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Giraffe sunset for Paul Haynes

Giraffe sunset for Paul Haynes
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-10-08
Categories: Mammals, Savannah, Sky
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Digital ISO 100
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Kruger NP 2009
Theme(s): Dedications I have made [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-11-20 21:25
Viewed: 7433
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 90
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Giraffe sunset / Landscape

I would like to dedicate this giraffe sunset to Paul Haynes (PaulH). His gallery is filled with the most striking land- and seascape images, plenty which contains sunset scenes. I always stand amazed at each and every photo he presents to us here on Trek Nature. The majority of his images leave me speechless as I am in awe with the colour and detail he brings forth out of his photographs. I personally see him as a master at work.

At many times Paul has mentioned in his notes that capturing a specific land- or seascape acquired a lot of effort and I have said it to him before but want to quote again: "I want to thank you for all the effort you go through to photograph and show us your images. I can only but imagine that it is not easy as pie just to get there with all your gear, set up and photograph 1-2-3 and the perfect shot have been captured. I for one, appreciate all your effort, bringing us the end result as perfect as the one's we have been seeing lately. You are indeed a very talented gentleman, to capture the stillness so perfectly that I can actually sense and feel it here where I am thousands of kilometres away".

Now what Paul has already forgotten about sunset photography I must still learn, but I think with my Sony Cybershot I am doing just fine. (I am still waiting for the new gear, for all of you that want to know - ±6 weeks required for delivery.)

I have however learnt a very valuable lesson from Loot with this image I took of the scorching sunset, and that is to never point the camera direct into the hot sunlight (like I have done here) because although the colours are glowing and bright and it makes a stunning scene, it can cause big harm not only to one's eyes but also to the sensor of the camera. Loot also explained that I should first adjust the settings on the camera to such an extent that when I point the camera to the sun for the first time, it (the camera's sensor) must be protected and able to process the intense light. I did some reading about the topic and thought I'll share something of interest with you.

Tips on photographing sunsets
With a little enthusiasm and a lot of knowledge, anyone can master the art of sunrise and sunset photography over time.

However, here are few words of warning – readers who wish to try sunrise and sunset photography must never stare at the sun as it can cause permanent damage to the eyes. One must take care of their eyes when taking photos of the sun. Staring through a lens with the naked eye, that is potentially a magnifier, will increase this risk. Moreover, the camera can suffer severe damage if it is pointed directly at the sun, as the zoom lens will accumulate the sun's rays, heating the insides of the camera and causing burn marks. Also, most cameras will only blend down to the chosen/automatic aperture when the photo is taken. And finally, make sure to have a decent camera and a tripod. It is recommended to frame up with the sun just out of shot and repositioning to take the photo, whilst not looking directly at the sun. People who use a long lens must avoid looking through the viewfinder when the sun is in the frame.

There are a couple of elements that are worth thinking about when it comes to sunrise and sunset photography – the use of objects, timing, focus, creativity, light metering, and clouds and the weather. Firstly, many photographers recommend finding an object apart from the sun to use in their photo. By having an object, such as a tree, a silhouette of a person, a church spire, or some foreground detail, it adds value to the photo and attracts the eye.

It is also important for photographers to look at the camera’s focus. Many cameras have an autofocus ready light to confirm that they are focused. However, some photographers recommend setting the camera on a manual setting and focusing the camera on infinity to lock the focus, hence avoiding a blurry photo.

Being creative can be achieved in more ways than one. For example, with the right amount of exposure, one can create different effects for their photo. According to the fundi's, if the camera has a built-in flash, set the exposure to underexpose the background and allow the flash to provide the correct exposure for foreground detail. Foreground detail and a wider aperture can throw the background subtly out of focus with flash to create better exposure for a foreground object. Do not over expose the sky and give emphasis to the sun. Silhouettes of objects can be made by keeping the picture metering with a strong back light source, creating under exposure for front objects. It is also recommended to set the camera to the smallest aperture to give a greater depth of field.

One can try to open up a stop or two so that the surrounds have a little more detail in the shadow areas. Alternatively one can under-expose as this would result in rich and dramatic colours of the sun. Longer exposures are best to be used when the sun sets and light is low, particularly at a beach, to give smooth, misty surface depending on the amount of waves, when the sea is part of the picture.

Light clouds or haze can enhance the quality of a photo of the sun. The sky can look dramatic with a haze, while sunlight through the clouds can spark some rich colours in the photo. The best sunsets generally occur when there are mid-level clouds present, either alto-stratus or alto-cumulus. Those clouds often produce the deep, red sunsets. When sunlight hits cirrus clouds near sunset, they tend to turn orange or yellow. Big, puffy cumulus clouds usually do not produce colourful photos.


I hope you enjoy looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

marius-secan, PaulH, siggi, KOMSIS, matatur, Mikolaj, bahadir, anemone, zulfu, Noisette, CeltickRanger, tuslaw, boreocypriensis, Heaven, uleko, Pitoncle, eng55, manyee, jmirah, Dis. Ac., Nasarg, maurydv, rousettus, pierrefonds, RII, Rehanna, maaciejka has marked this note useful
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To vizugonesailing: ThanksMiss_Piggy 1 05-01 05:11
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Anna,
Wonderful capture. Amazing colours and excellent composition.
Beautiful landscape.

Thanks for the handy tips, Anna. Now if the clouds would only go away I might also get to take a lovely sunset picture. I love the silhouette of the giraffe, gives life to the photo, once again, well done!

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2009-11-21 1:12]

Hi Anna,
wow thanks so much for this dedication! I really am very honoured and i'm sure i don't deserve your praise like this! If only i could take a sunset shot with a wild Giraffe in it, but i don;t think this is very likely here in the UK ;o)
The sun here is stunning. It is how i imagine an African sunset to be; huge, fiery and creating some amazing colour as it dips low in the sky. The bush adds some lovely details and the sillouette of the Giraffe really completes the whole scene.
Thanks once again Anna, have a great weekend!

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  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-11-21 1:17]

Hello Anna,
great pose of the giraffe! Very impressive with a very good composition and very good technical elements.I like the red color in your shot. What a beautiful composition . Thanks!Best regards Siggi

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  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-11-21 1:46]

Hello Anna,
A very special photo of a beautiful sunset with a giraffe in it. I know how fantastic the sunsets in Kruger are. I have also photos of it, but without a giraffe.
The deep saturated colours are impressive. Great composition.

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  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2009-11-21 2:06]

Hi Anna,
Evening, reverse-light a great day-sunset sky ...
Fantastic colors and giraffe looks very good.
have a nice weekend,

A beautiful and very aesthetical sunset scene in vivid, typical colours Anna, no wonder Paul loved your kind dedication.

Hi Anna,

You have captured a wonderful moment here with wonderful details! I like the greatly changing color tones within the sun, and the warm light it is spreading all over. In addition, great sharpness and a well chosen lovely POV with a great blick to the Giraffe make this shot nearly perfect.

Very well done.

best regards,

Hello Ana.
A nice composition with this beautifull animals and the burning sky.
Wonderfull immage.Congratulations.Alin.

Hello Anna! Spectacular view. Superb shot. Excellent colours. Wonderful shot. Great effect. Well done!

Ciao Anne, fascinating sunset with wonderful silhouette of lovely giraffe, fantastic colors, very well done, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

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  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-11-21 8:21]

Hello Anna,
A sunset is one thing, but to have a Giraffe silhoutted in it amongst a fine network of bush puts this in another class!
The way the atmosphere has distorted the shape of the sun is also interesting and is another fine touch in this unique shot.
Well done and thanks for sharing an image of a type of sunset with FG wildlife that not many can experience.
With kind regards,

Hello Anna

This is terrific.
A wow shot in my mind.
Love the colour and tones.
Iconic African image.Calendar cover shot material.


Hello Anna
superb landscape shot including a lovely Giraffe with excellent composition and light!
TFS and regards,

Hi Anna, impressive scene capture... what a great ambience.
The composition and colours are amazing..
TFS. Kind regards,

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  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2009-11-21 12:28]

Hello Anna, wonderful sunset shot with nice composition and impressive colour tones.
TFS and G's,

Hello Ana
wonderful shot of this sunset in the kruger Park, the color tones of the sky and the sun are simply fantastic ! i like also the shapes of the giraffe and the bushs in the surroundings
nice dedicaton to Paul
Have a great suday

hello Anna

WOW ! what a stunning photo you did of the Giraffe,
i love the effect of the sun's different colour tones, the same
effect doing to the sky, and excellent againts-daylight effect
(effet de contre-jour) of the Giraffe and the landscape, TFS


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  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2009-11-21 18:04]

Hello Anna,
A stunning sunset image, gorgeous colors and nicely composed!!
This must have been an awesome sight to actually see with your own eyes. The full sun effect adds much to this wonderful photo.
Your notes are very interesting, especially those dealing with taking sun shots. I was just reading an article in one of my magazines about this very same subject. Here is the link to it if you want to read about it. http://www.outdoorphotographer.com/columns/tech-tips/beware-of-the-sun.html

Hi and Good Morning Anna,

An impressive landscape capture from zululand at sunset time.
Your POV, colours, composition and depth of the scene are superb.
TFS and have a nice day MF!


Dear Anna!

Your picture exactly reflects what many of us have in mind as a typical "African" picture. A deep and colourful sunset, the silhouettes of typical African animals and the plants of the bush. It is the kind of picture that one likes or hates, there's almost no space between these two appreciations. Now, as an ardent photographer, I easily join the people that like this picture. The atmosphere is superb, the effect of the silhouettes in front of the sunset sky create a pleasant effect. The colours of the sky a magnificent, too, although they are, from my point of view, near the upper limit of the saturation. Many thanks also for the interesting and narrative notes!

Kind regards


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  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2009-11-22 2:25]

Hi Anna,a fantastic and magic atmosphere insise this pic,remember me my trip in Kenya 4 years ago...beautiful moment and very warm saturation for a wonderful african composition.My best compliments,have a nice Sunday,LUCIANO

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  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2009-11-22 4:50]

Hello Anna,
You've certainly got some useful information here - many thanks! And what a stunning capture in fabulous colours - I'd love to see a sky as red as this! Very dramatic too, the sun seems to come racing towards you! A great shot but I hope your camera is in tact!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Bonjour Anna,
Très délicate attention et formidable image dans laquelle la girafe n'est qu'un prétexte dans une très belle ambiance.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

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  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2009-11-22 6:38]

Hi Anna,
It's a magnificent landscape.Warm colors,POV and composition are perfect.Masterpiece!
Thanks for posting..

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  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2009-11-22 10:59]

HI Anna,
What a gorgeous scene.
Unbelievable colors.
A primordial image.
And thanks for the good tips about not looking into the sun through your camera. I have done it a few times.
TFS. : )

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  • psyce (64)
  • [2009-11-22 11:53]

a masterpiece Anna! love the colors and silhouette in the photo... well done and TFS

Hi Anna.
Amazing colors .Wonderful shot...Looks artistic....Beautiful composition..What can I say.....Excellent as usual.....Well done Anna....

Wow Anna, what a lovely landscape of a Sunset with Vivid colors and superb silhouette of Giraffe. This is amazing composition. Very well done. This is treat to watch.


Hi Anna,
wooow, strange colours - and the silhuette of the bushes and the giraffe against this pink/red BG is fantastic.
The sun seem to be so unreal - it's realy more like a painting than a shot.
Very well done, I like it so much.
Kind regards
Sabine - wishnugaruda

Hi Anna
What a beautiful composition...The vivid colors are amazing...Outstanding...TFS

Hello Anna,

what a very nice typical african shot with sunset and giraffe.
I like such pictures a lot.
Looks like fire in the sky.


hello Anna
tres beau paysage magnifique couleurs et cette girafe en contre jours est splendide
bravo tres belle realisation
a tres bientot

Hello Anna
On croirait un incendie... le rouge est d'une nuance formidable
Merci amicalement

Ciao Anna. Magnificent scenographic compositive's idea. An efficient hot atmosphere. Well done.


Hello ms. Anna,

What a wonderful and unique capture of this silhoutted giraffe under a scorching sunset, the bush has added beauty on the composition and the note is very useful. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful photo!
Best Regards,


Hello Anna,
a wonderful picture of a spectacular sunset, the silhouettes of the giraffe and trees are very beautiful, i like these fast african colour tones, a very pleasing composition with a great visual impression
Best regards

Bonito trabajo con la luz Anna. Da la sensación de estar en otro planeta por el tratamiento del color que sin duda es espectacular. Bien equilibrada. Un saludo y buen fin de semana:
J. Ignasi.

Hello Anna
fantastic capture of giraffe under sunset light in Kruger. great light using and composition. colors splendid. great work indeed. thanks for sharing,
best regards to you and Loot.

Hi Anna,

The sunset is giving nice colors to the sky and to the field. the point of view takes my eyes toward the horizon which is giving depth to the composition. The giraffe and the trees are extra to the composition. Well done, have a nice day.


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  • erve Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 96 W: 3 N: 131] (620)
  • [2009-12-08 12:52]

Hi anna,

Just had a quick look through your recent shots, and this one stands out for me. What a beautiful sunset this is, and the giraffe silhouette really sets it off. The only thing i would prefer is if the view of the giraffe was un-interfered with by the trees.

tfs this Beautiful shot


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  • RII Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 481 W: 0 N: 895] (2862)
  • [2009-12-13 10:52]

Hello Anna.

Wonderful african postal, excellent capture and composition, very nice sunset effect.Congratulations.


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  • Abyta Silver Star Critiquer [C: 20 W: 0 N: 34] (130)
  • [2009-12-22 23:45]

Hello Anna,
Very original and vivid sunset! The deep colours are so impressive, nice composition with Giraffe in it.
Best regards,

Hello Anna

Paul certainly has a great gallery, but I am also speechless at your gallery and I could chose any of your photograph to praise the work.
You have a superb variety of animals and pants, all composed with expert eye.

We are lucky to have you here in Treknature, congratulations.

Best regards


Hello Anna,
I have seen many photos of sunset, but this one is one of the most beautiful. What gives to this picture more unusual are colours and this giraffe on the background. Beautiful picture,
Well done,

Very nice light and good pose with beautiful colours!!!

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