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White Rhino

By Wendicles
Even with their size I find that capturing a decent image of a rhino a challenge. Whilst driving round Umfolozi Game reserve on a visit earlier this year I came across this female rhino, she had a young rhino nearby and so appeared to be fairly attentive to passers-by.
What made this opportunity different was that she was stood on slightly higher ground allowing the perception of appearing to be on the same level as I was. I was fortunate enough for her to be aware of me, although I was some distance away, and so was able to get good eye contact.

The image was captured in colour and converted to black and white as I felt this was more appealing. I cropped the image slightly so as to create a feeling of her imposing size and the incredible horns that are their trade mark.
With hindsight I have a feeling that I should possibly have used a smaller aperture so that more of her body was in better focus although I think the detail captured in her face works well.

Criticisms please.

Tags: Conservation Endangered White rhino Wildlife and nature African wildlife giants of nature

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chase Plus
16 2.3k 600 England
2 Oct 2019 5:56PM
Not much to critique here tbh,this is a good image and would do well in the main gallery.
I like the position of her in the frame, the conversion to mono is solid.

I would have had a go at just reducing the main highlights a fraction but the light was obviously quite harsh so difficult to meter for given her dark surroundings.
I attempted a mod....reduced the highlights a little, cloned out the very bright bits under her tummy and around her face. Removed the foliage around her mouth/face...she looks like she is smiling !! Added a teeny catchlight in her eye. A very slight increase in contrast.

Converted to sRGB which is the better colour profile to use for the site.

Her face is nice and sharp, good detail and her stare is straight at you, right place right time methinks.
Very well captured, would also be nice to see the original so we can see more clearly the post processing you have done.
paulbroad Plus
14 131 1293 United Kingdom
2 Oct 2019 6:07PM
You should ALWAYS use sRGB unless having professionally printed results, in which case, AdobeRGB. Fr me, this is natural history, and in this day and age, that means colour. Purely subjective, of course. otherwise a perfectly good image.

chase Plus
16 2.3k 600 England
2 Oct 2019 6:11PM
Just looking at your pf (some nice images in there) I see this is the first time you have ventured into the critique gallery so...welcome...a little belated, sorry.
2 Oct 2019 6:42PM
This is much more than a simple boring record shot, it's about the raw power of Nature. Black and white was a good decision, as was the wide aperture... stopping down could have been counterproductive, bringing the background more into focus. I like how you've cropped it too. Not showing the whole body does help to emphasize the bulk... it seems counter-intuitive, but it works.

This is all about the head and face- that's the important thing here and it's in focus, which is really all that matters... even just a general impression of the great bulk of the body following on behind would have been enough. There's no need for more clearly defined detail there, it would add nothing to the power of the image, and in fact it could possibly even work against it, tempting the eye away from the main event.

I'd be tempted to crop a little from the left side, removing maybe a third of that empty space, but all in all I think it's very good.
Wendicles 5 3 United Kingdom
2 Oct 2019 7:02PM
Thank you for the feedback on this image and yes first time stepping into this arena but feel it is time to grow a little and feedback and critique is a great way to learn even if a little daunting.
As can be seen from my other images I seldom do conversions but yes just felt that this particular image lent itself to doing so.
Cropping is always a fine line knowing just how much is appealing and I suppose it is quite subjective to the individuals taste.
I am sure I will post more images to continue to learn.
pamelajean Plus
16 1.7k 2243 United Kingdom
2 Oct 2019 9:05PM
Welcome to the Critique Gallery, Wendy.

A magnificent beast beautifully caught with good eye contact, which immediaely engages the viewer.

I have taken the liberty of using Janet's modification to do my own because she has already done all of the hard workSmile.
I have cropped to place the rhino's head on a thirds line (see Rule Of Thirds), have added a bit more canvas at the top, giving the body more breathing space, and have ended up with a square format. Just a suggestion.

banehawi Plus
17 2.7k 4282 Canada
2 Oct 2019 10:37PM
Hi Wendy. Its quite a nice shot.

How this looks in mono will depend quite a bit on how you converted from the original colour, even though the are largely grey toned. so if you still have it, could you upload it here please? No need to wait a day, just click the Modifications button, and then select Upload. It will help us provide better feedback

Meanwhile Ive uploaded a mod thats sharper where her face is, generally darker and toned down highlights. Ive cropped also to add a little space to the top.


chase Plus
16 2.3k 600 England
3 Oct 2019 12:02PM
Thanks for uploading the original Wendy and my opinion...I like the colour version, your mono is very well converted but for me, that colour is ace.
chase Plus
16 2.3k 600 England
3 Oct 2019 12:26PM
I did another mod based on your original image.......converted to sRGB
She wouldn't win any beauty competitions but she is stunning !!
banehawi Plus
17 2.7k 4282 Canada
3 Oct 2019 1:59PM
Thank you for uploading the original Wendy.
banehawi Plus
17 2.7k 4282 Canada
3 Oct 2019 2:41PM
The colour version, though very much underexposed is a strong shot that can work well in colour as well as mono.

Ive uploaded a version of a mod also.
dudler Plus
18 1.8k 1895 England
3 Oct 2019 6:57PM
Very belated welcome noises from me, too.

Not a lot to add - depending on the stability of hte lighting conditions, and your experience, it may be a good idea to use one of the autoexposure modes rather than manual.

If the light's varying, it's definitely best to relieve yourself of the task of altering exposure unless you can do it by instinct, almost.

A lovely, powerful portrait.

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