WPY 2011

Photograph Details

Highly commended 2011

Animal Portraits

David Fettes, UK

Pool of hippos

It was the end of the dry season, and David was lying belly-down at the edge of Long Pool in Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe. Hippopotamuses were arguing with each other as they vied for space - 'hurling water about', says David, 'and giving warning yawns to each other and to me.' As he watched through his lens, the evening light illuminated the scene, and one glowing hippo rose slowly from the water. 'I felt increasingly vulnerable,' says David, 'weighed down by a 500mm lens, conscious that lions or elephants could be approaching from behind to drink and aware that crocodiles were in the lake.' But though the hippo glared at him, David was outside its personal space, and the huge animal gradually sank back under the water.

Technical specification

Canon EOS-1D Mark II N + 500mm f4 lens + 1.4x converter; 1/200 sec at f5.6; ISO 400.


Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe: latitude -15.84826, longitude 29.3674 Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe: latitude -15.84826, longitude 29.3674

Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe

Intellectual property rights to all WPY images are retained by the photographers. Reproduction without prior written consent constitutes an actionable infringement. For usage enquiries please contact us.

David Fettes, UK