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Super Tracker!

Super Tracker!
Photo Information
Copyright: Japie Venter (japie) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-12-20
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Sigma 170-500mm APO, Digital ISO 200, Skylight
Exposure: f/13.0, 1/125 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Mammals of Southern Africa [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-01-01 4:27
Viewed: 5654
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 34
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I saw a documentary on television the other day where some 20 elephants were trained as trackers to track down poachers. Elephants as trackers ? I was absolutely amazed.

As a test they had to track a warden who was a very experienced tracker himself and who was trying to reach the border before being caught.

He had quite a head start and used every trick in the book, including crossing big rivers, to evade the big guys. They caught up with him and that while carrying 20 heavily armed rangers. He was caught where he was hiding in the reeds before he was able to cross the border!

These gentle giants have yet to fail in this very important task!

More about the African Elephant:

This is the world’s largest land mammal, and weighs up to seven tons and reaches heights of 3.3 m at the shoulder. Elephants can live to a potential age of 70 years. The massive tusks of older bulls can weigh up to 50 or 60 kilograms, but tusks weighing up to 90 kilograms have been recorded.

The Elephant’s trunk is very sensitive and can even detect water under ground. There are as many as 50 000 muscles in an elephant’s trunk. The sensitive finger-like appendages at the tip of the trunk enables them to pick the smallest twig or flower. Their tusks are actually their upper incisors, and grow continuously until they die at around 60 years old. Although their skin is up to 3cm (1 inch) thick, it is quite sensitive. An elephants hearing and smell are excellent but eyesight is moderate and best in dim light.

Elephants are voracious feeders which in a day consume up to 272 Kg of grass, tender shoots and bark from trees. An adult Elephant can drink up to 200 litres of water in a single session. A single elephant deposits upwards of 150kg (330 pounds) of dung every day - about one dollop every 15 minutes!

African Elephants are not seasonal breeders. Generally they produce one calf every three to four years. The gestation period is about 22 months. At birth calves weigh about 100 Kg and are fully weaned between 18-24 months.

Mature males form bachelor groups or become solitary bulls. Elephants form strong family units of cows, calves and young offspring. Such herds are always led by an old female. Apart from drinking large quantities of water they also love wading or swimming in it. Elephants clearly relish mud baths.

The camera settings:

Program Setting: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 209mm
F Stop: F/13
Shutter Speed: 1/125sec
ISO: 200
Tripod: No
Flash: Diffused Off Camera ETTL.
Reflective Panel: No
Cable release: No
White Balance: AWB

Callie, milloup, Lesley, willie, Fisher, Robbrown, pompey, Luc, red45, mumek, deud has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Great shot Japie.
I like this very much, it's like a painting of africa.
Very good pose, colours and very good details and a great note too.
Excellent work.

ooi foto van die grootvoete!
Nice compo, the trunk swinging into the scene, sensing the air, and the textures here are well displayed.
Mooi man!

Great capture and a very compelling story to go with it. I just love the thought of the hunted animals being able to turn the tables on their tormentors from time to time ;-))

WOW...this is real sweet! The composition is terrific and the DOF is fab too. Colors are clear and detail is amazing. You should take a bow on this one, Japie. Makes me want to be there to soak in this whole scene.

Composition: ****
Sharpness: ****
Color: ****
DOF: ***
POV: ****

Great shot, you are lucky.
Well done.

Can you imagine when elephants start hunting poachers on their own. What a blessing. I caught a poacher in ouit local Nature Reserve the other day but alas, we have no elephants there. Very nice shot Japie and good interesting notes

  • Great 
  • Fisher Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1540 W: 309 N: 2234] (8915)
  • [2005-01-01 10:10]

I learned something from your note. A. ele, is trainable. I always thought of them to wild for this. This is a beautiful composition. The background of the hill is just right for this scene.


Nice one japie they are very nicely capture front to back and I love the way she is lifting the trunk with just enough room to move into. Very different sort of note good one.

  • Great 
  • pompey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 144 W: 4 N: 746] (2774)
  • [2005-01-01 13:16]

Lovely photo Japie, a great family group and wonderful story.
Great clarity and texture.
Well done!

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-01-01 17:19]

I think that I am going to insure my computer, Japie, with all these animals which want to cross my screen! ;-)
Excellent composition, sharpness and DOF.
In Sought India people have a God called Ganesh with a head of elephant: the god of the luck or the good fortune.
Thanks for bringing them to Montreal. Thanks for the story too and for the informative note.

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2005-01-01 21:05]

Excellent shot Japie. How wonderful to be able to be there among the gentle giants and "shoot" them like this. It must have been a great time for you. Great compsoition, colours and notes. Well done.

This photo is so crisp and clear. I love the composition with the trees on the left and the hill in the background. I also like the little fan like blades of grass directly in front of the elephants. I almost feel like I'm there this is so clear and sharp. Excellent!

Hi Japie

Great family photo. You have captured the texture on the skin very well. Can almost feel it on my screen. From the trunk in the front to the tail swinging in the back - a wonderful shot. TFS

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-01-02 5:25]

Happy family walking on savannah :-) I like composition and real African mood here. Very well done Japie!

  • Great 
  • mumek Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 104 W: 0 N: 180] (853)
  • [2005-01-02 9:27]

Very nice composition, great photo of the elephant's family. Good colors and details. Thanks for posting.

Stunning photo of some amazing animals. I can't understand how anyone is able to kill such amazing creatures. I'm happy to hear that the elephants themselves are being used to help protect the rest of their "brothers".

  • Great 
  • deud Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 438 W: 11 N: 534] (2540)
  • [2005-01-06 3:38]

super. i like this kind of family! very good details, colours.

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