chriswhittier Platinum
chriswhittier

Big Bull



A male black rhino approaches on a private reserve in Zimbabwe. Even in well protected settings rhinos like this one have their horns removed (actually cut dow...
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A male black rhino approaches on a private reserve in Zimbabwe. Even in well protected settings rhinos like this one have their horns removed (actually cut down to the stump) periodically to reduce the risk of being poached for the illegal trade in rhino horn- which is only made of keratin and has no actual medicinal value.
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Awards

Contest Finalist in Wildlife On The Move Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Endangered Species Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Colossal Wildlife Photo Contest
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Absolute Masterpiece
Paul_Joslin alisongeorge CynthiaM2020 Hattie carolcardillo lorraineevanoff traceyhenry +12
Magnificent Capture
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Superb Composition
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Outstanding Creativity
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Top ClassTM

Safari Wildlife Photo ContestTop 20 class
Wildlife On The Move Photo ContestTop 10 class
Wildlife On The Move Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Endangered Species Photo ContestTop 10 class
Endangered Species Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Colossal Wildlife Photo ContestTop 10 class
Colossal Wildlife Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Stunning POV Photo ContestTop 20 class
Stunning POV Photo ContestTop 10 class week 2
Stunning POV Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Wildlife Photo Contest 2018Top 10 class
Wildlife Photo Contest 2018Top 10 class week 1
Big Mammals Photo ContestTop 20 class
Big Mammals Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1

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5 Comments | Report
Pachuco PRO+
 
Pachuco June 09, 2017
Do you live in a zoo?
chriswhittier Platinum
chriswhittier December 16, 2017
Ha! No, though I did work at one once. I try to make sure it's clear in all my captions where my images were shot- this one is from a private reserve in Africa.
vernkrause
 
vernkrause December 20, 2017
Nice shot! Looks like he is going to join you in your transportation!
Jlifox PRO+
 
Jlifox March 29, 2018
This is amazing!
keepclicking
 
keepclicking November 19, 2018
Congratulations, great shot
nairouz
 
nairouz September 03, 2020
nice

Behind The Lens

Location
I captured this image on a private game reserve in Zimbabwe- the Stanley & Livingstone near Victoria Falls- where I was serving as host on a safari trip for university alumni.
Time
It was exactly 7 o'clock in the morning when this bull black rhino emerged from the bush to visit a feeding station the reserve uses to monitor the rhinos. He, and the female with calf that had slept nearby, moved on within about 20 minutes.
Lighting
We had an overcast day and the sun was barely up so there was just enough light to shoot this image at decent resolution.
Equipment
I shot this with my Canon 5D Mark III and a Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5 lens, handheld without flash.
Inspiration
This was our first morning of safari and we left the lodge before dawn in hopes of finding some of the rhinos during their dawn feeding routine. Although this is a private- and fenced- reserve, it's a huge area and there is no guarantee of seeing them. We were lucky to find a mother and calf that slept near the ranger station and had been watching them when "Dad" emerged, looking impressive and reminding everyone who is the boss as he strutted straight towards us.
Editing
I try to minimize post-processing and keep my images to what I actually saw. Here I cropped and straightened the frame, adjusted the tones and bumped the clarity, sharpness and saturation a tad.
In my camera bag
When shooting wildlife I normally carry just my 5D, now Mark IV, and one telephoto zoom lens, either a Canon 100-400 L or Tamron 150-600. Most days I prefer to be light but sometimes carry my old 5D (or 20 D if I might want flash) as back-up. When I'm out to shoot wildlife I don't even bother to carry a wide angle lens as my pocket Canon Powershot and even my phone can both shoot raw files. I do sometimes use a wide angle lens for landscapes or a macro for close-ups and love my Slik tripod, but rarely have the opportunity to use it. I also toy with a circular polarizer sometimes but otherwise avoid filters.
Feedback
Being in the right place at the right time with the right kit is half the battle, the rest is about waiting for, or better- anticipating, the right moment. I've never been one to rattle off a 100 frames hoping for one that is ideal, especially around animals that appreciate calmness and quiet. Instead I usually trust my knowledge of animals' behavior to sense how they might move, what they might do next, etc., Here especially I couldn't re-position myself much for this shot so had to time it for when the rhino was best facing me. Most importantly, the only way to have an opportunity similar to this is to go visit magnificent animals like these, which, when done right, also benefits their conservation- a proverbial win-win!

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