Back Modifications (2)
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Giraffe at Marwell Wildlife Park

By Enfield
This Giraffe was taken on my recent visit to Marwell Wildlife Park

Settings were:

1/800s - F/11

Tags: Pets and captive animals Wildlife and nature

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
6 Jun 2011 1:50PM
Hi Bob,

You've caught this fellow rather well!
There's a slight blue caste to it though which I've removed in my mod. simply by reducing the blue channel slightly.
Hope this helps.


Edit; I think also, that it would look better with a catchlight in his eye.

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Enfield 8 1 United Kingdom
6 Jun 2011 2:54PM
Thanks Bren

Removing the blue makes a real difference.

Davesumner 11 28 300 Australia
7 Jun 2011 4:18AM
Hi Bob,

Great capture of the Giraffe, a damn difficult subject to get interesting in a shot, trust me I have tried and I haven't done it yet. The problem with zoos is that we're always with family or friends and they don't want to hang around whilst you wait for the shot or we're on a tour bus which never stops in the right place. The other problem with the Giraffe is the background because inevitably we are shooting up to its head and the background is always the sky be it blue or grey but it nevers seems to be quite right.

In your shot unfortunately you haven't really got it sharp enough, this could be for a number of reasons but shutter speed at 1/800th sec may be the cause if you were in a moving vehicle. Also you could in this case have opened up the aperture to the maximum of your lens say f/5.6 and this would have increased your shutter speed as well as there isn't a lot of depth of field needed in this type of image. Also the Giraffe's eye is black as the night and we really need the eyes to be a bit brighter. It comes with practice but spot metering might have been a better option instead of the multi segment that this shot was taken with as you could have metered for its eye and brightened it up a little.

Looking at the EXIF data and reading your description may I presume that you are shooting on 'P' mode? If so try getting the camera on to Av or Tv modes (Canon) or A or S modes (Nikon) and see what difference it makes when you control the camera a little more. I would recommend shooting in RAW format with the camera on aperture priority (A mode) and the aperture set to the widest your lens allows, spot metering and single point focus. Set the focus point onto the Giraffe's eye and shoot that and see what you get.

The main thing is that you're out there shooting the shots so you'll only get better at these things. I always look for a giraffe that is sitting down or closer to the trees where the background can be controlled a little more. I usually have an annual pass to the local zoos and visit often so I can eventually get the shots I want, not always easy even when you return lots of times.

Hope this helps

Enfield 8 1 United Kingdom
7 Jun 2011 9:31AM
Hi DaVes

Thank you very much for the constructive comment. One of the problems with the zoo that I was at was the amount of fencing and wire netting which makes it almost impossible to take full lengh shots. The camera was set to 'S' but I will try aperture and RAW and see what I can produce.

So much to learn

Thanks again


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