Back Modifications (3)
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By nbatchford
One of the Rhino's at Colchester Zoo.
The first of a few taken on Sunday that I'll be uploading.

Tags: Rhino Colchester zoo 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.


paulbroad 10 123 1243 United Kingdom
13 Apr 2011 11:36PM
A good quality image, but loose the fence. You need a basic top crop to get rid of the woodwork, then you have a natural looking image.


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Davesumner 11 28 300 Australia
14 Apr 2011 3:02AM
Hi Neil,

Nice simple shot of the Rhino but for me it breaks both of my shooting at zoo rules. One don't shoot in harsh midday sunlight and two, don't include the enclosure fences etc.

The image is a bit too harshly lit because of the bright sunshine which has created some not so nice shadows on the rhino. The easiest way to avoid this is to wait for a cloud to cover the sun so the light is diffused a bit more or come back when the sun is lower in the sky. Unfortunately, zoo's tend not to open for photographers so late or early sun isn't always an option.

The other problem regarding the enclosure fence is a bit harder to avoid as not all animals can be shot without some fences being included, Rhino and Elephant enclosures are usually the worst. In this case you used a focal length of 180mm and an aperture of f/11, neither of which make it easy to blur out the background. At 180mm focal length I would probably have used the widest aperture your lens had and attempted to blur the fence and then blur it more in PhotoShop etc. Alternatively a different viewpoint or cropping in closer would also help and as there isn't anything apart from the Rhino, the latter may be the easiest option.

Luckily there isn't much overexposed to the point of blowing out with exception of the Rhino's knee so when taking images in bright light, try to use the exposure lock to expose for the brightest part and then recompose.

I added a quick mod where I cropped the image to remove the distracting parts, desaturated the background and blurred using the blur tool in PhotoShop. I then removed some of the distracting stones from the ground using the spot removal tool, lightened the Rhino's eye and added structure using NIK Viveza 2. I then sharpened.

Hope this helps

banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3879 Canada
14 Apr 2011 5:01PM
Good advice already Neil. I would add that you had the ability to zoom in closer using 200mm rather than 180, and that, with composing the shot a little higher in the frame may well have excluded the fence completely.

Its difficult to think about everything at the time of shooting, but it can come with practice.

The image is a little soft, - may have been sharper if you had used f/5.6 which is the sharpest aperture for that lens, - and something to remember is that when you re size you shot for uploading to EPZ, you need to check the re sized shot for sharpness as it might become a little softer through the compression process. Im sure you own original is sharper than the one that appears here, - if so, then you know why.

Loaded a mod also.


15 Apr 2011 11:37AM
As usual, many thanks for all the feedback. It's very useful and also much appreciated.
I've got another shot of a Rhino that I was going to update, but I'll spend a bit of time post processing before I upload it.



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