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The Plains of Africa



Two images, one of a sunset at Amboseli Game Park in Kenya and another of a Giraffe walking.

Two images, one of a sunset at Amboseli Game Park in Kenya and another of a Giraffe walking.
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1 Comment | Report
vitor PRO+
 
vitor March 24, 2019
Fantastic

Behind The Lens

Location
Under the Acacia tree on the left of the image is a Rhino Graveyard in the Ol Pageta Game Park in Kenya East Africa. We were there during a business trip to Kenya and I got lucky to get this image late in the evening.
Time
Late afternoon/sunset.
Lighting
I find that many people are a little averse to shooting into the sun. I enjoy silhouettes and this was an ideal set up. The colors were very warm and the subjects silhouetted nicely.
Equipment
I can't remember which of my cameras I had in my hand at the time but it was handheld in available light from a Safari van.
Inspiration
As anyone who follows me knows I like landscapes. Most landscapes work only if they have some foreground interest and in this case, the setting sun by itself was not that interesting but the Acacia tree and the Giraffe tell a story and provide some interest.
Editing
I always do post-processing. In this case, I set the color temperature a little warmer than what the camera recorded, I set black and white points, reduced detail in the foreground to make the tree and the giraffe true silhouettes. I cropped the image to get the Giraffe on a powerpoint using the rule of thirds and then used "smart sharpen" to make edges as crisp as was possible. Finally, I went over the image closely and corrected any dust spots or distractions.
In my camera bag
Nikon D800E, Nikon D750, Olympus T-4 Tough, and a Sony Movie camera. Nikkor 28-300 Zoom, Nikkor 85mm f/1.8, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8, Nikkor 14-24mm F/2.8, Sigma Sport Zoom 150-600mm, a variety of filters and depending upon my carrying capacity I will have one or two Manfroto tripods available. I have a variety of ball heads and a Gimbal Tripod head for the heavy SIGMA lens. Of course there are lens care/cleaning products and batteries as well.
Feedback
In this shoot I had been in Africa twice before and had some idea of what I might see, especially around watering holes. I was also aware of how dust in the air affects the colors at sunset. I was expecting some of what I saw and was ready for it. The extreme wide-angle is important for the landscapes and the 150-600mm SIGMA telephoto makes things easier when shooting animals. I really like the Nikkor 28-300mm zoom as a walk-around lens. In most cases, you will be traveling the game parks in a van with modifications allowing you to stand up in the van and shoot from the van. There is never enough time or space in this situation to set the camera up on a tripod so carry a bean bag that will allow you to rest the camera lens on the edge of the open top of the van and make sure to ask the driver to turn off the engine eliminating a source of movement. If you have lived most of your life at the higher latitudes as I have you are used to prolonged sunsets. In Kenya where you are near the equator sunset and sunrise are quick and that beautiful light disappears in a hurry. So be ready for it beforehand. Finally, a lot of your shoot will depend on a knowledgable van-driver who is willing to help you get your shots. Make sure you provide a generous tip at the end of the day.

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