Welcome to my site about travel and photography, with articles about places I have been to, why I went, what I did there, and the camera gear I used appropriate to the destination.
Why Young Zebras Have Long Legs
Why do young zebra have long legs?
When you look at this young Burcell’s zebra with its mother you can see that the young zebra has longer legs proportionate to its body compared to the adult.
There’s a reason for it. Just like a collection of cows is called a herd, a collection of zebra is a called a dazzle. Lions see in black and white, and when they see a dazzle of zebra in front of them, they can’t pick out one animal. It just a confusing mess of black and white.
They could see if there was a young one whose belly was below the level of the adults. But the young have long legs, so their bellies are at the same level as the adults. And that’s the reason young zebra have long legs. As you can see, even with just a lone mother and her young, the young one is difficult to see.
In the past couple of years I have been to Nepal, South Africa, Israel, Russia, Austria, Hungary, Italy, and Spain. I went to some of these places with my wife, Tamara, and to Nepal and Israel on my own.
The places I travel to don’t have to be exotic, but they should feel authentic and worthy of repaying deep investigation. When my wife and I went to Austria, it was to see where Mozart lived. My wife is a pianist, and she loves Mozart’s music, so we took full advantage of the time we had and went to concerts, to quartets playing Mozart’s music.
If we had simply gone and gawked at Mozart’s house without any background, we would have had a much poorer experience.
That is what I mean when I say that education turns a flat landscape into an experience.
The longest I’ve been away on a single trip is a year. And often now my wife and I go for just a couple of weeks. Sometimes I go on my own, such as my trip to Nepal. Recently we went for a month to South Africa. You can read here How I Caught The Travel Bug.
Photographs create moods. Take these Caucasian Wingnut trees. Where do you think I took the photo? A dense forest, somewhere?
In fact these trees are in the grounds of the Botanic Garden in Cambridge in the UK, the town where my wife and I live. What I am getting at is something we all know – that framing a photograph can create a mood that may be far removed from the reality shown in the surroundings outside the frame.
So I am very aware that image and reality do not always come close, but I try for authentic experiences.
I started taking photographs when I was about eleven. I had a half-frame camera because I wanted something small, discreet, and easy to carry. My father and I developed my black and white film and I watched and helped while he developed his colour slide film.
I started taking photographs again much later, and developed and printed my black and white photos. Much later, I started digital photography with a little compact camera as an experiment and slowly moved over to digital as the cameras improved. A Nikon D70 was the first ‘proper’ digital camera, and I used it for a couple of years. I sold it because I wasn’t happy with the results I got from the camera. I replaced it with a Nikon D200 and all that it promised.
And then I saw some photographs taken by someone with a D70 and realised that the camera I had sold was fully capable of taking great shots. It was I, the photographer who had to improve, and I’ve been working on that ever since.
Photography and Travel
Photography and travel go nicely hand in hand. For out trip to South Africa I took a little compact to record daily life, and a Nikon D500 with a Nikon 70-300mm f4.5-5.6E ED VR AF-P lens to photograph animals. For other trips I am using the Fuji X100S that I bought years ago and which is still giving me results I like.
I also have a Fuji X-T2 that is a good midway between the heavy Nikon and the almost pocketable X100s.