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Spiralled beauty

Spiralled beauty
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-10-18
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 15x Optical zoom, Digital ISO 100
Exposure: f/4, 1/320 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Kruger NP 2009
Date Submitted: 2010-09-19 16:07
Viewed: 3953
Points: 86
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Kudu / Tragelaphus strepsiceros

I still have so many images which I would love to share and it is quite difficult to decide which one of the literary 100's I have in my archive should be next. A flower, a reptile, a mammal, an insect or should I post the next bird in the series of the birds of the Kruger National Park, or what about one of the lovely landscapes I captured in the Park? I wish I could do a posting every day like some members are fortunate to do. Unfortunately time is my biggest enemy. As I work full day and have a family to take care of I cannot do a posting as often as I would love to do. And in less than 2 weeks we will once again visit the Kruger Park on our vacation and we will come back with loads of beautiful images. Actually I am very lucky to have the opportunities to capture such a diversity of subjects in my direct surroundings and I do not necessarily have to go out and hunt for photographic prospects.

I have decided to share a portrait of one of the most graceful and majestic antelopes one can find in the park, the male Kudu. It is a handsome buck with lots of attractive features and characteristics, and an animal worthy to admire for its beauty especially the fringe from its throat to the base of its neck.

This photograph was captured mid morning on an overcast day near Shingwedzi in the northern area of the park.

Here is the high jump champion of the animal world – a graceful leaper capable of clearing a 2.5m fence from a standstill. The male of the species is easily identifiable: it sports two magnificent spiral horns.

Despite these awesome armaments, known to reach a length of up to 1.8m, the kudu is a gentle animal, preferring flight to fight. However, enraged kudu bulls do engage in fierce combat, sometimes accidentally killing each other by locking horns together inextricably.

The call of the kudu, the loudest of any antelope, is a penetrating, hoarse bark: bogh. Listen for its call; it often signals the presence of lions, leopards or other predators. (We once experienced such barking of a couple of kudus, a few meters away from the car, and looking down in a dried river bed we saw a lonely lioness. At first, when we stopped to look at the scenery, we did not notice the lioness at all, so the barking of the kudu alerted us and it is a sure signal to alarm other animals in the surrounding area.) When alarmed, kudus run away, lifting their tails over their rumps and fanning out the white undersurface as a warning signal to others.

The long, arching leaps of kudu across roads in rural areas pose a real hazard to motorists, especially at night, and their appetite for almost any vegetation, including tobacco and grain crops, tomatoes and lettuce has made them widely hunted by farmers.

Kudu generally occur in herds of 3-10 animals, but larger groups (up to 25) have occasionally been recorded. These decrease during the mating season when a bull will run with the females. In summer a cow bears a single calf which it hides in tall grass for a few days until it is strong enough to follow its mother.

Males reach a weight of about 250kg and females 180kg.

Taken from: Animals of the Kruger Park and Lowveld - Heritage Publishing.

I hope you enjoyed looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

vanderschelden, Mikolaj, Luis52, Black44, maurydv, aruntp, Dis. Ac., nagraj, Argus, PeterZ, eng55, sandpiper2, boreocypriensis, techranger, goldyrs, MMM, Mamagolo2, siggi, anel, Adanac, tuslaw, bahadir, peter_stoeckl, vanda, uleko, Alex99, rommel, Hormon_Manyer has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Anna,
That's really Kruger as I remember it. Maybe it is the background, maybe the light, I don't know...
I can hear the bogh. First time I heard it, I thought 'what's that'. Thought the animal was sick or something.
Anyway it's a wonderful image and the Kudu is a beauty.
Amazing horns and he looks quite young somehow, not really shy and a kind of curious.
Very well captured. All the best in Kruger next time.
Kind regards,

Hello Anna! Good work. Good exposure and capture. Well done!

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  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2010-09-19 19:10]

Hola Anna.
What a fantastic photo of this Kudu. Long horns that looks so beautiful, and ths BG is 100% Nature-
I wish the best for You and Lott in Your next trip to Kruger Park.

Hola Anna

Que buena imagen de este ciervo, con esos cuernos perfectamente igualados y de unos colores estupendos y esas orejas a juego. Perfecta nitidez y contrastes.

Un saludo de Antonio

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  • joska Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 806 W: 0 N: 4092] (22535)
  • [2010-09-19 22:50]

Splendid portrait of this Kudu!

Wow, Anna, one of the best kudu portraits I have seen in a long time. Pin sharp as usual with true colors, its almost as if I can reach out and touch it!
Well done!

Hi Anna,
A nice capture of this beautiful Kudu Antelope. Good composition and sharp details. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Hallo Anna,
a superb capture of the Kudu, i like this frontal POV with a great approach, very good sharpness and marvellous natural colours, a very nice composition in a splendid environment
Best regards

great wildlife photo of this species. thanks for sharing.

Hi Anna,

what abn beautiful portrait picture this are.
Good pov and detailed.
Fine brownish colours.
You are lucky to be living in such a country.
And yes time are also my enemy.
Maybe flowers from Africa?


Ciao Anna, superb creature with fantastic horns, wonderful natural ambientation, fine details and splendid sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

Hello Anna,
fantastic portrait of this kudu, excellent shoth!!!
TFS and best regards

very good sharpness and natural colours, thanks for sharing.

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  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2010-09-20 6:17]

Wow, interesting twist of the antlers, beautiful portrait of this kudu, fine species. tfs.

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  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2010-09-20 6:47]

Hello Anna,
A fine portrait of a Kudu bull taken with a high technical standard and well composed to include the large beautifully spiralled horns. The frontal POV is ideal and well taken against the slightly OOf Bg of bare-leaved bushes.
Thanks for sharing this beauty,
With kind regards,

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  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-09-20 7:17]

Hello Anna,
What a fantastic portrait! This close portrait, taken from a perfect POV, is so impressive. Excellent sharpness, details, DOF and natural colours.

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  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2010-09-20 9:18]

Hi Anna.
Fantastic portrait. Incredible details, ultimate clarity of the shot and clearness of the colours, I am also impressed with nice BG. Light transition from sharpness to blurriness is simply amazing. Lights and colour palette at whole are very pleasant for eye and a bit unusual. My congratulations and TFS.

hello Anna
beautiful sharpnesspicture with great details and good light
i like the pose
super shot Anna
greeting lou

Lovely portrait with good colour and sharpness.The face is captured beautifully. I like that the background is only a little out of focus, showing the antelope in its natural surroundings but still allowing the animal to stand out well.


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  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2010-09-20 13:03]

Hi Anna,
Very beautiful capture.Exposure is spot on,details are crisp clear.I liked POV and composition also a lot.Have a great week!
Thanks for posting..

Hi Anna

Great shot of this majestic kudu, just love those horns and big bambi eyes. Great portrait.


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  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2010-09-20 17:07]

Hi Anna,

A wonderful capture of this fantastic looking animal. I couldn't take my eyes away from those amazing horns - how beautiful they are. I forced myself to look further down and was surprised to see the gorgeous face and ears. An outstanding portrait of this Kudu with magnificent colors and details. Love the composition and the setting is pure Kruger.


Hi Anna,

A beautiful portrait of this spiralled beauty.
Your crop/framing is excellent, with good use of small negative space in front of.
I love her eye contact with the camera, and her look.
The DOF is excellent as well to keep the kudu sharp and the background soft.
A really lovely shot.
TFS and have a nice day!


A beautiful image Anna... in a perfect background. I love the effect of the curved rack against the tree branches in the BG.


A stunning shot , Anna!
The antlers are so beautiful!
BUt what I really love is the beautiful BG!
Very well captured, my friend!

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  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2010-09-22 6:12]

Hi Anna
What a great portrait beautiful animal.I like that eye contact and as usual your image is razor sharp with great detail.Nice light and nice natural colors.
TFS Michel

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  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2010-09-23 7:35]

Hi Anna...wow, what an incredible specimen you discovered here! Love the tangled bush background and the natural light and colours...he has an expression on his face which is hard to fathom...friendly curiosity perhaps? Great job, well done!

Hi Anna,
This is truly a Spiralled Beauty! What a majestic animal! Beautiful colors with sharp clear details. You've managed to let it stand out against the background. Very well done. Enjoy the long weekend and take a good rest.

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  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-09-23 23:52]

Hello Anna,
What a super cool photo, so close and with such great details. Great DOF, great colors and beautiful light. Best regards Siggi

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  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2010-09-24 2:00]

Hello Anna,
A very friendly apparition your Kudu. I like these antilopes a lot. The way you have framed your picture is original and well chosen. Interesting to see the Kudu emerging from the left corner to show us its spiral crown!
And the tints of the shot are so natural!
Very well done!
kind regards

My dearest friend Anna,
Thank you for bringing this interesting beauty to TrekNature.
Interesting from two points of view:

The animal is in bad condition - the bones are sticking out - and in the ears an on the neck it has lots of ticks.

The other interest is the fact, that the horns are quite muddy, i.e. the animal tried to get mud on its body to rid himself of the ticks...

I have this observed often after a long, hard winter. I also notice that the bush is quite "naked". The Kudu is a browser, and there was not much to browse... and when the condition of an animal is not very good, the ticks take out too much of the animal's strength. Then they are too weak to walk as far as it might need to find food.

That's of course the time, when the lions grow fat...

Thank you dear Anna for a great document.

I wish you again a wonderful holiday - in case I do not talk to you before your departure.

Lots of love and best wishes

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  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2010-09-24 20:53]

Hello Anna,
What a gorgeous antelope you display for us with this quality image. The composition, colour and focus are all superb, giving us such a sharp and clear image to view. Great work Anna, thank you great note as well.

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  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2010-09-26 18:56]

Hello Anna,
Time is my biggest challenge also when it comes to critiquing or posting on TN.
This is a marvelous buck with his large spiralling horns. What an impressive sight he must be to the females.
Love the white mane he seems to have running the length of his back and also the white mask he sports below his eyes.
I like the crop you chose which gives us a great view of his facial features, yet allows us to also see his well muscled front body. Great work!!

Gracias por tus buenos comentarios a mi trabajo Anna.
La especialista :-) en grandes animales nos envía otra interesante
especie para nuestro deleite ! Creo que conseguiste un buen dinamismo
por el contraste de los cuernos del animal con las ramas de los árboles del fondo.
Corte quizá algo forzado aunque sin duda muy eficaz. Buen trabajo.
Un abrazo: Josep Ignasi.

Hello Anna, Superb shot of this beautifully horned beauty from nice viewpoint. Excellent. TFS.

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  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2010-09-29 1:12]

Hello Anna,
what a wild beauty you captured here. The animal is a treasure where it depict the beauty of the park. Various animal you have shown and they are wonderful.
i like the mentioned spiral horn definitely. Something unique and different in the image.
The surroundings too is well shown and define in a good bokeh.
Well composed and a pleasant view.


Hi Anna,

Amazing portrait of this lovely animal. Nice and sharp image with great clarity! Very well done. Also like to see the normal habitat for the animal behind it!


Dear Anna,
intense portrait in delightfully subdued colours of dry earth. The steady spirals of horns standing out a a powerfully vital sculpture against a random background of branches and trees. With thanks, and best wishes to you,

P.S.: Thank you for the kind welcome you gave me a few days ago after my long absence from this site!

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  • vanda Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 338 W: 25 N: 754] (3673)
  • [2010-10-03 13:19]

Hi Anna!
What a wonderful portrait of this splendid animal! I have never seen it before.
Excellent light and sharpness. Beautiful natural colours.
Very well composed.
Congratulations my friend.
Ciao! Vanda

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  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2010-10-04 12:18]

Hello Anna,
A perfect portrait of this wonderful animal looking very proud with its spiralled horns. I love the big ears too and the fine markings on its face. Everything is sharply in focus and the colours beautiful!
Many thanks and best wilshes, Ulla

Parfaite capture Anna! belle définition et trčs bon choix de cadrage!


Helow Anna,
I love this image it so reminds me of where I should have stayed, viz. Namibia.

Hi Anna,
Beautiful kudu portrait, the crop works very well, and the composition's effective. Krüger must be a really special place, I'd love to visit it once - although I'm afraid I'd search fungi even while photographing such beautiful animals you used to. :) Excellent shot, congrats and tfs.
Friendly regards, László

Hi Anna
Impressive portrait with very good composition, wonderful colours and great sharpness.
Regards, Christodoulos.

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