SouthAfrica.info (Johannesburg)

15 January 2013

South Africa: Photographing Nature At the Pilansberg

South Africa's Pilanesberg National Park is the perfect place for taking nature photos, but the lack of specific instructional material has caused many safari visitors to miss the perfect photo opportunities.

Now an artfully designed e-book, The Photographer's Guide to Pilanesberg National Park, is destined to help get nature-loving "shutterbugs" the photographs they came for.

Organized as a field guide with photographic lessons interspersed throughout, the e-book includes tips on when and where to find the wildlife that populates the park.

The e-book was born when authors and photographers Mario and Jenny Fazekas and Edward Peach observed that many visitors to the Pilanesberg were unhappy with their photos, even if they owned expensive cameras and lenses.

Hidden gem among South African reserves

Just two hours from Johannesburg, Pilanesberg is a hidden gem among South African wildlife preserves.

Occupying slightly less than 200 square miles (518 square kilometres), the Pilanesberg has a smaller footprint than more familiar reserves, but is home to the "big five" African land animals - lions, leopards, elephants, rhino and buffalo - plus cheetah and wild dog, collectively known as "Africa's super-seven".

Hoping to help visitors capture the beauty of the park through their own camera lenses, Mario and Jenny Fazekas were inspired to create another addition to their thriving book series on African wildlife parks.

Their newest publication has all the information wildlife photographers need to produce superior images of the stunning location. The project represents the culmination of the photographers' years of hard work spent learning the habits of the local animals and discovering ideal shooting locations and camera techniques.

Aimed at photographers of all levels

"This e-book is intended to assist photographers of all levels to find and successfully photograph Pilanesberg's flora and fauna," says Jenny Fazekas.

"For first-time visitors, the guide will suggest locations to scout, best times of year or day to photograph certain subjects, and helpful advice on photographic gear. The guide will also help seasoned visitors to the Pilanesberg find less obvious places where photographic magic is just waiting to happen."

Successful wildlife photography, according to Mario Fazekas, is not about having the most expensive gear. It's about understanding the nature of light, knowing how to use the gear on hand, and developing a basic knowledge of animal behaviour.

"The whole idea of this book is to enable everyone to make the best use of their limited time when visiting Pilanesberg, so that they not only can find the animals but are able to take good photographs of them as well."

A free sneak preview (the first 20 pages) of the book is available on Kruger-2-Kalahari.com, along with a similar guide to Etosha National Park in neighbouring Namibia. More e-books detailing other southern African wildlife parks are in the pipeline.

Mario and Jenny Fazekas have been photographing the flora and fauna of southern and east Africa since 1995; much of that time has been spent in South Africa's Pilanesberg National Park.

Edward Peach is an experienced field guide who has worked at Ivory Tree Lodge in Pilanesberg since 2002.

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