Large Spotted Genet

I get a bit giddy seeing smaller, more elusive mammals in the field. This includes genets and civets, which in past years I’d occasionally see during night drives in Africa, but which were generally quite difficult to photograph. Even if you get them to sit still, “white eye” is a constant challenge if a spotlight is used.

In Zambia, I was shocked at how common these animals were. We’d see them every night, at one point tallying over a dozen genets in a single drive. So it made sense that I finally had some better chances to photograph them… but that white eye thing was a constant challenge (while I have found a solid way of processing red eye out of wildlife photos with a “natural-looking” result, white eye remains rather difficult). Finally, we landed one close enough—sitting in a tree near the track we were driving—so that we could angle the light without getting the dreaded white eye effect. I snapped a couple quick portraits before we moved on.

Canon R5
Canon 600mm EF
ISO 2000



This is so cool, Max. Great pose and wonderful job with the light at night. I’ve never heard of Genets so this is a marvel for me. Awesome.

1 Like

I love the fact that you deliberately set out to photograph the smaller members of the wildlife community. So many only focus on the big cats, elephants, giraffes etc. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but the diversity is greater than what we often see and so it’s a treat to see this little beauty. Congratulations on persisting with getting not just the pose, but the eyes, too. It looks so much better up in the tree where it tells a story of how it makes its living. Those ears look great for hearing, but maybe for heat management, too. I bet the fur patterning makes it nearly invisible most of the time. You’re tempting me into a workshop!

1 Like

It’s beautifully captured, I like the pose too!
Texture of the tree and the moss, adds to the frame.

1 Like

Nice - I have a nearly identical shot - but about 20 years old ( Canon 10D ) ! You were lucky that they don’t use red filters on the spotlight there yet…

1 Like

You were lucky that they don’t use red filters on the spotlight there yet…

There is one set of camps that does use them in the area. First time I’ve actually seen them in use in the field.

I hate them - and I have serious doubts that they are effective. It appears to me that they are used as substitute for poor spotlight technique.