Safe In The Herd (Baby Elephant)Pilanesberg Game Reserve, South Africa – Rudi van den Heever
I guess we are suckers for baby elephant photos. We seem to feature a lot of them such as: (1) World’s Cutest Elephant; and (2) Elephant Love. This one however has a studio look to it even though it is taken in the wild. Don’t believe us? Then read on to find out more about this amazing photo and then visit Rudi’s gallery here www.LinRuPhotography.com and even “Like” him on Facebook here http://www.facebook.com/LinRuPhotography.
“My passion for nature and the wildlife of Southern Africa was fuelled by regular visits to the national parks and game reserves from a very young age. Pilanesberg Game Reserve in the North West Province of South Africa was one of the culprits. It used to be a “national” park of the then Bophuthatswana, before the latter became part of South Africa in later years. You can read more about the Pilanesberg Game Reserve on my blog (http://linruphotography.blogspot.com/2012/08/pilanesberg-game-reserve-where-it-all.html). My other passion in life, wildlife and nature photography, was also born in the Pilanesberg during or about 2004, although I only became serious about photography during or about 2010.
During October 2011 I came across this herd of elephant on one of the less travelled roads. Having acquired a fairly good knowledge of elephants’ behaviour over the years, I knew that I had to keep my distance this time around – a new born calf of only a few weeks old was in the midst of the ever protective cows. I was however close enough to have been forced to leave the longer lens on the passenger seat of my vehicle and to take hold of my trusty Canon 50D and 100-400mm L lens.
Unfortunately the herd was in the middle of the semi-tarred road and a couple of other tourists in vehicles were enjoying the sighting directly behind the herd. I took plenty of frames, including the youngster suckling from time to time, while I waited for the herd to move out of the road. It was indeed a special sighting and my respect and admiration for these majestic mammals were reinforced.
Needless to say, I had to be a bit more “creative” than usual in the processing of this image, to get rid of the human elements that were visible in the background.
Poaching, the illegal trade in ivory and habitat loss (all the result of the human race’s selfishness) have caused the African elephant population to plummet from an estimate 3 to 5 million in the 1930’s to 1940’s, to a mere 300,000 at present. It is only by being really pro-active in our support for the various conservation agencies, like the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and by raising our voices in the media (and social media), that each and every one of us can make a difference!
Camera: Canon 50D
Lens: 100-400mm L lens at 400mm (and my trusty bean bag)
Shutter Speed: 1/500s
Processed with Lightroom 3, Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 and Photoshop CS5”
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