hair, creating a rump patch. The body is heavyset, and the strong legs are black in colour. The heavily ridged horns are found only in males and sweep in an arc backwards and upwards, with the tips pointing forwards. They grow 55-100 cm / 1.6-3.3 feet long.

Ecology and Behavior
As it name would suggest, the waterbuck is a good swimmer and flees into water if pursued, although it is reported that they do not actually like going into water. At 7-9 months, males are driven from their maternal family and join up with a bachelor herd. These groups have a distinct social hierarchy based on size and strength, and contests are frequent. Around 6-7 years, males become territorial, staking out areas of 150-625 acres and defending them against mature rivals with posturing and fights. These territories are maintained throughout the year, and a male is generally overthrown before he reaches 10 years of age. Only about 5-10 % of mature males are territorial at the same time. Female groups wander over a home range of 200-600 hectares, which may be kept for up to 8 years and encompasses several male territories. Population densities in Uganda vary from 0.15-17.8 animals per square kilometer
Family group: Male, female, and mixed groups of up to 30 animals.
Diet: Grasses, reeds, leaves.
Main Predators: Lion, leopard, hyena, Cape hunting dog.

Source: http://www.ultimateungulate.com/Artiodactyla/Kobus_ellipsiprymnus.html

coasties, wallhalla15, ramthakur, manyee, Signal-Womb, marhowie, valy67, anel, jeanpaul, mbasil, Evelynn, PDP, metcher has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Evelynn: funnySunToucher 2 11-27 11:30
To loot: Ring gatSunToucher 1 11-26 06:10
To Signal-Womb: Canon 400L 5.6SunToucher 1 11-24 16:58
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2006-11-24 11:40]

Hi Niek,

Looks like a waterbuck to me,well composed with nice colors of the buck as well in the BG,TFS and have a nic weekend


Hello Niek,
I can't help with ID but I think that this picture is very impressive! What a great eye contact and it seems to be so close. I really like the colors and details here. I also appreciate this very good DOF and composition. Well done!

  • coasties Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3749 W: 483 N: 8155] (28054)
  • [2006-11-24 11:55]

Hi Niek

Ha... ha... fantastic shot! Love the 'smile' and those pearly white teeth! Nice crop and beautiful BG. Top quality work. TFS.

Points later

Hello Niek,
this a very nice capture. Composition is great and good colours too. Good POV and very nice bg too. A good one, very well done. TFS.

With its teeth showing, the buck seems to be actually smiling at you, Niek :-)!
Fantastic image. I like the animal's interesting horns too.
Thanks for sharing this amusing yet brilliant portrait.

Nice portrait, but I'm not sure it's a Waterbuck.
Normally horns are a little different on waterbucks.
I'll check and let you know.


  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-11-24 13:53]

Hello Niek,
Magnificent capture.POV,blurred BG,3D effect,sharpness,clear details,eye contact and composition are wonderful.Masterpiece!

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2006-11-24 14:46]

lol I love this - the smile is priceless

The colours and light are perfect. Great colours in the OOF BG as well. Very good DOF. Sharp details and good eye contact.

Makes me smile every time I look at it


Karan :)

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-11-24 15:07]

Hi Niek,
Another great portrait of a rarely seen animal.
What a gorgeous creature.
I like your POV, and your excellent focus and exposure really bring out the fine details.
Those horns are magnificent.
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • pvb Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 385 W: 16 N: 531] (1981)
  • [2006-11-24 15:56]

Hi Niek,
Leuke detail die tandjes. Goede sterke compositie (zo recht van voren). Prachtige kleuren.
gr. paula

Well done Niek.
Technically excellent...with that added quality that makes it a great one..It definitely makes one :}
Have a Great Weekend!

Hello Niek, great face on portrait with a cheesy grin. I see your using the Canon 400L which has been highly praised. You must have bought this over the 100-400 lens, are you pleased with it. I believe the auto focus is very quick and a good choice for flying birds. Anyhow, very well done.

Hi Niek,
Great capture, funny look with the teeth :)
So sharp and great colours.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2006-11-24 18:58]

Hi Niek

This is really well done!
I simply love the full-frontal POV here!
Also the DOF is very well chosen and the details are very clear and sharp.
The lovely natural colors and the well managed light complete this magnificent composition.
Very well done, my friend!

Bravo and TFS

Hello Niek,
Great portrait of a beautiful animal!
He gives you a very attentive pose, and you capture this expression well...
Effective framing, good details in the fur coat!
Pablo -

Hello Niek !
What a beautiful picture ! The Waterbuck is looking directly at you, I love it, and the autumn colors in the BG are splendid. You caught him at the perfectmoment, with this strange 'smile' on his face. Details ad composition are wonderful too. Very well done !

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2006-11-25 5:28]

Hi Niek,
I just love it...the smile. Incredible portrait of this waterbuck. Good composition, nice background too.
Best regards

Hi Niek

It looks like he borrowed your dentures for this shot as it seems to be too big for his mouth. What a grin or is it really just the smirk of a determined 'ring gat' who wants to make sure that he's going to steal the show at TN with this beautiful, but also funny photo.

This is a lovely composition and I like the tight crop around its horns. The colours are very rich and the details are absolutely great. The DOF paid dividends with an exceptional BG – not just because it is nicely OOF and well removed, but also because of its colours and the way it enhances the antelope. The exposure was spot-on although it seems like you had a relative short supply of good light. I really like the quality of the colours you reproduced since these animals normally tends to be a much lighter grey-brown. This darkish brown usually only show when the lighting is poor, such as during an overcast/cloudy day or when they are wet from the rain.

Great work and TFS.

PS. You see what I said about photographing zoo animals, that it not necessarily mean you are in for an easy shoot. You still have to work hard and have great patience to catch the animal in the right pose with the desired BG, etc.

PPS. Andrea expressed his concern that it might not be a waterbuck, and I quote, "Normally the horns are a little different on waterbuck" unquote. This is undoubtedly a waterbuck as there is no other antelope that looks quite like it and no set of horns (apart perhaps those of a kudu) that comes close to its beauty. The only reason for Andrea's concern is possibly because your photo shows a magnificent pair of 'spreading horns'. Normally the gap between the horns is much smaller and the horns are much more erect, but it is not all that uncommon to see waterbuck with such a big gape.

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-11-26 9:22]

Hi Niek,
great shot an a wonderful frame filling composition. Looks like you geting a "cheese" smile there my friend:-). Excellent sharp details and wonderful colors.

  • Great 
  • NellyD Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 237 W: 0 N: 445] (1783)
  • [2006-11-26 10:24]

Hoi Niek,

Burgers Zoo vind ik ook een fijne dierentuin om naar toe te gaan, ben er ook een aantal keren geweest. En het kan soms wat lastig zijn, dieren in een dierentuin te fotograferen, maar met geduld kom je heel ver :-) En dit portret is echt top! Prachtige kleuren die door de wazige achtergrond nog extra naar voren komen. Mooi scherp ook. En die lach, hoe heb je hem zover gekregen?

Groetjes, Nel

Hi Niek
Encore une fois tu nous envoies une superbe prise de vue d'un magnifique m^le qui semble vraiment te sourire. Très belle présentation avec de belles couleurs et beaux détails .J'apprécie spécialement ce beau BG.
Bravo et merci ....JP

  • Great 
  • mbasil Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 335 W: 148 N: 745] (3320)
  • [2006-11-26 13:31]

Spectacular angle and background, Niek! Despite the general admonitions against placing a subject in the center, this workd perfectly. There are always remarkable exceptions to the rules.
I agree with Loot's somments about photographing at the zoo. Yes, they're captive, but they are often moving, and getting the shot perfect is very difficult (but I think we set lower standard of composition and detail in shots in the wild).

Hi Niek,

Good capture of this moment. It was not easy! Good details and nice blury colored BG. Good set of tooth, dont put your fingers there ;)

PC :)

Well this is a shot to be proud of, Niek. The subject really engages the viewer. The technical aspects are perfect. I love the blurred colors in the BG. It is a beautiful photograph.

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2006-11-27 22:38]

Hello Niek

This shot is lovely.I love the grin on the waterbuck's face.Nicely handled DOF and POV.The details are sharp and clear.The colours are rich and well saturated.I have a very similar shot of a white tailed deer I will post in the coming days.TFS


Hello Niek, excellent work, great details, very very crisp, colors, spot on, excellent use of light and dof, perfect POV and BG, great work,

TFS Kyle

ha ha ha hes actually smiling at you...:o)
neat photo for sure, great DOF and nice focus on the big guy. TFS
Donna :o)

thanks for your comments on my photo "Mt. Mansfield , VT"

  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2006-12-01 17:05]

HI Niek, this one has some good character. I love the toothy grin/snarl. Nice composition and good exposure too. Well done.

Hi, Niek.
This is outstanding shot of waterbuck. I saw them sometimes in Serengeti. My favourite antilope species. Excellent colors and sharpness. Well composed. And the highlight is of course teeth.

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