Behind the frame – Kalahari Stampede

It is not easy to find enough descriptive words to adequately convey the feelings one gets when visiting this epic destination …

I went to the Kalahari Transfrontier Park at the beginning of 2009 for the first time and was completely in awe of the vast space and environment. I wont bore you with all the adjectives and stories of the lions and predators that made an impact on me , but rather share this image from a series that I shot north of the Nossob camp one afternoon.

To set the scene , picture that you are sitting in the open on a hot dry day with extreme temperatures…..The vehicle is off and you are next to the riverbed and waiting patiently for a female chetah and here cubs to move out of the shade and long grass . You notice the build up of clouds and from out of nowhere a massive gust of fire hot wind blows down along the riverbed along with the crack of not so distant thunder……

At the same time , the cheetah family gets up and moves ….. you crack off a few shots and are rewarded with the magic that is the kalahari. We moved off a little further north to anticipate the movement of the cheetah but sadly they moved off. As the storm intensified , the air was charged and we notice the large herds of springbok and wildebeest moving around the open area near us. It would seem that a lone wildebeest was been harassed by a bigger group and chased all over the place….The movement and charging around was spectacular and the added wind and rain which had now also started was intense…..


Original Image with basic processing in DPP and Lightroom

Shot Information

Canon 1D MK III |   500 F4 Lens   |   F8   |   1/800  | AV Mode

I felt that the image needed a creative makeover to enhance the sounds and moment I had experienced. At the time , High key black and white type processing was new to me and I found it fitting. I have used creative license on some other frames to create a photographic art piece specifically for a client. It has impact and energy but this still make my heart beat a little faster and yearn for the magic of the Kalahari….



Enjoy the moment and when you need to be creative in post processing , see what you can do to enhance that special moment……

Change the way you see the world………

Peace and Light


Andrew Aveley