What This Photo Means to Me

There are many stories that can be told within photos, each photographer has their own meaning to each of their photos. In 2016 I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to go to South Africa. I didn’t bring a camera with me on this trip but luckily a friend had a Nikon Coolpix P900 with them. Usually, I am not a fan of bridge cameras, nor am I am a fan of using Nikon but this had a 60x zoom. I cannot remember the focal length for the life of me, but I was able to get really close up to the wildlife that was around me.

On one of the days of our trip, we went to a nature reserve where they kept a whole load of animals to cohabit a very large area. Now picture this, a classic African brush with a rolling hillside and the sun gently creeping over the hills. It was like a scene from the Lion King. When the sun crept over the mountain I was half expecting ‘The Circle of Life’ scene to start happening! Now, it’s around 4-5 am when we are going out on this game drive. We meaning: 126 of us, around 30 per bus. These buses were incredibly loud, like a mustang that had been smoking 20 a day for 30 years.

We were able to see Giraffes, Zebra, Rhinos, Cheetahs and many other animals. The one species of animal that stood out the most to me were the Elephants. Such a massive yet peaceful creature was just so magical to me. We managed to get quite close to them. Although, not close enough that we would pose them any threat. I saw in the distance, roughly 20m away, there was one of the elephants eating a bush. I had to be very patient with this shot to try and get it just at the right moment. As the sun was rising, the wind went still I couldn’t hear anything but my thoughts. The hum of 30 people on a bus with the engine on standby, at that moment all seemed to stop. I took a deep breath and…

When talking about this photo from a technical standpoint. The bokeh from the plants in the foreground creates the appearance of depth in the photo. The shadow was in a perfect position on the face of the elephant that more realistic feel. This is how the photo looked when coming out of the camera. I have not edited it at all. Achieving this without using artificial light or editing.

I hope you like the photo as much as it means to me.

Thanks for reading!

Austen Rudall – RGMedia

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