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Ain't She Sweet?

Ain't She Sweet?
Photo Information
Copyright: Loot Eksteen (loot) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-10-10
Categories: Mammals, Bushveld
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 170-500mm f/5-6.3 AF APO Ultra DG, Digital ISO 100, UV 86mm Kenko
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Kruger National Park - 2006
Theme(s): Mammals of Southern Africa, Photos with titles of songs(2), Wildlife of Africa, Mammals of Africa, 60-69 points (Chapter 3), A study in Mammalogy (mammals) 1 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-11-30 18:39
Viewed: 7515
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 66
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Steenbok - Raphicerus campestris

This little Steenbok (an Afrikaans name, "steen" literally meaning stone and "bok" meaning buck) is part of the group of dwarf (or lesser) antelopes from Africa. The photo was taken near the Albasini ruins in the Pretoriuskop area of the Kruger Park. Since they are one of our favourites, we (my wife and I) were pleasantly surprised at the numbers of steenbok we’ve seen during this trip. A total of 143 individual animals. Off course we did not mind or protest. They are just so cute, utterly adorable, extremely elegant, and they easily steal your heart. One look at those lovely large black eyes and you are hooked for live.

Although most sources report that they normally prefer to stay within some cover, we were amazed at the quantities we’ve seen in open or especially in burnt areas. Probably it is insignificant apart from the fact that one just saw them easier as their red bodies stood out like sore thumbs against the black remnants of the veld fires.


Small, elegant and large-eyed, with upperparts normally rufous-fawn, but variable from pale-fawn to deeper chestnut. Underparts including insides of legs are clean white, and there is a white patch on throat and above eyes. The very short tail is uniform rufous-fawn. Only the ram carries the short, sharp-pointed, smooth-surfaced and vertical horns.

Total length: 75-90cm
Tail length: 5cm
Shoulder height: 50cm
Weight: 11kg

Two widely separated populations, the major one being in southern Africa (Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa) and the other in Kenya and Tanzania.

Open country, but with some cover, and dry river-bed associations in arid areas. Due to their selective diet they are able to survive independent of drinking water.

Occur singly or in ram/ewe pairs, with the ram and ewe both strongly defensive of their own overlapping territories. Territories vary between 0.3-0.5km square. Unlike other antelopes, they defecate and urinate in shallow scrapes dug with the front hoofs, and then cover these. They lie up in cover during the heat of the day, feeding during the cooler hours, but nocturnal feeding is also common, particularly in disturbed areas.

Mixed feeders, taking grasses, browse, seed pods and fruit, and also roots and bulbs which they dig out with their front hoofs.

All the big cats, hyaenas, and pythons, while their young are frequently taken by jackal, smaller cats, and even eagles.

A single lamb weighing ±900g is born after gestation of 170 days. Births are closely linked to the rainy season, but young can be expected throughout the year. They remain hidden for the first few weeks after birth.

Still abundant, but reduced in areas of high human densities.

Source: "Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Africa" by Chris & Tilde Stuart, Struik publishers.

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0.

saguzar, blakitan, scottevers7, jcoowanitwong, Janice, manyee, TAZ, red45, wallhalla15, SunToucher, vanderschelden, wuta, RAP, marhowie, Alex99, metcher, peter_stoeckl, jeanpaul, oscarromulus, CTP, PDP, Dyker, Miss_Piggy, Rehanna, betsie has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Aaltjie: Aaltjie my maaitjieloot 1 12-21 19:43
To pankajbajpai: Ha-ha, thanks for the complimentloot 1 12-03 01:45
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Loot,
Surely she´s sweet and lovely, I like all these gracile antelopes species, that you have in a great nuber species in Africa. A good close-up of a timid animal; details, colours and composition are maneged in very well form.
Take care, friend.

Hi Loot,
Great sharpness and very nice DoF. Nice colors. Nicely capturing this young antelope.
Excellent shot.

Ben Lakitan

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-11-30 21:49]

Hi Loot,
what a georgeous capture. The light and the colors are fabulous. Very nice sharpness and details are wonderful, those eyes are huge!
Very well composed, excellent plament of your subject and wonderful OOF BG.

Hi Loot,
Oh my, she is a delicate little beauty. I am afraid that the cuteness factor is so high it may be off the chart. Beautiful soft quality light and a spot on exposure. This has rendered some beautiful color saturation. Fine detail shown in the Steenbok. I am sure it is so amazing to observe such diverse wildlife at Kruger.

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  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2006-11-30 23:12]

Hello Loot

A very nice photo of this Steenbok.I was unfamiliar with this deer.The POV and DOF are very good.Excellent detail and colour.Nicely composed.The notes are excellent.TFS


Hi Loot,
Lovely Steenbok. Very nice composition with perfect sharpness, exposure. Well done and well seen. I also love those large black eyes. TFS.

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  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-12-01 0:23]

Oh yes Loot, she's a darlin'. So sweet at and dainty. I love her colours...
How long would they manage to stay alive like this in Africa with all those big cats, hyaenas, and pythons, jackals, smaller cats, and even eagles? Are they there just for food for these predators?
I don't think I have seen or heard of any before. Thanks friend,

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  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-12-01 1:13]

Such a long graceful neck, and such huge round eyes.
Your steenbok is a little beauty, Loot.
I love that rich rust color on her.
Her laid-back ears and dainty legs add to her charm.
Excellent focus and perfect DOF.
TFS. : )

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  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2006-12-01 1:16]

Hello Loot,
Yes, she is lovely and you caught her very well. Good close-up. The colors and and sharpness are very good. The pose is nice too.
Congratualtions my friend and TFS.

Bellissima foto, Loot!
Bei dettagli e colori, bravo!

Ciao e grazie.

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  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2006-12-01 6:14]

Hi Loot!

Sure, you're right! Very cute animal and very shy I bet. You captured it very well, with visible details and in nice pose. I like camouflaging colours, especially darker strip on animal's back. Interesting note and rare on TN subject.

Hi Loot, this is a picture with cute factor!
I like it very much. Great sharpness, details, natural colours and great POV. This is a great composition. Thank you for posting.

Hi Loot,
What a beautiful capture. I really understand you and your wife; that your heart will melt seeing one of these beauties. You captured a beautiful moment which shows that she's trusting your presence.....hey, who would trust your presence? I am sure that you radiate some kind of restfull vibe that make people and animals feel pleasant around you. Your vibe is even reaching around the world through your photos notes and critique.

Well, what can I say about the photo...its just perfect. Perfect exposure, perfect DOF, perfect sharpness and colors and a perfect composition.

Please let there be more, since I am curious to all your great photos and notes from your trip to Kruger.


Hi Loot,
I like the image; animal unknown to me.
Good content. Excellent sharpness...especially the head and the eye are displayed in an excellent way.


I have never seen one of these, so thanks for that,
she is adorable, she seems so elegant,
beautiful colors and great detail,


  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2006-12-01 13:10]

Fantastic shot Loot , realy great capture from this bokje the details and the colors are very good ,very good weekend teunie .

Well done Loot.
Just the right DOF isolating the subject very well. Very sharp and detailed with that reddish brown nape an attractive color variation..I like the comp, POV, and natural setting as well :)
Have a nice weekend mf.

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  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2006-12-02 16:28]

Hi Loot.
Very nice shot and not. I like, first of all, lovely and perfect saturated colours of the animal, precisely selected DOF, very impressive captured scene and perfect composition. Shadowed BG and lighten main object look very well. I also like perfect sharpness and details of the animal image. Superb done and my bets wishes.

hi loot,
lovely post,
well composed shot,
nice pov, good dof,
well satruated colours,
well done,
tfs & regards

your comments about my post of insects is very nice. Your knowledge regarding the insects has surprised me.

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  • Isu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 313 W: 0 N: 21] (1663)
  • [2006-12-03 19:29]

Saludos loot, preciosa estampa de colorido prefecto,y natural. Sira

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  • pilonm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 588 W: 90 N: 975] (3321)
  • [2006-12-04 10:20]

Hello Loot,

What a remarkable picture of this sweet steenbok! You did a great composition by having a so nice point of view! Colors looks so natural too!!! This animal looks so fragile but we know how adaptable it was in order to leave in a so hostile environment (hostile in reference to the predator)... Thank you so much, Loot, because we don't see often that animal on TN...

Have a nice day,


Hi, Loot.
I thought for a moment that it's dik-dik. But dik-dik is more yellow than red. Nice natural pose. Good exposure and sharp colorful details.

Hi Loot
Lovely capture of this little steenbok. One can see exactly how timid they are.
Well composed with exelent colours and detail. The little buck is beautifully clear against the out of focus background.
TFS and regards

Hello Loot,
being "hooked for life" after seeing the large black eyes of these most elegant creatures - you have expressed in perfectly fitting short words what does happen with us.
In fact, the Steenbok`s appearance even surpasses the triggering "Bambi" baby deer appearance well known I guess to all of us from classical Walt Disney productions. Suppose these very cute animals need a lot of open space to run free, otherwise they would long have become one the world's favorite zoo animals.
You have captured a charmingly elegant pose perfectly well within a skillfully composed classical setting, with very pleasant, well controlled natural colours, and well on focus against a dark, soft and distant background.
Your notes are just perfect. Very instructive, and always amusing to read. You are a very good writer as well. Your portfolio is a perfectly pictured storybook with essays of top quality. Thank you my friend!
My best regards,

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  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2006-12-09 7:14]

Hi Loot,
What a lovely animal is this Steenbok. Perfect details, pov and colors.
TFS; José M.

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  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2006-12-10 11:55]

Hi Loot

She is very sweet - what a beauty. Lovely pose. Excellent colours. nice details and a great POV. Lovely indeed



great capture ! TFS Ori

Bonjour Lott
C'est un magnifique portrait que tu nous présente avec cette magnifique biche ,la composition est parfaite et tu as profité du bon moment avec ce bel éclairage.
Merci et au revoir...JP

Hello mijn vriend

Niet uw foto's hebben kunnen onlangs bekijken. De tijd is op het ogenblik een weinig een probleem. Ik dacht enkel ik voorbij zou komen en u zeer Vreedzame en Vrolijke Kerstmis zou wensen, aangezien ik slechts terug in Zuid-Afrika end Januari zal zijn. Ik zal nochtans mijn beste proberen binnen knallen eens of tweemaal om bij de nieuwe foto's te gluren u aan uw portefeuille zult toevoegen. Magd 2007 wordt gevuld met liefde, vreugde, allen u voor en vooral goede gezondheid, zonder meer pijn en pijn hoopt.

Toen ik de titel van deze foto zag, kon ik niet helpen maar denk onmiddellijk aan het lied met de zelfde titel. Ik omvat een deel van het lied.


Al mijn zeer best voor u en aan alle andere begaafde fotografen op Trek Nature.

Loved your notes; done with meticulas care.
Saw a lot of them in Mozambique. Cute indeed; they do steal your heart.
Great sharpness; great detail.
Well composed & very well presented.
Mario. ( Shall be indebted to you ....... )

hi loot
ce n'est pas tout a fait le même sujet que j'ai tenté d'approcher aujourd'hui,mais comparé aux cliché que j'ai realisé des chevreuils que j'ai vu,cet animal est tres detaillé dans son pelage.joli coup de filet!!

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  • CTP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 644 W: 6 N: 946] (2726)
  • [2006-12-21 16:39]

Hi Loot,
Excellent Steenbok capture my friend and Yes,She is very cute :)
I like your pov,dof,sharpness,focus,colors,note,frame,lighting and composition.TFS
Merry Christmas,

  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2006-12-23 4:35]

Hi Loot, they are sweet, without a doubt. I really like their huge eyes. Nice pose and good capture of this creature in it's environment. Well done.

Hallo Loot
A well presented, well focused and very sharp image of this steenbok. This animal looks so relaxed and does not seem to be bothered by anything at all. I just love the big ears, the big eyes with the black stripe over its nose which is so clearly visible in this image. Details are sharp with nothing out of place. An excellent portrait of this small antelope, with fine details and sweet pose. Thanks for sharing. It was lovely to look at.

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