Critique Five Favorites from the South Africa Bush

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My wife and I recently spent three days in South Africa's Madikwe Game Reserve, which is on the border with Botswana. These are my choices of our five best photos of animals. The second and last photos were captured by my wife and post-processed by me.

One reason I like the last photo so much is because of the story it tells. Once an older, bull elephant's dominant role in the herd is taken over by a younger, stronger bull, he is banned from the herd and spends the rest of his life roaming the bush predominantly on his own. My wife's capture of the elephant walking away down the long, lonely road tells that poignant story so well in my mind.

The animal in the second photo is a black rhino, which is a relatively rare sighting at least in that part of Africa where white rhinos are more common. It was a special treat to see it in such gorgeous light.


Photo #1
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Photo #2
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Photo #3
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Photo #4
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Photo #5
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Exquisite shooting Mike.

1: so well composed and exposed. Both elephants are place just right.
3 & 4 are such unique shots and are very powerful.
5 has great tones and is a perfect closing shot.
 

Butlerkid

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An excellent set of images, Mike! Strong composition in #1! And #3,4 and 5 are exquisitely captured and processed!
 
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These are all wonderful. I particularly appreciate the soft light in #2, the texture in #3 and #1 is just plain fantastic to look at. Very nicely done all around.
 
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DW Brewer

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Excellent set of images. What I like most is the mixture of color images with B&W. The use of color is self-explanatory; the color helps the image tell the story. B&W "speaks to the viewer." These images take me back almost forty years to a course on Scientific Photography and Illustration, where we learned to use B&W imagery in order to understand tonality. Your B&W images in this set illustrate that concept so beautifully. The texture therein is superbly rendered. how about another fiv4 images to drool over.....?
 
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Thank you also to DW Brewer, Bill and Jim. A special thank you to Nick for nominating the third photo for placement on the home page and to Wade for making that happen. That image happens to be my favorite of my images made while we were on vacation in South Africa. The fifth photo is my favorite of my wife's images.

Regarding the discussion of the mix of color and monochrome images, I make the choice between the two possibilities based on which style best presents the scene. I generally choose a monochrome presentation either because the lines, textures, shape, structure and the like are the highlights of the scene or when the colors in a scene are so complex as to be distracting that a monochrome presentation simplifies the scene. Otherwise, I go with color.
 
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Congrats on the feature!

I enjoyed viewing the set...the images are creative. My favorite is the last one...although it is kind of sad.

I like the first image, but think it would have been very special if the baby elephant could have been silhouetted against the sky...too bad he stepped in front of the mountain in the backdrop.

3 and 4 are excellent portraits.

Glenn
 
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Thank you also to Glenn and Gordon!

it would have been very special if the baby elephant could have been silhouetted against the sky
My wife agrees with you. I instead like that the slope of the mountain is so similar to and longer than the slope of the underside of the baby elephant's head and belly.

While we're discussing the baby elephant, notice that its head is held up high. Our ranger/guide explained that the head of an adult elephant weighs about the same as the entire body of an adult rhino. That pretty much puts the size and weight of an adult elephant into perspective and perhaps explains why an adult doesn't hold its head high unless it is agitated.
 
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