The Great Escape

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


We followed a pack of 9 wild dogs on a hunt and when the pack came upon a herd of oryx, the pack split. We followed the three closest dogs which had separated a young oryx from the herd and thought the oryx would be taken. But for some reason unknown to us, these wild dogs left this oryx and ran to the other 6 dogs which had separated a mother and calf from the herd. My guide thought that there was likely some communication that we couldn’t/didn’t hear.

Prior to this hunt, the pack had unsuccessfully chased 5 adult antelope. One wildebeeste used the wall of an outbuilding to protect its hind legs while it swept its horns to keep the dogs at bay. Other fully grown oryx and kudu backed into the incredibly thorny blackthorn bushes to protect their hind legs. One even jumped into a pond.

I admired the athleticism, fearlessness and endurance of the wild dogs. This hunt ended 25km from their den. They were not about to give up until they had made a kill to feed themselves and the litter or 17 pups back at the den.

The oryx in this photo escaped unharmed.

Specific Feedback

I cropped this image to a pano and used linear gradients as well as radial gradient on the bright sandy areas as this photo was shot in mid-day. Too much/not enough?

Technical Details

Nikon D 500 at f/6.3., 1/800 and Auto ISO with a 80-400 lens.

You have caught some great action here Richard. The low position of the oryx with it’s front feet off the ground, and the swirling dust allows us the see what is happening here.
I like the wide crop, and the grad filters don’t see obvious to me so have clearly done their jobs to help make a fine image.

I like this one as presented and the action is well documented with sharpness. A very successful image that documents the fact that most hunts made by predators fail. Awesome shot and like the post processing used for this image…Jim

Ryan and Jim: thanks for having taken the time to look and comment.

Richard, this is a terrific action shot. The sharpness of the front dog and the oryx (the eye!) make it easy to read the situation and the movement in the other dogs as well as the dust cloud convey the frantic pace of activity. Your post-processing is undetectable to my eye - very well done!

It is always very exciting to photograph a sequence like this. Your techs are good and the frame very well conveys the hunt but somehow it lacks some fine positioning of subjects, which I understand is very dificult to achieve. I think modern cameras with very high FPS become a necessity, in a given situation like this.

Cindy and Jagdeep: thank you for your comments.

1 Like

Wonderful photo that certainly tells an intriguing and interesting story. Well done!

Richard 27: many thanks for taking the time to comment.