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Wingless Flight

Wingless Flight
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: 2009-10-19
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC HX1, Sony G lens 20x Optical zoom, Digital ISO 200
Exposure: f/5.0, 1/640 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Kruger National Park - 2009
Theme(s): 70-79 Puntos (chapter 2), Mammals of Southern Africa II, A study in Mammalogy (mammals) 1, Dedications at Trek Nature, Flying images 2, Kruger National Park 2, My Dedications ;o), CeltickRanger's favorite African animal photos 2 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-11-09 9:02
Viewed: 6726
Favorites: 3 [view]
Points: 78
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Impala - Aepyceros melampus

I would like to dedicate this posting to our wonderful friends Robin Du Bois (robindb) and his wife Carin. You guys have been wonderful this last number of years. You've never missed an opportunity to meet up with us in person. Whenever we were in the Kruger Park or when you were on holiday in St. Lucia, nearby our region, you always made certain that you met up with Anna and me. We really appreciate and cherish your friendship. Thanks for a lovely and enjoyable evening at Komatipoort.

Chickens do it regularly and sometimes humans too. Just when a car approach, those who were on the left of the road would want to go to the right and those on the right of the road wants to go to the left. Ok, there was no car approaching these impala, but they apparently seemed to think there was a crocodile somewhere beneath that smooth surfaced water. These high flying impalas were captured from the "Bridge over the Olifants River" on the H1-5 main road, south of the Olifants camp.

On many occasions I have seen that impalas, bushbuck, blue wildebeest and other animals would drink water from a river or waterhole with a resident crocodile in near attendance even as close as ±2 metres or so away. Yes, on those occasions the animals were extremely cautious, but it appeared like thirst overcame their biggest primal fear as long as they could see the crocodile and monitor its movements.

During this trip through the Kruger National Park (and on some other previous occasions) I've observed a far greater vigilance from animals when they apparently suspected the presence of a crocodile, but were not able to see it though. On such occasion the animals almost seemed over watchful. I've seen at places where the water was no deeper than 2-5 inches, but no animal would put its toes in the water. They would rather approach very warily and then jump across the water with exceptional grace and agility.

The interesting part of this scenery was that the chicken factor was present. While sitting on the bridge, crossing the Olifants River, we observed various impalas and baboons down below on the riverbed. As time passed it seemed like all those impalas that were feeding on the reed bank on the left of the stream apparently wanted to be on the sand bed on the right of the stream. And all those impalas on the sand bed (on the right) appeared to want to be on the reed bank (on the left). This provided Anna and me with ample opportunities to capture these beautiful little antelopes while they were "flying" through the air. They all remained well clear of the water and thus only had one way of getting to the other side and that was to perform these effortless yet incredible jumps. I estimated some of these jumps to be in the region of 6-8 metres far. The most amazing part of it all was that one would actually thought that those impalas which jumped to the right (i.e. to the sand bed) might have struggled when landing on the sand bed. Their little hooves are so small and sharp and their legs seem to be so thin and fragile, yet there were not one moment when they had problems with the landing. Not once could I see that the hooves actually penetrated too deeply (within reason) or dug in to the sand and thereby tripping or hampering the animal's movement.

The bottom line just proved true again. So many times we take these lovely little animals for granted (because of their numerous numbers) and just past them by. However, any time when one observe them long enough one might end up witnessing some special moment or some worthwhile peculiar behaviour. They still remain one of my favourites though.

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop CS2

nglen, irishprophet25, roges, sranjan, PeterZ, Alex99, zulfu, PaulH, marius-secan, Heaven, parasbhalla, ramthakur, jtkerb, CeltickRanger, boreocypriensis, goatman04, robindb, anel, Miss_Piggy, uleko, albert, Noisette, Argus, jmirah, eng55, marhowie, xTauruSx, Rehanna, betsie, rousettus has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
Animal Behaviouringridshaul 1 12-13 05:12
To ingridshaul: Happiness is...loot 1 11-23 19:53
To FunkyMunky: WOW!!!loot 1 11-15 01:05
To Heaven: Yip, they're not fightingloot 1 11-09 14:13
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-11-09 9:10]

Hi Loot. Your sony had done so well in your hands. The colours and detail in the well timed picture are first class. You have captured both animals with all four feet in the air at the same time. Good use of the light . I like the name you have given to thepicture of the Impala. Well taken TFS.

Hi Loot,

Great shot of these impala jumping, its a well photographed moment. lovely detail and natural colors. Great composition with the impala jumping into the photo as well.
Great capture and TFS


  • Great 
  • roges Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 957 W: 0 N: 1329] (6264)
  • [2009-11-09 9:15]

Hi Loot,

Magnified image and a fantastic player.
A catch with some beautiful details.
Have a nice week,

Hello Loot,
This is a great action shot by you with airborne impalas on their way to otherside of the river bank. I appreciate its sharpness, details & luminosity apart form the used speed to freeze this moment. What happened to them later in their amphibious journey??? I hope they were not eaten up by the giant crocs !!!

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-11-09 10:27]

Hello Loot,
Wonderful and impressive photo in beautiful natural colours. The sharpness is excellent with very good details. The contrast against the BG and composition are fantastic. Very interesting note.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2009-11-09 10:42]

Hi Loot.
What a fantastic freezing of the charming animals. Brilliant action shot. Its colours add details are stunning. Bravo.

  • Great 
  • rommel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 446 W: 0 N: 287] (3628)
  • [2009-11-09 10:55]

Howzit Loot,
Excellent action shot of these impala, it seems like they have both just started their descend.Lively photo with natural surrounds, well done.

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2009-11-09 11:03]

Hello Loot,
This is very beautiful action shot and you are right that they in-flight. A master photography!
TFS and R's,

Hi Loot,
that's an impressive moment.
I have seen this szene in documentations on TV, never in real. Perhaps in the next shot you will show us the big splash?!? Haha. Joking.
Thanks, I like it very much, excellent shot
Sabine - wishnugaruda

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2009-11-09 11:36]

Hi Loot,
this is really fantastic, full of energy and beautifully captured with pin sharp accuracy. This must have been amazing to watch, you're so lucky to have such diversity right on your doorstep.

Hello Loot,

Great capture. Wonderful natural colours and very good composition.
Sharpness and details are excellent.

Dear Loot!

Your picture simply is superb. I especially like its clarity and the excellent natural colour tones. When I look at the Impalas in this picture, I wonder if the title could be the "Wingless Flight". Both animals captured at the very moment when they are in the air... superb! The sharpness - at the limit of the oversharpening - reveals great details. Moreover, your notes are exciting and so plasantly narrative.

Kind regards


Hi Loot,

You did a great job!
Wonderful capture especially the in-flight shot with wonderful colors and details!
I like the sharpness and POV here with great natural colors.
A great dedication!

best regards,

Such masterpiece action shots in still photography are a rarity, Loot. Hats off to you for capturing these two young, supple Impalas in mid flight. The action is fluid, graceful and fascinating. The very authentic background adds great value to the image as a whole.
It is more than manifest that you had a fantastic time during your trip to Kruger Park.
Best regards,

hello Loot

what a superb « flight » photo of these Impalas,
action shot of wild animals it is another kind
of photography that i love but has not the chance
to practice it, the focus on both the animals are
superb with the sharpness and details,

i see that your photo it is shot with the new (since last winter)
Sony HX1 bridge camera, Luciano also has one and his
last butterfly/insect photos are shot with the Sony HX1 bridge camera,
i know that your camera can shot 10 photos in 1 second
in the burst mode, is this photo was shot in burst mode
or only in a single shot Loot ?



Wowwww..! Perfect timing My dear friend Loot!
The shutter speed looks excellent here, as does the aperture. Such rich colours and precise focus, this really is impressive.
Inspirational upload and great notes -as usual-my dear friend! well done.
TFS and have a great day!


Hello Loot,

This is truly a terrific capture of this pair of Impalas with such grace, colors and timing. Fantastic moment & composition. Very well done with a keen sense care & skills. TFS & best compliments.


Hi Loot,

Thanks for the dedication. It is a pleasure to meet folk who also love nature and combine it with this great hobby of photography. As you also mentioned in your last posting it is not the "big five" that give pleasure but the lesser animals as well. You have excelently captured the grace and speed of these animals which are also nice to watch.


great capture! greetings Ori

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2009-11-10 4:09]

Hello Loot,
A very fascinating posting. We can imagine that you and Anna spent quite a lot of time to look at this spectacle from the bridge. Most graceful and elelgant animals which you caught so well in this dynamic picture. Very natural colors too. Thanks so much.
Kind regards

Hello Loot,
Excellent moment and very good sharpnees, fine details Very well done!!!!
TFS, salutacions cordials.

Dear Loot
When I saw the outcome of this photograph I was quite green around the collar, as my attempt for the same action shot was not even half way as good as this one of yours. BUT you deserve all the praise received so far as you are truly an outstanding photographer, and the green soon turned to gold as I am sure that is the colour of somebody walking around with pride in their heart. I am truly proud to be related to you, and proud to have been in the same vehicle when you took this marvelous scene. (If somebody reading this do not know it by now, we have been married for almost 29 years!)

This photo of these two jumping bucks is out of this world. Everything is great. The colour of the water and reeds are so true to nature, the brown and white coat of fur as well as the fluffy tailpiece of the male Impala’s display so beautifully against the water as backdrop. One can even clearly see how the muscles are pulled back in order to do the great jump. Awesome!

I am so glad I have space left in my favourites as this image rightfully belongs there. Love.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2009-11-10 5:18]

Hello Loot,
Wonderful ánd very well-timed capture of these two elegant Impalas gliding through the air! Fantastic details and fabulous colours that make them stand out as if this was a three-dimensional picture! Lovely profiles of their heads too and the composition is excellent.
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Hello Loot
Great shot with excellent timing

This is going to be the shortest crit ever on Treknature, but it is worth 1000 words:


Hello Loot
very beautiful scene of this two Impalas jumping in the water, you have frozen them in the air very nicely, with great sharpness and in a wonderful pose
very good capture from your trip in the Kruger Park
Have a good night

Hallo Loot,

Dit is mooi skoot van die rooibokke wat vlieg, en 'n baie mooi dedication. Jy het regtig goed gedoen om hulle so vas te le. Wel gedaan. Die rooibok is so 'n ongelooflike springer, en kan blykbaar verder as 'n springbok spring.


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-11-12 23:09]

Hello Loot,
A fine well-time capture of a pair of Impalas making light work of a water hinder. The movement shown by the position of the legs is great even though there is no blurring. The sharpness, colours and lighting are impeccable and the composition provides enough space in front of the pair to accentuate the movement.
A fine action shot and thanks for delighting us with it!
A good weekend to you both!

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2009-11-15 17:23]

Hi Loot,
I see you guys had another fantastic sojourn through Kruger.
This image is magnificent. What an outstanding action shot.
The light, the colors, the sharpness are all superb.
And the composition... with the two impalas bursting out of the left side of the page, is just breathtaking.
Can't wait to see more of your trip.
TFS. : )

Hi Loot
Wow! What a great cature...Excellent composition with outstanding color and focus...TFS

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2009-11-16 14:52]

Hi Loot,your timing was decisive for the beauty of this pic,impressive moment and fantastic sharpness,a very professional,unusual and interesting work! Thanks for share,have a nice day,LUCIANO

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2009-11-17 8:04]

Hi Loot,
It's an amazing capture.Excellent POV,timing and composition.Masterpiece!
Thanks for posting..

Wonderful action capture Loot, you've stated it in the proverbial nutshell..
"However, any time when one observe them long enough one might end up witnessing some special moment or some worthwhile peculiar behaviour."
You know my secret ;-)
Very well done my friend!

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2009-11-19 18:30]

Hello Loot,
If these were birds I'd have to say great inflight capture, but I guess I'll just say super stop action shot!! Wonderful detail and gorgeous colors!! Perfect timing!!! TFS.

Dear Loot,
I have just discovered your Impalas and - before “putting pen to paper” – have added this enchanting study of Impala behaviour to my favourites; there is no doubt in my mind, that Impalas are the most graceful and elegant of all antelopes.

I have many times watched them “flying” (you really have coined here a phrase) over 3 m high fences!

I have watched a young bock dancing like a circus horse: jumping into the air and landing with the two front legs only – and immediately bouncing back into the air - now landing with the two back legs only, and continuing this alternating motion for some 50 metres. This charming parade coincided with the first drops of rain falling after a long period of drought (I think it was 1992).

I was not the only one observing this bouncing young animal - expressing his joie de vivre – a young female giraffe standing close by, apparently as enthralled as I was – started skipping with all 4 legs into the air - not very high - but enough to express her happiness about the first rain – and following the path of the bock.

Your perfect photographic technique as well as presentation goes without saying – I just want to add to your photo – IT IS INTERESTING THAT A YOUNG MALE BE WITH A FEMALE AND NOT WITH A BACHELOR HERD!

When I say thank you for sharing – it is not only the usual TrekNature courtesy - I really mean it; your image reminds me of many happy moments.

Enjoy the rest of your week,
Kind Regards

Hello again Loot, amazing action shot of these beauties. Great exposure that you froze their moment in the air. The composition and details are great.
TFS and regards,

Hallo Loot,
sorry I'm a bit late.
A in-flight shot of a subject without wings, it must be the first on TN . ;-) ;-)
You managed to take a very fine picture of these flying animal,
very nice stop action with fine sharpness and we can see all fine details.
The picture is also well composed with with nice POV. Well exposed with nice and natural colours.
And of course as ususal a good and informative note.
Great work, my friend.


Hello Loot
what a wonderful scene and excellent capture for lovely Impalas with perfect timing. you greatly captured two Impalas together with wonderful exposure and focus.
greatly composed and noted. you are very lucky to see and photographing such a beautiful scene. I hope I can see them in nature in future.
thanks for sharing this beauty and thanks for your nice critiques and kind words on my posts.
have a nice weekend, best regards

you captured the beautiful moment, thank you for sharing

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