2013 11 Newsletter, African Photo Safaris

Renner Safaris

Dream, Explore, Discover

 

You’ll find information and prices for our 2014 Safaris below in the Newsletter. 

It was an incredible six weeks on safari.  I started out with two weeks in Kenya and Tanzania. Next was Rwanda where we trekked up steep volcanic mountains through thick rain forests to photograph endangered mountain gorillas. From there I spent two weeks leading a safari in South Africa following which I flew north to Namibia where I spent seven amazing days in Etosha National park before returning home.  I have included a few photos from there toward the bottom of the newsletter. Looking through my safari photos brings exciting memories flooding back. I am extremely fortunate to have been given the opportunity to photograph what nature lays out before me.  I hope that soon you will be able to join me on one of these thrilling  photo adventures.

Cute Lion Cub-0630

When are YOU coming to take MY picture?
Sabi Sabi, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

In this newsletter I am sharing photos I took on private reserves that border the world renowned Kruger National Park in South Africa.  With good reason they tout the “Big Five,” leopards, lions, elephant, rhino and cape buffalo. We had fantastic sightings of each and so much more! The “big five” are the animals that big game hunters like to shoot.  I hunt them with a camera and find it is much more of a challenge to capture a great subject in great light with great composition. For a photograph to be great,  everything needs to be perfect…the lighting, composition, the behavior, the positioning,  the background… it all must come together at once. It inspires me to keep trying! We had such a fantastic time on safari in South Africa that I have scheduled another trip September 17 – October 3, 2014. Why don’t you join us for the excitement and amazing photo experiences?

Leopard-1571

Watchful Eyes
Sabi Sabi, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

Lion Looking Up-00178

Lion At Water
Timbavati, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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Excited anticipation filled the air as we drove away from the lodge to begin our first afternoon game drive. Our guide told us that they knew where a leopard had caught a grey duiker that morning and was probably still in the area. After making a kill leopards will often carry it high up into a tree and hang it where it will be safe from other predators that don’t climb as well. When we arrived in the area where the leopard had made the kill, our tracker jumped down from his perch at the front of the land cruiser to walk on foot with hope of spotting tracks that would lead him to the leopard. He was making his way through some thick brush when suddenly he heard a low throated warning growl from the leopard he spotted lying under a log and underbrush only six feet away.  He cautiously backed up until he could safely climb onto another vehicle.

The brush around the leopard was thick and we could only see a few spots.  We realized that he was resting and not likely to come out in the open anytime soon so we decided to return and find him later that evening. We moved on to see what else we might encounter during the afternoon.

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Warthog-0184

Handsome Devil
Sabi Sabi, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

Game drives can be exciting when traveling in an open vehicle.  Usually by the end of the first drive most people recognize the fact that animals seem to look at vehicles as a large rock with wheels that moves.  They are used to them and usually don’t pay any attention. This is great because it allows us to photograph their totally natural behavior.  The thrill of having a large elephant walk right next to your car is indescribable.Watching Elephants-2662

Thrilling Moments Create Lifelong Memories
Sabi Sands, South Africa
Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon 100-400 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS  USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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Giraffes Fighting-0026

Male Giraffes Settling Their Differences
Timbavati, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon S18-135 mm, f3.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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Waterbuck are not on the list of preferred animals to be eaten by lions because when attacked, the waterproofing secretions of the waterbuck’s sweat glands produce an unpleasant odor that permeates through its meat leaving it with an unsavory taste.

Waterbuck-0173

Female and Young Male Common or Elipsen Waterbuck
Sabi Sabi, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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After sunset we returned to find the leopard up in a tree sprawled on a branch.   The leopard ignored us but did  keep a watchful eye on the hyenas patiently waiting under the tree for him to drop some tasty scraps.

It was already dark and I am not fond of the effects of a flash in animal’s eyes so I rarely use one on safari. When I saw the warm golden glow cast by the floodlight that was used for spotting animals at night, I opted to take some photos using it instead of the on camera flash. I found the results to be quite and pleasing. I underexposed the photo by 1 stop to keep the light areas of the leopard from blowing out and becoming pure white.

Leopard in Tree Under Spotlight-9712

Relaxed Leopard
Timbavati, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon S18-135 mm, f3.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

Leopard Looking Up-1969

Looking Up
Timbavati, South Africa
Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon 100-400 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS  USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013 

 

A hyena patiently waiting and hoping the leopard will accidentally drop some tasty scraps.

Hyena-9800

  Hyena
Timbavati, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon S18-135 mm, f3.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013 

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White rhinos have a wide mouth making it practical for them to graze on grass as they move along the ground.  In days gone by, they were named wide rhinos but through mispronunciation they have become known as white rhinos.  These are endangered animals sought after and killed by poachers because some people think it is a status symbol to own a piece of the horn and they are willing to pay poachers exorbitant prices for it. The horn is made of carotin, the same thing  as human fingernails. Great trophy!White Rhino Turning-0433

White Rhino
Sabi Sabi, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon S18-135 mm, f3.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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Elephants are also members of the big five.  This young bull was giving himself a dust bath and warned us by flapping his ears that he didn’t want to be disturbed.
Elephant Warning-2701

Flapping Ears
Sabi Sands, South Africa
Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon 100-400 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS  USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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Cape buffalo round out the big five. They are known to have a bad temper and have been known be extremely dangerous. The bulls weigh in at around 2000 pounds and their job is to protect the herd.  An angry buffalo is a fearsome force to reckon with. Many a lion has been gored by the massive horns and if he has lived, regretted trying to attack a large cape buffalo.

Cape Buffalo-2617

Cape Buffalo
Cheetah Plains, South Africa
Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon 100-400 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS  USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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One evening, just before sunset, our guide said our other driver had found another leopard in a tree and he wanted to get us there quickly. Upon arrival we found the animal was calm and not bothered by the vehicle. By this time sun had set and daylight was fading quickly. We were able to drive off road to get close to the tree and started shooting with what daylight we had left.  Then the driver switched on the flood light to see what it would do. See the second photo below.  I liked the warm light but some of the group preferred the photos in natural light. Okay, so I like them both! After all, it is a leopard and up close! (In parts of South Africa driving off road to see the “big five” is allowed.) Leopard Eye Contact-00291

Well, Hello There!
Timbavati, South Africa
Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon 100-400 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS  USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

Leopard  Gazing-00313

Golden Glow
Timbavati, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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African Photo Safaris in 2015

Keep your eyes open for the dates of our upcoming in 2015 safaris.  I will be announcing them in the next newsletter.

 

Lion Eyes-0643

Lion Eyes
Sabi Sabi, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

 

African Photo Safaris in 2014

Four of our 2014 safaris are already sold out. There are only four spaces (two rooms for 2 people sharing a room) available on our always fantastic Botswana photo safari May 21 – June 2, 2014 . Our recent South Africa safari was amazing for the big cats and we have adjusted the itinerary to make next years even better! Click here XXXXXX for details on new September 19-October 02, 2014 safari to South Africa. Be sure and book your 2014 trip early to avoid disappointment.

Tanzania and Kenya-17 Days – Birthing Season for the Great Migration(sold out) Feb. 1-17, 2014 Itinerary and Pricing
Botswana-15-Days  (Space available for two people sharing one room)  May 21-June 2, 2014 Itinerary and Pricing
Tanzania and Kenya-18-Days – Season for Great Migration Crossings at the Mara River (sold out) July 16 – Aug.2, 2014 Itinerary and Pricing
Tanzania and Kenya-17-Days – Season for Great
Migration Crossings at the Mara River (sold out)
Aug. 28 – Sept. 13, 2014 Itinerary and Pricing
Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Trek (sold out) Sept. 13 – 17, 2014 Itinerary and Pricing
South Africa Photo Safari (new) Sept. 19 – Oct. 3, 2014 Itinerary and Pricing

African Photo Safaris In 2013

Our 2013 safaris were sold out well in advance. Be sure and book your 2014 trip soon so you wont be disappointed.

Tanzania and Kenya-17 Days – Birthing Season for the Great Migration Feb. 1-17, 2013 Itinerary and Pricing
Botswana-15-Days (sold out) May 16-28, 2013 Itinerary and Pricing
Tanzania and Kenya-18-Days – Season for Great Migration Crossings at the Mara River (sold out) July 18 – Aug.4, 2013 Itinerary and Pricing
Tanzania and Kenya-17-Days – Season for Great
Migration Crossings at the Mara River (sold out)
Aug. 28 – Sept. 13, 2013 Itinerary and Pricing
Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Trek (sold out) Sept. 13 – 17, 2013 Itinerary and Pricing
South Africa Photo Safari (sold out) Sept. 19 – Oct. 2, 2013 Itinerary and Pricing

Leopard -1408

Why wait? Just Book Your Safari now! 
Sabi Sabi, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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Important information about our safaris:

Prices for our safaris to Kenya & Tanzania, and South africa include international airfare from LAX – most other companies do not include airfare.
We have only three passengers per nine passenger 4×4 safari Land Cruiser so You will enjoy plenty of space for you and your equipment.
We stay in luxury safari lodges and tented camps.
You do not have to be a photographer but you must enjoy watching the wildlife because that is what we do!
I will be there to photograph with you and available to answer your questions.
 Parks we visit on our African safaris.

 

On our Tanzania/Kenya safaris we have only three passengers per nine passenger vehicle giving you plenty of space for you and your photo equipment. You can photograph through windows on BOTH sides of the vehicle and also from the top, which pops up to create shade so you are protected from the hot, equatorial sun. Compared to other tours that pack the vans with up to eight people, this is a huge deal. 

When using six great guides, you will hardly believe all of the wildlife they find. We have trained them to understand lighting, composition and what we are trying to achieve. Our guides are awesome! As we leave the lodges on our game drives to hunt for animals, the vehicles separate and spread out. This allows us to have up to six guides each looking for wildlife. They each have radios to share what they find so no one misses out. Our safaris are designed for the ultimate photographic experience, however please don’t be intimidated from enjoying one my photo safaris just because you are not a photographer or you don’t use a “great camera.” If you enjoy wildlife you will love these safaris and more than likely you’ll come home with your own great photos too! I will be photographing on our game drives too, but I am available to answer your questions and am happy let you know how I am photographing each subject so you can learn more about photography and bring home your own great photos too. To avoid disappointment, make your reservations today.

To reserve your space on our photo safaris, please call Paul Renner at (949) 295-3136, or email him at: paulrenner3@cox.net or call Prem Sharma at Best Safaris (800) 757-6625

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We were amazed by the leopards in South Africa.  They were very cooperative when we wanted to photograph them.  It was as though they enjoyed posing for the camera!

Leopard With Meat-9882

Leopard With Meat
Timbavati, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

I like the concentric rings created from dipping his tongue in the water. Leopard Drinking Water-2444-2

Serious Drinker
Timbavati, South Africa
Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon 100-400 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS  USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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Male rhinos are territorial and this one appeared to have had a run in with another rhino.  His face was scratched up by another males horn and he had a large puncture wound in his side where he had been gored during the fight.

White Rhino   -2629

Old Warrior
Sabi Sands, South Africa
Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon 100-400 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS  USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013


White Rhino Drinking-2593

Reflecting Large
Sabi Sands, South Africa
Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon 100-400 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS  USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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The camouflage on these birds is fascinating because  unless you are right on top of them they are almost invisible in the tall grass.  This one stepped out in the open to call its mate. No cell phone coverage I guess.

Black Bellied Korhaan-0481

Black Bellied Korhaan
Timbavati, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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This cheetah looked hungry out on Cheetah Plains but was resting to conserve energy while waiting for suitable prey to come his way. They are masters when it comes to being patient!

Cheetah-0956

Cheetah Resting in Shade
Cheetah Plains, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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No one tires of photographing animals, especially elephants. There is just something very special about being close to animals of their size and intelligence. Eating branches from marula trees is a favorite pass time of elephants in South Africa.

Elephant With Trunk Up-9967

Camera Ready
Timbavati, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon S18-135 mm, f3.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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White Rhinos Coming Or Going-0442

 Rhino Bookends
Timbavati, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon S18-135 mm, f3.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

White Rhinos Drinking-0224

 White Rhino Family Drinking
Sabi Sabi, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon S18-135 mm, f3.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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Zebra-0758 Common Zebra
Cheetah Plains, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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The leopards around Kruger National Park were really amazing!  I have never had so many wonderful opportunities to photograph these gorgeous big cats in such a brief time so I tried to take full advantage of it because you may have guessed by now that I love leopards! .

Leopard Watchful Eyes-1567

Focused!
Cheetah Plains, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

Leopard Hunting-1606

Leopard On The Prowel
Cheetah Plains, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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Rhino With Nursing Baby-2017

Mother and Nursing Calf
Sabi Sands, South Africa
Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon 100-400 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS  USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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Visualize yourself taking the photo of the elephant.Photographing Elephants-9984

Shooting Elephants Again
Sabi Sabi, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon S18-135 mm, f3.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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Lions and Cub-0649

Gimme Five!
Sabi Sabi, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

Lion Cub-0589

 LIon Cub
Sabi Sabi, South Africa
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

Wellfed Lion  -2275

One Well Fed Lion
Timbavati, South Africa
Canon EOS 1D Mark lll, Lens: Canon 100-400 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS  USM
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

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I had always wanted to visit Etosha National Park in Namibia so after our South African photo safari I flew north to Namibia and drove to Etosha National Park where I visited each of the waterholes where I took notes on what we saw and recorded the best times of day to return for optimum light. It is a desert area so it was hot and dry but because both our rooms at the lodges and our 4X4 Toyota Four Runner had air conditioning we were quite comfortable.

I wanted to photograph animals as they come to the water holes to drink.  It is  special because at any one time there can be up to ten or more different species at the same waterhole. I have seen National Geographic specials about Etosha N.P. and was always intrigued but when I saw it for myself I was blown away by what we encountered and how much wildlife we saw each day!  At the very first waterhole inside the park, the first animal we saw was a large male lion resting in the shade under a tree about 100 yards from the water.  Gathered around the waterhole were giraffe, kudu, elephant, oryx, jackals, zebra, springbuck,.impala, hyena  and many birds. Each animal drank cautiously all the while  keeping one eye on the sleeping lion.

I thought that the wildlife in Etosha and unique landscapes in other areas of Namibia, were so impressive that in October of 2015 I will be leading a photo safari to various parts of the country. I will be taking only eleven people plus myself, so let me know if you are interested in joining us.  Details and prices will be available in May, 2014 so stay tuned to the newsletter.

 

Zebra Reflecting-1867

 Zebras Reflecting
Etosha, Namibia
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

Oryx in Water-2512

 Oryx
Etosha, Namibia
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

Giraffe Drinking-3432

  Giraffe and Kori Bustard
Etosha, Namibia
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

Giraffe Drinking-4141

  Taking Turns
Etosha, Namibia
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

 

Oryx in Water-3276

  Oryx Testing The Water
Etosha, Namibia
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

Elephant Enjoying Water-2277

 Wrinkly Old Bull Elephant Savoring Water
Etosha, Namibia
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

 

Greater Kudu-3269

 Greater Kudu Bulls
Etosha, Namibia
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

Impala Drinking-3289  Impala Line Up For Water
Etosha, Namibia
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013


Zebra and Oryx Drinking-1898

 Zebra and Oryx
Etosha, Namibia
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

 Elephants and OryxCome to Water-3824

 Arriving At The Water
Etosha, Namibia
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

Elephants Bathing-4045

  Cool and Refreshing 
Etosha, Namibia
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

Elephants Bathing-4064

  Water Playtime
Etosha, Namibia
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

 

Bull Elephant-3074

Root Canal Candidate?
Etosha, Namibia
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013


Dove Landing on Dove-3590

Dove Landing on Dove
Etosha, Namibia
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Sigma 150-500 mm, f4.5-5.6 IS
Copyright: Paul Renner, 2013

Giraffe at Sunset-3576

Giraffes At Sunset
Etosha, Namibia
Canon EOS 7D, Lens: Canon EF-S17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM
Copyright: Gary Sindell, 2013

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Each of our safaris has been a tremendous photographic experience!  I can hardly wait to go back in to Tanzania and Kenya in February 2014!  Why not join us on one of our safaris for the excitement of taking your own photos in the wilds of Africa!

Please feel free to forward the newsletter on to friends that might enjoy it.

For more safari information, prices and itineraries click here.

I hope that you will be able to join us on one of our safaris in the not so distant future. It will be your trip of a lifetime!

Enjoy each day.
Paul Renner

paulrenner3@cox.net

www.rennersafaris.com

(949) 295-3136

Read more about what our clients have to say about our safaris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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