Issue 85 - February 2019
Bruce Alexander: I have been back from a trip to Kenya for about 2 months now and am just now finishing up on my editing. This is my favorite shot, which I took on my first day on Safari. There are about 1,000 elephants in Amboseli National Park, so it is not exactly hard to find them in abundance. When I first saw the RAW image of this I passed it up because it really did not look that impressive. Fortunately when I went back to it there was plenty of information there to be brought out in LR. I darkened the sky with the graduated density filter and changed the WB with the eye dripper over neutral gray. I lightened up the area around the elephants with a dodging brush and cloned out the haphazard trails running this way and that in the foreground. The blue in the clouds surprised me a little, but that is what was left on the RAW, so I left it as is.
DN: Well I’ve always maintained a sky can make or break a picture, and this dramatic image proves the point. Well done Bruce for observing and capturing this expansive shot in the first place, and then having the vision to bring out the best of all the tonal information lurking in the RAW subsequently in post-production. That sky is just so threatening, and yet not over-cooked. I like the halo effect of the light around the herd too. My one observation would be that I don’t think the foreground adds anything. I can see you’ve cropped to a 16x9 aspect ratio; I’d certainly concur with that decision. I bet this looks fabulous printed large. I also think this striking picture evokes Africa and symbolises powerfully the plight of the species.
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