Craig (again)_

Critique Style Requested: Initial Reaction

Please share your immediate response to the image before reading the photographer’s intent (obscured text below) or other comments. The photographer seeks a genuinely unbiased first impression.

Questions to guide your feedback

In my previous posting of an image of Craig, some observers saw banding. Do you see any in this one, which was much more carefully processed? It is an infrared image.

Other Information

Please leave your feedback before viewing the blurred information below, once you have replied, click to reveal the text and see if your assessment aligns with the photographer. Remember, this if for their benefit to learn what your unbiased reaction is.

Image Description

Craig was just outside Amboseli National Park, so it was permissible to get on the ground for a low angle shot. I took this image in infrared because I like the impact of an IR image with a subject like this.

Technical Details

Sony a7 converted to infrared, Sony 24-70 f/4 lens, manual exposure, f/8 at 1/1250th, ISO 400.


First impression? Nick Brandt!!!

Hmmm. I’m on an iPhone and can’t seem to go back to uncover the hidden text so may have to post a second reply.

OK, I can edit. Wonderful to get low and close!! IR is a wonderful tool for creativity and gives this image a look that captures a bit of extra attention — not that it needs it! Wonderful color difference between the elephant and the foliage! Well done!


I really like that “sepia” look, and the pose. If it were mine, Id’ consider cloning out that long twig in front of its body. Fine capture!

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Hi Charles,


I like the sepia tones and the POV used for the subject makes a very strong comp. The twig is fine and it helps with emphasizing the large size of this huge elephant. Awesome image!..Jim

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Hi Charles,
wow, my initial reaction is: Impressive. It doesn’t look like you used a telephoto lens here. So I wonder how close you were to this great animal.

Yes, I can see some banding. At least when I look at the image in my web browser.

Another wonderful shot of great Craig !
I’m seeing some banding here too, although in mild form. You may tone down that twig.
Actually I used to do sepia toning in chemical darkroom, may be for that reason, I’m finding sky bit over done.

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A great shot Charles, the low angle gives such a powerful perspective of this amazing Tusker (is it really called Craig!). I’m not a great fan of IR shots but the overall sepia type effect does serve to help the elephant standout from the background. The framing is really good and I would love to see a normal exposure of this shot (you didn’t have a second camera there did you? any chance).

Just read your description:
So you were there on the ground!..well done…very brave

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Hi Ryan, I did not shoot in color at the same scene. A couple of days later we returned to that area when Craig had returned there too. I took this image of him in similar circumstances. Again I was on the ground, and I should add that he was not at all concerned by me, nor was I concerned (though very alert and ready to move!) by him.

Amazing. I have come across some (seemingly) passive bulls, but none like Craig

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Great first impressions!

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Charles, this is a fabulous image and I have been meaning to tell you so.

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Fantastic shot, and congrats on the well-deserved EP. I am noticing banding, but otherwise I’m impressed with the contrast of the subject against his background. Curious if the vignetting is a natural result from shooting the sky with a wide angle and IR, or if you’ve done some selective editing (perhaps the blurred comments will reveal this).

Edit: Now that I’ve seen the added text, I can assume it’s simply a result of the lens/IR combo. It really works well. Also, kudos on the belly work. Has to be done sometimes!

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Yes, the banding is definitely visible. Otherwise, nice work! Always a risk getting too close to elephants, though… although, when they are aware of you from far away and then calmly approach you while acknowledging your presence at the same time, you should be OK.
Grt, Ingrid.

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I just love this! Magnificent shot of of a majestic animal, who appears relatively relaxed!

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Thanks, Penny. He is one of the most photographed elephants in Kenya so doesn’t seem to mind nearby photographers.