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Enormity by the River

Elephant herd on the banks of the Chobe River in Botswana. Image captured with Nikon D300 in the late afternoon sun, from a boat in the river....
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Elephant herd on the banks of the Chobe River in Botswana. Image captured with Nikon D300 in the late afternoon sun, from a boat in the river.
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Contest Finalist in Colossal Wildlife Photo Contest
Peer Award
Bazil EuroBen raphaelmichaelides Dave324 musyka eddiaz gloria085 +14
Top Choice
CarolRYoung odetteholty paulwood georgiepoolie
Magnificent Capture
shawnmcavoy plinymier lorraineevanoff
Superb Composition
rosefosterhunt RinsWouda
Absolute Masterpiece
Paul_Joslin surendrachaturvedi

Top ClassTM

Colossal Wildlife Photo ContestTop 10 class
Colossal Wildlife Photo ContestTop 30 class week 1


Behind The Lens

This photo was taken from a flat boat in the Chobe River in Namibia. Herds of elephant periodically crossed back and forth across the river, affording visitors unique opportunities to see elephants from below, a unique perspective. The prominent elephant was gazing intensely at the boat, showing interest but no aggression.
This image was captured in late afternoon light as the boat pulled away from the shore. The light provided a pink undertone to the scene.
The side lighting provided by a setting sun provided more dramatic lighting and shadows, especially from the lower perspective of the boat.
Image captured with a Nikon D300 with a Wimberly mount bolted to the floor of the boat and a 600 mm lens.
I loved this perspective on the majestic elephant, which looked even more majestic when viewed from the low angle afforded by the boat.
Very little post processing was done. A bit of sharpening and contrast enhancement, as I recall.
In my camera bag
I am a Nikon shooter. Currently, I travel with the Nikon D850 (full frame) and 750 (cropped 4:3), as well as a 150-600mm lens, a 200/500mm lens, a 70/200 lens, and a 14/24 lens. I use a Really Right Stuff tripod and bullhead when doing landscape or nighttime photography, but don't use a tripod for wildlife shooting where I usually need a lighter lens for hand holding. In this instance, I was with a group that supplied Wimberly mounts for camera while in the flat boats.
When photographing wildlife, always look for behavioral stances to suggest movement and action. Portraiture is fine, but wildlife should suggest behavior and action. Try to shoot in the early morning or late afternoon to capture light in the eye of any wildlife image. Look for good contrast, such as afforded by a blue sky and dark elephant hide. Use the landscape to support the image, but let the wildlife drive the content.

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