Some scenes simply beg to be photographed, such as magnificent vistas across the African bushveld, particularly when these form the backdrop to a sensual bath. The above photo was taken at the World’s View suite at stunning Ant’s Hill lodge in the Waterberg, South Africa. Surely this must count among the most spectacular bath settings on the planet. Fortunately for us, we had the privilege and pleasure of taking a dip there over the past weekend.
Since our time was limited and we were busy elsewhere during golden hour, we broke our cardinal rule and photographed the bath at around 2pm. It was one of those now or never scenarios, which we’ve encountered so often in nature photography that we sometimes just compromise in favour of getting the shot. If you find yourself in a similar predicament, shooting during bright daylight, the important thing to do is underexpose by at least one third of a stop. Also line up your subject and compose your shot with the sun behind you wherever possible.
Despite the light being harsh, the fun thing about this time of day is that lizards come out to play. It’s always a good idea for you to play too, and experiment with different settings on your camera. The above and below images illustrate the different depths of field that can be achieved at the same average aperture (f/10), when using different focal lengths. At the zoom setting of 120mm, emphasis is placed on the lizard via the shallow depth of field effect, whereas the wider angle shot, taken at a relatively short focal length of 34mm allows a longer depth of field to keep the landscape in focus. The abundance of ambient light ensured that the shutter speed was ample for shooting on a low ISO setting of 200.
In the bush, it can be tempting to devote maximum attention to wildlife photography, which is perfectly understandable. However, for the sake of capturing special memories of the full experience, it’s rewarding to include photos of the people you’re with, as well as beautiful scenery and some human elements like fabulous accommodation. This all contributes to sharing a compelling story, and let’s be honest, we humans love stories. We hope you have a ball capturing your next African bush breakaway, perhaps including a romantic outdoor bath at Ant’s Hill Lodge – definitely one for your bucket list!