As is typical with my hippo work, this is the last frame in the sequence before safety dictated that I had to go. I was indeed charged and I now have a degree of hippo phobia.
Running away from a hippo with a camera and reasonable sized lens is not a comfortable experience, as turning around to check whether the charge is a mock one, is not natural. Instinctively, the reaction to a charge is to run. 99.9% of the time the hippo is bluffing, but those moments are never about doing the maths.
But the validation of the approach is in this photograph. I need to be at eye level and preferably have the whole face showing as
this is the most prehistoric face of any animal on the planet. The soft early morning light gives the best chance of glorifying its
textural extravagance and that is why we had some early starts in Ruaha National Park in Tanzania. The camera should be an
amplifier to the distinctive features of the subject and with a hippo, it’s certainly the face.