White Rhinos as the long rains arrive

Image Description

I was in Kenya’s Ol Pajeta National Reserve ten days ago enthralled by the large number of Black and White Rhinos being protected there. In late afternoon as rain clouds gathered, we came upon this scene of White Rhinos grazing on an open plain.

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique

Technical Details

Sony a9, Sony 1000-400mm lens at 100mm, manual exposure f/8 @ 1/320th, ISO 400. In post processing, I had to select the rhinos, then separately adjust the light and dark portions of the image.

What a great shot. It must have been a treat to see four together. When I expanded the phot and enlarged it once again, it cropped it down to the three Rhinos in front. It still showed the sun beams and great cloud detail and I got an up close view of the Rhinos. The bright sky in RUQ was a bit of a distraction. Overall, a really great photo and I expect a real challenge to process. Wish I could have been there.

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Hi Charles,
wow, those rhinos posed nicely for you. And this backlit tree is a beautiful detail as well.

I agree with @Charlie_Chaffee that the bright cloud at the top of the image distracts the eye.
In addition, I feel that the clouds have a greenish or cyan color cast.

But I love the way the rhinos stand out from the dark background. It must have been breathtaking to see these awesome animals in real life.

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Thanks Charlie. I agree about that bright spot in the clouds. I should have used more highlight reduction on it. As for cropping, I decided not to as the very fact of seeing four of these very endangered species in one view is a phenomenon in and of itself. I’m just sorry I could not get an excellent image of even larger congregations of these incredible animals. We saw 22 different White Rhinos and at least 12 Black Rhinos in our few days at Ol Pajeta, surely the highest concentration of them anywhere, and they are well guarded. Kenya has not lost a rhino to poachers in two years.

Thanks, Jens. It was indeed breathtaking. In the 1980s, while serving as a senior diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe, I was very involved in supporting efforts to save the Black Rhino which was being poached in alarming numbers. It is still critically endangered according to IUCN, but its numbers are increasing thanks to efforts we were just getting underway 30 years ago.

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