Thursday, December 05, 2013

Big Bull

Big Bull Elephant - 5D3, 24-70 @ 63mm, f/8, 1/80s, ISO 100
I love wildlife images where you have the opportunity to get close and use a wider angle to pull in more of the environment.  I was at 63mm (so only about 31 degrees angle of view), ideally he would have come closer to us to, but you get what you get.

I made this image on our last full day at Sandibe during an afternoon game drive.  By that point in the trip after filling our cards with great images of leopards, cheetahs, elephants and even a couple of male lions we were out with +Grant Atkinson to simple find anything interesting.  Its immensely satisfying to reach a point on a photographic trip where you don't feel the pressure to have to see something because you've already had a lot of great sightings.  We spotted this big bull elephant, which as bulls tend to do was walking and eating along the way.  The vehicle was positioned far off such that if the elephant continued on his path he would walk past us with the vehicle positioned between him and the sun.  The engine was shut off and we waited.  He first walked past in front of the vehicle, continuing to eat not caring too much about our presence.  Then he turned and walked up to the side of the vehicle and stopped about 15-20 feet away and stood and posed for about 30 seconds, relaxed the entire time.  He then walked to a palm bush behind the vehicle and started chomping on it.  Interestingly, he was so relaxed that he was fine with having his back to us.  I could see him turn his head slightly and dart a quick glance every 30 seconds just to make sure we weren't being cheeky.  One of my favorite moments in Botswana.
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