Andre Bosman -
Fine Art Fundi!

Andre with Jenny and Mario at Shingwedzi Camp reception - after photographing the stars over the palm trees!
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We met Andre Bosman during December in the Kruger Park. We had been sitting at a leopard kill sighting near Shingwedzi camp and the leopard had disappeared for the past few hours and, of course, all the cars had left.

We had not seen the kill so stayed behind as we were trying to locate the carcass, that was 'under a bush' and we had spotted a hoopoe constantly flying to and from its nest.

Andre had been at the sighting but returned in case the leopard had emerged and he drove up to us, looked around, and asked if we were photographing the hoopoe. We then realised he's a "real wildlife photographer"!

Most people would not have worked out what we were watching nor would they have returned to the sighting spot in the afternoon heat.

Andre then sat with us in the boiling heat and eventually the leopard returned just before sunset, had a drink and dragged the carcass out from under the bush - we captured some good images as we were both patient and were prepared to endure the uncomfortable heat.

We then joined Andre on a few more game drives and had a great time together, working as a team at sightings, like at this lion pride on a zebra kill behind Shingwedzi camp... 

Lions on zebra kill near Shingwedzi camp in Kruger ParkLions on zebra kill two kms from Shingwedzi camp

It's not often we find visitors who are able to anticipate animal's actions, are prepared to endure discomfort and are keen to learn more about photography and nature. 

Then, after seeing Andre's superb fine art wildlife images we interviewed him and here's the result...

1. Andre, when we met at the leopard sighting near Shingwedzi Camp, you mentioned that you have been photographing nature for just two years! What inspired you to get into wildlife photography?

White rhino portrait in Kruger ParkLow-key white rhino

I have always been a wildlife enthusiast. On social platforms I would page through people’s photos and always wished I could capture good photos like they do. I started out with a small point and shoot camera and then the photography bug bit me and I wanted a better camera and lens! I then started talking to photographers on the social platforms and before I knew it, I was totally engrossed in photography and had upgraded my photo gear.

2. When we see many of the images posted on social media, they are simply documenting the subjects and their images end up looking no different to everyone else’s. You, however, go further by interpreting what you are seeing, and you photograph the subject in a way that is compelling and creative, providing a unique image that grabs people’s attention. This is known as 'fine art photography'. What inspired you to do this artistic style of photography?  

When I look at different styles of photography on social media platforms, the fine art style appealed to my creative side. When I sit down with a raw photo and start to edit it, the creative juices start flowing and I create what I feel would most appeal to someone looking at my photos.

Here are some examples of before and after editing, some more subtle than others and with all of them the subject 'pops' after the transformation to low-key... 

BEFORE
AFTER
Low-key vulture image
Elephant drinking in Kruger National Park
Male lion yawning
Male lion yawning in Kruger ParkMale lion yawning

3. How did you learn the skill of fine art wildlife photography – did you teach yourself, attend courses, read books…?

Low-key Elephant in Kruger ParkLow-key elephant

Self-taught using YouTube and online photography courses.  Whenever I don’t understand a setting on my camera or in Photoshop, I'll search on Google and YouTube until I find the answer and understand what I am doing. 

Elephant tusk in Kruger ParkElephant tusk closeup

You obviously need to separate wheat from chaff – you will quickly see which websites and video channels provide quality information!

4. Do you try and create the fine art image, for example high-key or low-key, in camera or do you do most/all your editing afterwards in Lightroom and/or Photoshop?

African wild dog portraitHigh-key wild dog
Hyena pup staringLow-key hyena pup

I use both Photoshop and Lightroom. I imagine as I progress and my skills grow, I will use my camera more as the tool of choice. Also, some edits can be done only in post-processing, such as the male lion in black and white with a colored eye, so Photoshop and Lightroom are indispensable tools for me, just like the darkroom was indispensable for Ansel Adams.  

5. Ansel Adams was known to spend one day in the darkroom to produce just one print - how long does it typically take you to create one fine-art image? 

Zebras drinking at a waterhole in Kruger parkZebra in the spotlight

I spend the majority of my free time and holidays photographing and/or editing and one photo can take me anything from 2 hours to 2 days to edit. 

Should you wish to get the eBook, click on the above book cover, then click 'Add to Cart' where you'll see a button called 'Add Promo Code'. Click on it then add the word K2K and the 30% discount will be automatically applied. This code is valid until the end of the month, so don't delay!

"This is an indispensable guide to getting the best out of Kruger, camera in hand or not!”

Caroline Webb, Associate Editor, Getaway Magazine, South Africa

6. We know that cameras and lenses don’t make the photographer but for those people who are interested, what photo gear do you use?

Low-key Zebra stareZebra stare

Canon 1DX mark 2 with a Canon 600mm f4 lens

Canon 7D mark 2 with a Canon 100-400mm lens

Canon EOS 5DS R with a Tamron 24-70mm lens, mainly for landscapes

7. What wildlife subjects are you most passionate about?

Leopard staringLeopard stare

Mostly the big cats like leopard, but in the same breath some of my favorite photos have been landscapes and birds. I love sitting at the hides and dams to see what pitches up - as the saying goes #KrugerNeverDisappoints!

8. Do you have any favourite camps or roads in the Kruger Park and/or Pilanesberg? 

My favorite places are mostly in the south of Kruger, around Malelane, Crocodile Bridge and Lower Sabie.  This year, however, I went up North as its quieter in December than the South, which gets very congested during holiday seasons.

My favorite road would be the gravel roads around Biyamiti Weir as it tends to be a leopard hotspot for me...

Leopard watching buffalo in Kruger National ParkLeopard watching buffalo at Biyamiti Weir
Leopard interacting with elephant in kruger parkLeopard interacting with elephant near Biyamiti Weir
Leopards mating near Biyamiti Weir in Kruger ParkLeopards mating near Biyamiti Weir

9. Do you have a strategy when going out each day on self-drive photo safaris? 

High-key giraffe drinkingGiraffe drinking - high-key

Yes. I plan my trips in the evenings. I usually have three or four ideas of what I am looking for, based on that day's sightings, but also what lighting and which area/s I need to go to achieve my goals for the day.

Hippo exhalingHippo exhaling

10. What has been your greatest achievement so far as a wildlife photographer and what has been your most memorable sighting in the Kruger Park?

This is a difficult question to answer as I am still learning so much as I go along on my photographic journey.

For most memorable, I haven’t ever seen a live kill, but I have seen six different leopards in one day (around Shingwedzi – the S56 Mphongolo road and the S52 Redrocks road.

The best sighting that comes to mind is the tawny eagle that caught and ate a barn owl! 

Tawny eagle with barn owl prey in kruger parkTawny eagle with barn owl prey
Tawny eagle pulling barn owl's wing in Kruger ParkTawny eagle pulling barn owl's wing

To purchase Andre's fine art prints, please contact him as follows:

Phone:

+27 (0)82 384 0235:

Email:

andrewildlifephotography@gmail.com

And here are a few extra Andre Bosman images..

Male lion portrait in high-keyMale lion portrait in high-key
White rhino mother and calfWhite rhino mother and calf
Fine-art Martial eagle in low-keyMartial eagle in low-key
fine art zebraZebra mother with foal
Lion cubs in high-keyLion cubs in high-key
Fine art images of the Kruger Park
Fine art images of the Kruger National Park

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"It's 768 pages of the most amazing information. It consists of, well, everything really. Photography info...area info...hidden roads..special places....what they have seen almost road by road. Where to stay just outside the Park...camp information. It takes quite a lot to impress me but I really feel that this book, which was 7 years in the making, is exceptional."            - Janey Coetzee, founder of CAROK (Camps and Roads of Kruger)  South Africa

"Having a passion for the region itself and having to know about all dynamics, water holes and ideal roads for a period of 6 years - I wish I had this guide on my first trip already!" - Morkel Erasmus, Secunda, South Africa

"Mario and Jenny take you to places that are not always visited, and their descriptions of the more remote camps will allow you to make an informed decision without wasting time and money"  -  Bob & Sherry Shepardson, DeBary, Florida, USA

"Your time and money are valuable and the information in this book will help you save both."         - Don Stilton, Florida, USA

"I highly recommend the book to anyone visiting Etosha National Park to photograph the animals - or anyone considering an African photography safari in the future." - Anne Darling, Cognac, France

"As a photographer and someone who has visited and taken photographs in the Pilanesberg National Park, I can safely say that with the knowledge gained from this eBook, your experiences and photographs will be much more memorable." - Alastair Stewart, BC, Canada

"This work is so much more than an eBook, because it is also a guide, a tutorial, an inspiration and a must-have for anyone interested in wildlife photography"  - Findtripinfo.com, USA

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