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Three things no one tells you about trying to capture nature on film

By expert nature photographer, Shem Compion.

1.Research.
Research on your subject and location is important. Google Maps has made this so much easier, and even more exciting!

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.  -Frank Lloyd Wright

2.Know your camera. There are times you will want to change settings rapidly and you should be able to do this without taking your eye off the viewfinder.  A minute looking for buttons and dials can cost you the shot of a lifetime. Work on perfecting technique rather than perfecting the equipment you have. Technique will take you much further than the latest lens or camera. By knowing your camera and remaining present you will be able and ready to capture the decisive moment. 

A style is not a matter of camera angles or fancy footwork, it's an expression, an accurate expression of your particular opinion. -Karel Reisz

3.Be patient. Wildlife has no schedule and you have no control. Have the patience to recognise and wait for…
Recent posts

Shem Compion’s most memorable experience as a nature photographer

Last time we relayed Compion’s motivation for one to become a nature photographer. Well, the experience below could go one of two ways: you’ll either be dying to get out there and take some potentially risky snaps, or you would rather die!
Being on safari a lot brings its fair amount of adventure and misfortune: I walk with elephants, I have been struck by lightning while opening a gate, and I’ve even been medevaced from the remotest part of Ethiopia after falling down a cliff into a river and knocking myself out.
Shem Compion: Shem Images website
I believe in the law of averages when it comes to walking with big and dangerous animals and one day that caught up with me and two others in Mana Pools [National Park, Zimbabwe].
Shem Images: Shem Images website
We walked up to an old elephant bull who was having a morning slumber. From about 50m we observed him and then moved away. Something woke him suddenly and with his reverie disturbed, he decided to take it out on us. He only stopped 2m f…

Shem Compion’s top five reasons to pursue nature photography

Beginner, amateur, professional or aspiring: if these simply flawless reasons, by Shem Compion, to give nature photography a try don’t inspire and convince you, well read them again!  1.It’s an ever-changing subject Nature photography never gets boring. Whether you are interested in wildlife or landscape photography, there is always a new angle, new perspective and new light that changes the end result.
What makes this brand of beauty even more special is that it is from your point of view, your own lens, and it was captured because you deemed it worthy. Plus you put the effort into eternalising the scene. As Compion reiterates further down, you don’t even have to go as far out as you think you do; just open your eyes. There’s always something new.

Image source: Unsplash online 2. You can be at one with nature There’s no better excuse for getting outside than feeding your thirst for nature, via photography.
With a half-decent camera or phone and a little bit of drive, you can have it all –…

How to prepare a sustainable winter garden in 7 easy steps

"Horticulturist and founder of Keith Kirsten Horticulture International," Mr Kirsten shares his knowledge and expertise with you and with us, specially for #GardenMonth.  They say that winter allows you to see the bone structure of the landscape and isn’t that an intimate treat that nature affords us? While you observe the elegant starkness around you in autumn and winter, beauty is not only visibly present to those of us willing to see it, but it’s also a budding anticipation in the air; something lies beneath, waiting.


As gardeners we need to honour this elegance and the arrival of that special something by putting in the time, ahead of time, all the time. These labours are meticulous and essential – as well as rewarding and therapeutic – investments of pure faith and love that we get to reap throughout the year.
Clothing your garden in fresh spring blossoms is a process that starts now just as the glory of your winter vegetable patch has been a long time in the making.
Inc…

To trade or not to trade: it should no longer even be a question

"In 2018, about 700 rhinos were poached in South Africa. Down from an average of 1 250 in 2017 and 2016 it sounds like good news. However, by legalising rhino horn trade, the number could be zero, which would really be good news, writes businessman, game rancher and rhino owner, Dr Peter Oberem."
Afgriland magazine recently published this fascinating article by one of Briza Publications' authors (The New Game Rancher), the esteemed Dr Peter Oberem. 
"Seven hundred rhino murdered in one year can never be good news. Why must we accept the deaths of almost two rhino a day in South Africa alone when there is an answer? To my mind, and the minds of hundreds of conservationists and game ranchers, the solution is legalising rhino horn trade." Dr Oberem explains further: 

"This step will restore the value of live rhino, and give honest users of rhino horn access to legal and sustainable products. As a result, humans and the natural environment alike will benefit from …

How books come alive with the Callfinder®!

A truly revolutionary developmentBriza launched its Callfinder® ready titles in 2013 with the publication of SAPPI Birds of South Africa, (SAPPI Voëls van Suid-Afrika in Afrikaans) written by Herman van Niekerk and Saartjie Kidson.  For the first time in South Africa, this exciting and highly anticipated book allowed the bird watcher to see an image of a bird and hear its actual call on the same page of the book, ensuring quick association, supplemented by information and hints on the bird’s behaviour to assist with finding and identifying it correctly. It was an instant bestseller and remains one of Briza’s most sought after titles.  To date, more than 30 000 books have been sold!

Following the success of SAPPI Birds of South Africa, Briza released a revised edition of Mammal Guide of Southern Africa (Soogdiergids van suider Afrika in Afrikaans) by Burger Cillié in 2015, complete with Callfinder® ready capabilities.  The new edition of this popular field guide made it one of the most…

How to make your garden bird friendly

NINE SIMPLE TIPS FROM EXPERT HERMAN VAN NIEKERK At the start of #BirdFeedingMonth, we found ourselves asking, Are we actually giving the birds in our gardens what they need? You might be putting out some food, hoping to attract as much birdlife as possible – but at what cost? We caught up with Herman van Niekerk, author of Briza’s Sappi Birds of South Africa, for some expert insights. Figure 1: Sappi Birds of South Africa
“Most cities and towns have developed as extended bushland or forest areas because of the gardening practices of owners,” says van Niekerk. “Of course the result is an influx of birds from their natural habitats which is wonderful news for city and town dwellers who can now enjoy birdwatching in their own gardens.”
In response to our question – What do the wild birds need from our gardens? – van Niekerk asserts that there are in fact ways to optimise the environment for the birds in your garden so that just as your garden is a birdwatching oasis, just so it is the wild…