Selection of December 2017: Chaos by Sonalini Khetrapal

Chaos by Sonalini Khetrapal

The Image was taken in Northern Serengeti, Tanzania in July of 2016 at the Mara River Crossing of the great wildebeest migration. With dust clouds seen from miles away and the gush of water heard from quite a distance, the mara crossing is full of excitement and drama. 
After months of planning and research, studying the movement of the migration, examining best points to frame the crossing, times of the day with the ideal light and then of course praying for a huge dose of luck - I followed the migration for over two weeks as hundreds of thousands of wildebeest slowly congregated at the river bank to make the annual crossing. The decision to cross, year after year, knowing the dangers is truly remarkable. This daring attempt entails braving the strong currents of the river coupled with the threat of lurking apex predators like the Nile crocodiles and big cats waiting to hunt. 
It was challenging to capture the magnitude of the scene in a single frame. The wildebeest usually cross the river in narrow files allowing only for select occasions when a large group of them jump into the river at once. Our guide indicated that this particular crossing was one of the biggest and longest river crossing he had seen in over 15 years and lasted for five hours. After observing the scene for some time, I decided to compose my image with a tight frame instead of using a wide angle, to best capture this struggle for survival. 
Post Processing: the image required very little post processing. Minor Level and saturation adjustment, minor sharpening.
Technical Specs: Canon EOS 1DX, EF 200-400mm F/4 L lens, 1/320 sec at F/13, ISO 640

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