Elephants in the Sunset

January 10, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

On our first Photo Safari to Tanzania, on the third day of the amazing trip we were in a wooded area near Lake Ndutu with a herd of elephants.  They were crashing thru the brush all around us, grazing, the youngsters were playing and just being, well, elephants.  As we watched from the vehicles, one of the elephants walked over to our vehicle and posed for us.  Amazing!  In a few minutes our driver said we needed to head back as the sun was dropping.  I looked over my shoulder and saw the orange glowing orb dropping thru the clouds and thought to myself, "This needs a foreground!"  I asked the driver if there was a way to get the elephants in the foreground of this amazing sunset.  He said we were up against the trees and could not move that direction.  I was thinking, "What a shot if it could have only happened."  Just then, the matriarch of the herd, turned, made some noises and started walking towards the sunset.  The whole herd went with her.  I was shaking from the anticipation of the image if I could pull it off.  The range of light was tremendous.  My ISO 100 film would be at the edge of or beyond the performance envelope.  No post processing with slide film, you either get the exposure right or you go home empty handed.  I used the spot metering of the camera and metered the clouds away from the sun and used that exposure.  I shot several and bracketed off the original reading.  My first shot was the best both from composition and from exposure.  I was one happy camper when I got home and had the image in my hands and it had worked!


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