Lilac-breasted roller, Kruger National Park, South Africa by Patrick Montocchio

Picture Story

Sunset in Africa is always an exciting and spectacular affair. I was driving back to camp at the end of a bright sunny day. The sun was already very low and I had just 20 mins left before the camp gates would close. I wanted to make use of the beautiful light for one last shot. So I slowed down and took my time. I spotted this brightly coloured roller sitting in full light against a backdrop of cassia tree flowers just a few yards from the gate. Slowly, I inched the jeep closer and closer chasing for the bird in perfect pose against a perfect background. The roller was sitting quite low on a perch allowing me to frame an eye-level shot and eliminate the sky. The sun was behind me, painting the scene in a rich golden light. To my surprise the roller did not move and I managed a few shots just in time. The day had been long, but so rewarding.

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