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The Leading Edge

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I've chosen to submit these migration shots as a series because they do tell a story.

The migration and, particularly, the crossing of the Mara river is, without doubt, one of the most spectacular wildlife phenomena you can witness. And I mean specatacular. You can hardly believe it the first time you see the mirating wilebeest and zebra - thousands of them, creating a massive cloud of dust as they move. The noise as they approach is incredible - a kind of rumbling thunder in the distance as they get closer to the Mara river and the crossing that is a battle for life itself. I arrived early by the river - you need to to get your view. The guide knew the place to get the shots - and I ended up between Andy Rouse and a bloke from National Geographic so I presumed I was more or less right for position.

Shot 1. The leading wildebeest - the front edge of thousands of animals. The herd instinct is such that one animal goes and the rest follow. For what seemed like an interminable period they look at the water; the waiting crocodiles and the vultures know what is to come.

Shot 2. A Leap of Faith - suddenly one animal makes the move - it's almost 'now or never' - and the herd responds. The Mara river turns into an explosion of action!

Shot 3. Follow the Leader. According to our guide, zebra are a more intelligent animal than wildebeest. They often 'navigate' on the migration and do better on the crossing. Here a zebra leads wildebeest to a good crossing point. These animals will live to fight another day.

Shot 4. Scramble to Survive. For others it turns to a frantic scramble for survival, crushing fellow beasts in the frenzy to cross the water. The first bodies drift downstream from the mass of beasts, killed and injured not by predators but by each other. Survival of the strongest.

Shot 5. A Tricky Problem. Not the best place to try and leave the water. The waiting crocodile knows it's just a matter of time........

Shot 6. The End of the Line. A wildebeest enters the food chain....

Shot 7. Jaws of Death. Mara crocodiles are big. Very big indeed, in fact......

Shots 8 & 9. Aftermath. It's like a battlefield after the battle - the explosion of action is over, all that is left is a strange silence, the bodies and vultures (so many vultures!) feasting.

Camera:Canon EOS-1D Mark III
Lens:Canon 400mm & 70-200mm lenses
Recording media:RAW (digital)
Title:The Leading Edge
Username:stevie stevie
Uploaded:8 Sep 2012 - 10:04 AM
Tags:Kenya, Mara crossing, Migration, Wildebeest, Wildlife / nature
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Comments

Irishkate
Irishkate e2 Member 4Irishkate vcard United Kingdom73 Constructive Critique Points
8 Sep 2012 - 10:32 AM

What an amazing set of images so well taken to tell the migration story.
V1 is the aesthically pleasing and V7 the most graphic image of nature at it's worst!
V7 does show how large the crocodile is and I thought a wildebeest was large!
I probably learned more from these nine images than watching a whole nature programme.
Sterling work and reportage.
KateGrinGrinGrin

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DeSilver
DeSilver e2 Member 7DeSilver vcard England11 Constructive Critique Points
8 Sep 2012 - 10:49 AM

Life on the edge. Stunning images.


David.

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55jase
55jase e2 Member 8186 forum posts55jase vcard United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
8 Sep 2012 - 10:55 AM

Wow. I have seen this on tv. but to see it caught on camera. awesome. I love 7 & 9
Jase

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rontear
rontear e2 Member 11rontear vcard England4 Constructive Critique Points
8 Sep 2012 - 11:01 AM

Hope and carnage Steve, such a powerful set of images !! The aftermath of natures desire for fresh grass a price to pay !!
Ron.

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Joline
Joline e2 Member 8Joline vcard United States51 Constructive Critique Points
8 Sep 2012 - 11:12 AM

A stunning documentary of this fight for life.

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Chinga
Chinga e2 Member 3Chinga vcard United Kingdom
8 Sep 2012 - 11:18 AM

AMAZING! Wow.....
IB

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stevie
stevie e2 Member 101198 forum postsstevie vcard United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
8 Sep 2012 - 11:31 AM

Thanks for the UAs!

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Deep_Bhatia
8 Sep 2012 - 11:52 AM

Magical!!! Deep

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Richsr
Richsr e2 Member 790 forum postsRichsr vcard England209 Constructive Critique Points
8 Sep 2012 - 1:15 PM

Great to witness this Stevie, amazing images
Regards Richard

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WhiteRose1
WhiteRose1 e2 Member 41046 forum postsWhiteRose1 vcard England136 Constructive Critique Points
8 Sep 2012 - 3:05 PM

Amazing indeed, each image is so strong. A phenomenal set.

Dave

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edrhodes
edrhodes  9521 forum posts United Kingdom12 Constructive Critique Points
8 Sep 2012 - 8:21 PM

Brilliant mate, must of been an amazing sight.

Ed.

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LesF
LesF e2 Member 7176 forum postsLesF vcard 8 Constructive Critique Points
8 Sep 2012 - 10:09 PM

Photography at it's best, not one but nine stunning images Stevie.

LesF

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Sezz
Sezz  9617 forum posts England15 Constructive Critique Points
8 Sep 2012 - 10:38 PM

Wow, V1 is awesome but so are the rest Steve, never seen reportage of this quality on here, story well told in every way!
My congrat's for your well deserved awards, pleace accept another one Smile

Sarah *

Last Modified By Sezz at 8 Sep 2012 - 10:39 PM

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CaptivePhotons
CaptivePhotons e2 Member 111546 forum postsCaptivePhotons vcard England2 Constructive Critique Points
9 Sep 2012 - 8:24 AM

Great series. The natural world can be beautiful and brutal and you've captured both in this set.

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almiles
almiles  438 forum posts United Kingdom98 Constructive Critique Points
9 Sep 2012 - 12:53 PM

Incredible images, each one excellent in it's own right, especially V1 and V9 but as a series they are incredibly powerful and if National Geographic get anything so good they will be fortunate indeed! Thanks for sharing them with us all.
Al

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Tynnwrlluniau
Tynnwrlluniau e2 Member 439 forum postsTynnwrlluniau vcard Wales36 Constructive Critique Points
9 Sep 2012 - 1:54 PM

Truly outstanding work. Congratulations.
Alun

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stevie
stevie e2 Member 101198 forum postsstevie vcard United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
9 Sep 2012 - 2:41 PM

Thanks all and thenks fior the HC!

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Glostopcat
Glostopcat e2 Member 8234 forum postsGlostopcat vcard England2 Constructive Critique Points
9 Sep 2012 - 5:26 PM

An oustanding set of images documenting one of natures most spectacular events

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Buffalo_Tom
Buffalo_Tom e2 Member 82322 forum postsBuffalo_Tom vcard Wales9 Constructive Critique Points
10 Sep 2012 - 10:24 AM

Awesome set of picture Steve.Would love to witness this migration.
Tom.

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katieb
katieb  10255 forum posts United Kingdom4 Constructive Critique Points
10 Sep 2012 - 4:20 PM

Amazing Steve.
Kate

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Lillian
Lillian e2 Member 5Lillian vcard United Kingdom16 Constructive Critique Points
11 Sep 2012 - 7:36 AM

Really envious, such outstanding shots, and this is next
best to being there seeing these quality images
Wonderful
Lillian

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babajoshua
babajoshua e2 Member 6babajoshua vcard United Kingdom
16 Sep 2012 - 1:44 AM

congratulations on some excellent work

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philgood
philgood e2 Member 2philgood vcard United Kingdom
19 Sep 2012 - 10:52 PM

Awesome images, Smile

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dathersmith
21 Sep 2012 - 7:45 AM

Wow Steve what a fantastic series of images and what a story, must have been incredible to witness. In the company of Andy Rouse too, your guide obviously knew his stuff. All of your Kenyan images are superb, makes me so want to visit.

Darren.

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