Wildlife Safari Lens

Nikon 80-400mm VR

Wildlife Safari Lens! Today I want to feature photos taken with my 80-400mm VR Nikon Zoom lens. A list of lenses is stark and boring so I wanted to do a feature of photographs taken with some of the gear I’m selling. I’m not a commercial trader or anything like that so all the gear I have has personal reasons for buying it in the first place. In 2011 we went on an amazing trip to Namibia. I had nothing with enough reach in my lens collection at that time so I bought this one and didn’t regret it for a second. The VR is amazing, it has three settings, off (for use with a tripod), normal (for general walking about and hand holding) and active (for on the back of a moving safari truck)! Perfect for shots like these:

Hand Held walking about:

Cheetah Cub shot at 400mm on D300

Mamma shot at 400mm on D300:

Naughty Cheetah stole a camera bag shot at 220mm

Hand Held from the truck:

Backlit lion shot at 400mm on D300 (you can see the exif on pbase by clicking these images and then select “view exif” under the photo):

Mamma Lion shot at 400mm on D300:

Giraffes Kissing shot at 400mm on a D300:

Giraffe Harem shot at 200mm on D300:

Lion Play fight shot at 400mm on D300:

Zebra in the road shot at 240mm:

Elephant shot at 120mm

At the watering hole (on a tripod) shot at 46mm:

shot at 150mm:

Not going on an amazing Safari trip any time soon? No Problem there’s plenty of wildlife at home. When I first got the lens I went for a wander around a Dorset town and got this shot of cheeky gulls:

Just because I’ve personally only used this as a wildlife lens that doesn’t mean there is only one use for it. You could use it for Astronomy, Landscape, Wildlife, Portraits, Spying on your neighbours (joke) etc etc! The lens is in excellent condition for only £700 (basically new as I only used it for this one trip & a few test shots). There is not much call for such a zoomy lens in underwater photography. I hope you enjoyed my photos here. Either email me with your interest on: scubasuzy-sellingnikongear@yahoo.co.uk Or head over to the full list of gear for sale.

Best Photos 2011

Its reflection time again and my top ten best/favourite photos from 2011 were so much harder to pick than last year (I’m please to say). With no further ado here they are, in no particular order (click each for larger version on pbase):

Jazz Hands.  I was mucking about on a dull dive in Cayman with my buddy and I love this one. For me it all comes together, the silly pose that made me laugh so hard my mask filled up, the outrageous lighting on the sides of the hands making them look massive in the forced perspective. A nice lit up mask (sometimes the masks can cause nasty shadows). The fact that you can see his fin and the dark edge of the reef are nice touches to add depth. And of course what a handsome model ;)


Kittewake squid.  This little battalion of squid seem to live up in the shallows by the mast of the Kittiwake wreck in Grand Cayman. I wanted to capture the sense that they were guarding the ship. I have another shot of them splaying out under the sunrays but I think this one tells the story I wanted to capture a little better.

Inside the tug boat.  Tiny fish stream around inside a shipwrecked tug boat in the south Red Sea. I like the sense of movement in this one and the blue cast from the windows in the background setting the context.


Blenny in a hole.  Blog post here for more blennies. The blennies expression makes this one for me.

Ray close up.  I like this shot of a Cayman Stingray better than some of the other more graceful ones I took. Its unusual and I love the texture on him and his expression as he presses against my glass dome port. The rays here were expecting food and I was glad to capture the in-your-face nature of our encounter with them.

Manatee in the sunshine.  I loved the manatees so much this one had to be in my top ten.

Blue room.  I very much enjoyed our land-based trip this year to Namibia (despite no diving *gasp*). My favourite part was the abandoned mining village. It was the major reason for us going there and I’d have liked one more day wandering around. I prefer this view of the blue room over the more usual symmetrical view because I like the slightly off-kilter through-many-doors-and-windows feeling. With this view you see a way in (or out) of the room (and the frame) via the window and then your eyes are lead through the rooms and tantalised with a hint of a fourth room (one last edge of a doorway) which you don’t get to see if you are straight on and symmetrical.

Milkyway.  I loved Deadvlei (in Namibia). During the day it’s amazing and surreal orange and blue. Landscape straight out of a Dali painting. At night something the stars are brighter than I’ve ever seen in my life. My first foray into night photography and stars. I enjoyed playing around with the star trails shots (even though they didn’t come out right) but I still prefer the straight up majesty of the static star shots.

Dune sunset.  A special treat in Namibia was my first trip up in a microlight. I like this moody aerial shot of the last of the sunlight just catching the edge of a massive sand dune.

Giraffe Greeting.  Giraffe love as two giraffe greet each other nearby the waterhole where we were parked in Etosha. I’d never seen giraffes outside of a zoo before so this was a rare treat for me.

Honourable mentions: As with previous years choosing ten was very hard. Here are a few others that I’ve liked and a whole bunch more in my best 2011 gallery on pbase .



I was very lucky in 2011 to visit so many wonderful places that I have not even been able to go through all my photographs so I’ve choose these from the selection of photographs that were taken, processed & put on my pbase site in 2011. I hope you enjoyed this look back with me.

I’m very much looking forward to 2012, Happy New Year everyone!

Namibia – Quiver Trees, Star trails & Cheetahs

As promised here is my round up of what we saw in our Namibia photo trip at the quiver tree forest near Keetmanshoop.

We stopped here for a couple of nights. To be honest I got a little tree’d-out and I think that part of the trip perhaps could have been squished into fewer days.


It did however give me a chance to try out my very first star trail picture. It was terrifying leaving my camera behind and not knowing if I’d ever see it again. Marsel gave us a little talk on how to do the star trails. You have to take a base picture before the stars come out (to get the colour of the foreground painted in). Then take photos of 5 min exposures with 1 second interval for as long as the battery lasts. Unfortunately my programmable timer remote worked a little different to the standard one and I accidently programmed it for take one 5 min exposure every 5mins and 1 second. DOH! Hence I give you the Morse code star trail below! The first is without the base image loaded (just all the star exposures stacked up in photoshop with the layer set to lighten). The send is the same but with the base layer included. I quite like them both.

The best part of this bit of the trip for me was seeing the cheetah residents being feed. There was a mother (who came over purring for a stroke) and two younger ones who both had a fondness for ripping up camera backpacks (if they could get them).



We went with a company called Squiver, run by Marsel van Oosten & Daniëlla Sibbing. The trip covers thousands of miles across Namibia so much of the time was spent travelling between amazing places, I’ll be splitting the trip report over 5 posts. This is post 1. The index page for this series is here. Up next is the amazing abandoned diamond mine at Kolmanskop…

PhotoFriday – ‘Wilderness’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Wilderness’

Click image to go to see alternate sizes (looks better larger).

This theme is timed very well for me as most of the photos I’m currently processing are from Namibia in Africa and if that isnt a wilderness I wouldnt know what is! Today I bring you some giraffe love as two giraffe greet each other nearby the waterhole where we were parked in Etosha.

If you want to see more of my Namibia photos then check out other photos in my Namibia 2011 Gallery. Although not completed I’m filling with with a few more every chance I get.

See all the other photo Friday entries (and submit your own) for ‘Wilderness’ here.

PhotoFriday – ‘Wildlife’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Wildlife’

Click image to go to see alternate sizes.

Click here to see the rest of my ‘Raja Ampat’ gallery.

See all the other photo Friday entries (and submit your own) for ‘Wildlife’ here.