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Baby Elephant trunk up



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4 Comments | Report
Blossom_Girl
 
Blossom_Girl October 11, 2018
So adorable! Great shot.
LETSGOPHOTOSHOOT
 
LETSGOPHOTOSHOOT October 11, 2018
awesome
DNproSTUDIO
 
DNproSTUDIO March 31, 2019
look this happy little elephant
Seisselberg PRO
 
Seisselberg Nov 10
So Beautiful!

Behind The Lens

Location
The Western portion of the Maasai Mara Reserve in Kenya (a little less traveled than father east) on Safari as part of a photographing wildlife educational tour.
Time
It was mid-afternoon on June 22, 2018 (the day of the summer solstice). The EXIF data shows 4:15, which is likely close, but it was soon after I arrived so I probably hadn't set everything exactly right as to local time.
Lighting
We were resting near a herd of elephants (engine off so as not to cause vibration that elephants pick up with their feet), in a tree shadowed clearing. The baby and its Mom were standing away from the herd in the less harsh afternoon sun while Mom browsed and the baby experimented with his trunk. I was lucky that our position put the light on him/her as opposed to having it behind Mom and baby.I took several shots before this little one spied the Land Cruiser with his trunk in all sorts of funny positions, but when he turned and saw us, he was in beautiful light and raised his trunk to smell us.
Equipment
This is hand held, with my Nikon D750, and my 80-200mm Nikon lens with a 1.7x extender. No tripping, or flash. Not even neutral density filter, just the UV haze lens protector, transferred on to the fastest card that the D750 can write to, a Sandisk 32 GB 95 mb/sec card.
Inspiration
During the educational part of the trip the professional teaching and reviewing us did give us assignments for specific things, but also expected that as already accomplished photographers we would be able to spot an opportunity on our own and be able to maximize the important aspects such as depth of field, composition, lighting, white balance, etc. He was not with the other student and I at the time. The mother and baby had already drawn my attention because they were not lost in the crowd, and the baby seemed to be having so much "fun" using his trunk. When he turn toward us it was a natural part of my sequence of shots.
Editing
Not much. I would periodically check the ASA, white balance and F stop, as we started at sunrise and got back to camp at sunset. Keeping the camera ready was part of being able to take advantage of a scene quickly when you saw it. With 30 plus years of experience, much on film, I would rather get it right with the camera than Photoshop.
In my camera bag
At the time, 2 Nikon D750s (now a D750 and a D850), and depending on where I am going a Nikon FX lens on each, which could be a long distance zoom (200-500mm) an 80-200, a 30 year old Nikon 35-135mm that requires manual focus below 50mm, or a 24-70mm. Since the long lens alone weighs 5 pounds, I tend to take only 2 lenses that I expect will cover the spectrum of what I want to take that day. Additionally, extra charged batteries and fresh cards, some way to clean my filter, and possibly a neutral density, close up or circular polarizing filter. At night I add the remote trigger. Rarely do I carry a tripod anymore.
Feedback
Patience, patience, patience, plus taking enough cards so that you can start clicking if you sense a possibility, plus learning to know the signals of your quarry that something worth photographing might happen. For example, on that trip, the driver/guide was very experienced, so when we found a female leopard with fresh kill who was trying to get food to her cub stashed out of harm's way, and the others who had spotted her were all trying to irresponibly crowd around her and block her path. He drove out in a clearing with the explanation that she would be forced to come out into the open and pass us due to the other people in her way. She got so close to us I could not capture her with the lenses I had due to the minimum focal distance being too long. For the elephant, we were taking an important break to refresh ourselves and review how we had been doing, rest, and decide where to go next as the sun was on the decline, but still kept close to a group of elephants that might present an opportunity, and it did. We had probably been sitting for only 15 minuets, but there were other times when we would watch a group of animals for some time, usually if they were grazing in tall grass that would allow the approach of a hungary hunter. We would wait for their heads to all of the sudden come up and then start to move away from a sensed danger, presenting the possibility of capturing a lion or leopard.

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