Ghosts of Chamo
It was a hot humid afternoon when I headed out on Lake Chamo in Ethiopia’s Central Rift Valley. Located on the Northern edge of Nechisar National Park and fringed by large beds of Thypha and wetlands the Lake is locally known as the ‘crocodile’ market.
I have visited lake Chamo before but this occasion it was different. Recent rain has flooded the Thympha reed beds and hundreds of water birds congregated on the edges. This was the first time I saw good numbers of Great White pelicans (Pelecanus onocrotalus) on the lake. Sadly overfishing in numerous lakes has caused the species to fly long distances to find food. Great White pelicans are exploited for many reasons. In Ethiopia, Great White pelicans are shot for their meat. Human disturbance, loss of foraging habitat and breeding sites, and pollution are all contributing to the decline of the Great white pelican.
I photographed the birds for some time and waited for the light to get softer. As our boat slowly drifted down stream we passed a thick clump of reeds, I followed the action through my viewfinder and slowly panned along. It was then that I saw the image in my mind and asked the captain to head upstream in order to pass the reeds again. I calculated my image as we slowly drifted pass the reeds, dialed my aperture down to ensure a small depth of field, focused on the pelicans, panned along and pressed my shutter to create a ‘ghostly’ appearance of these iconic birds.
- Marius Coetzee
- Image Size
- 1200x800 / 477.0KB
- Contained in galleries