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Elephant - Big Five

Elephant - Big Five
Photo Information
Copyright: Stephane Ra (Watershed) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 43 W: 2 N: 61] (291)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-09-22
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Nikon D70, Nikon AF VR 80-400 ED, Hoya HMC Super UV (0) 77mm
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/640 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Mammals of Southern Africa II [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-02-09 7:10
Viewed: 5079
Points: 12
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Here is a shot of an elephant taken on the way to Satara Camp in the Kruger Park. He was drinking and refreshing itself at a waterhole.

Une photo d'un elephant prise sur la route en direction de Satara Camp dans le Kruger Park. Il était en train de boire et se rafraichir à un point d'eau.

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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Stephane and welcome to Treknature!
Nice first post, I like your point of view and composition, a very dominating figure indeed. He's nice and sharp and giving you good eye contact. Background could be smoother,seems a little jaggedy perhaps due to compression.
Thanks for sharing, well done.


Hi Stephane ,

Welcome to TN,
a nice shot of this big one,I like the colors sharrpness and details of this shot,However imo you have cropped this picture a bit too tight on top and bottom,anyway well done and TFS


  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2007-02-09 13:28]

A really nice shot - the elephant stands out from the background well.

I think the cropping is ok, but think it would be better without the frame.


  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-02-11 7:18]

Hello Stephane,
Great capture, with good detail and sharpness.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-02-11 18:17]

Hello Stephane

A wonderful shot of this Elephant.The composition is very nice and the POV and DOF are well handled.The shot is well focused with great details and textures.The lighting affords good natural lighting.You have good attention of the subject with excellent eye contact.I really like the wet patches on the hide,he must have just watered himself down .TFS


  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2007-02-12 4:08]
  • [3]

Hi Stéph

An impressive looking specimen enjoying a drink at the water pan. It would have been interesting to know at which pan this was taken. Remember notes are a very essential part of your contribution on TN. It is always great to read a little more about the subject as well as the location where a photo was taken. Or maybe some technical aspects about the photo will also do. However, I do notice that you did address this facet very adequately in your next two postings. Well done.

During October 2006 I’ve also spent some 3 weeks in the Kruger Park and I have experienced the very same difficulty than what has affected this photo of yours. Exposure remains a problem due to either the harsh sunlight or the overcast condition. Further, the yellow dry grasses and shrub tends to OE (overexpose) very easily. So, when I tried to adjust the camera settings to counter that (especially when attempting to photograph dark animals such as elephant or rhino) the result would be a well exposed BG (back ground) and a slightly UE (under exposed) subject typically of what can be seen on your photo. Obviously the opposite is also true. If I tried to expose correctly for a darkish subject (like an elephant such as the one in your shot) then the surrounding dry vegetation would 'explode'. It seems like the only good times to get the really 'better' shots in the Kruger was during early morning or late afternoon excursions. That African sun is so relentlessly unforgiving. Although, it does seem like you might have had a cloud in front of the sun, for this specific photo, as I do not see the typical harsh shadows that results from a full on sun at midday.

As far as the composition is concerned, I tend to agree with Paul (pvs) with regards to the cropping, but otherwise the composition is just fine. I think his workshop was a good attempt to try and rescue the top and bottom cropping aspect. The colours came out very well and the details are excellent.

Good effort though and TFS.

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