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African Shadow Theatre

African Shadow Theatre
Photo Information
Copyright: Radu Xplorator (Xplorator) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 651 W: 57 N: 1506] (7719)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Black & White
Date Taken: 2004-11
Categories: Bushveld
Camera: Nikon CP 8800, Nikkor 8.9-89mm 2.8, SanDisk SD Card 512
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Mammals of Southern Africa, 40 points or more - 40 puntos o más, Giraffas, 50 - 60 points (chapter two), Silhouettes, _Fotos adicionadas por 5 ou mais membros, 5 favs. and up - PART 3, posts with a difference, Outstanding [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2004-11-07 13:57
Viewed: 17308
Favorites: 18 [view]
Points: 121
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I was very happy to see how much the TN tribe enjoyed my previous ,,African Shadows,, photograph and since it brought me so many positive comments and joy I decided to post some more in same theme, hoping you will enjoy as much.
First off all the solar waves you see in the image do not really exist in the original photo they only appeared after I saved it as a jpeg format fit for TN, some might actually like them but I preffer the original, I guess it is one of the risk when the light is so important.
Again I have to mention that my muse to this type of creations was entirelly inspired from the art of Wayang, the Balinese shadow puppet theatre, where a light (the sun here) is placed behind the main chracter (giraffe) there is always well defined ground line in first plan; to add realism and beauty there are decorations on prime plan (palm leaves)well defined, on secondary plan (mountains) and even a third plan (see the ,,African shadows,, photo and look at the distant row of mountains ,,dissapearing,, in the horisont). This is a link to a photo (not mine!) that will help you better understand the ,,Wayang,, balinese theatre : http://www.emp.pdx.edu/htliono/images/wkulit1.jpg .
This fine ,,Wayang effect,, I should call it can be finely reproduced with carefull metering and compositioning. Metering the sky close to the sun will get you a picture perfect underexposed silhouette, lock exposure and refocus for a crisp front plan and hope for the best... The aperture mode would be your safest bet to control it !
My advice is to always lower your position, even dug a hole like I did at times and shoot from the lowest elevation possible in order to capture large portions of your subject against the sky light. Sunset is incontestably the best time for that if need to mention at all that !
I have no doubts all of you recognise an African giraffe, a large adult, it was the leader of a pack of three, very cooperative from a safe distance, it was amazing to see and capture this giant walking at sunset. Sun position might not confuse some as not exactly visually indicate exact sunset look but its pure optical illusion, in half hour after it was gone, mainly an effect from my low stance I guess ...
I wish also I did this as a panoramic shot too to incorporate more wide open space now looking at it ...
The only two cosmetic processes involved cropping the right corner as unsignificant plants started showing and the other was taking of the red-purple colour the upper end of the grass used to have as an impact of the powerful sun rays.
That being said I hope you enjoy it and ,,happy shuterbugging,, !

willie, PDP, elihesam, Crypton, Signal-Womb, ellis49, gerhardt, JeanMichel, urban, Lesley, mrvdm1, red45, marhowie, RAP, coasties, pione, JennHen, Riz, anoop, rlortie, annagrace, traveller, Active, OWO, Tommysugar, Wolbo, kojak, peter_stoeckl, mlines, Jonas_Schmitt_ has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • willie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1023 W: 61 N: 648] (2083)
  • [2004-11-07 14:11]

As bwas your previous posting, this is brilliant.
Keep em coming

Very well done,Radu,A fine graphical in this motif,an excellent playing with light you did,and the result with a nice composition is admirable,Really I like it,and glad to see it,and you,too:)
Thanks for posting.

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2004-11-07 14:17]

Hi Radu, I love these sillouettes you are giving us. They are very simple and effective. I love the way each depth layer is a different tone, I cna just make out the patterning on the giraffe too. Another great post, thanks for sharing.

tres beau clichet !
j'aime beaucoup le rendu en tons gris. j'ai essayé de metre une couleur plus "chaude".
personnelement j'aime les 2 ;)
good work.

  • Great 
  • styos Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 12 W: 0 N: 11] (59)
  • [2004-11-07 14:39]

Radu, you have a nicely interesting picture here. I like the way the light is just peeking through the leaves on the palm tree.
Could you maybe post the exposure settings for this pic?

Fantastic silhouette capture Radu. I love the lighting, low perspective and the composition. Excellent note also. Nice one.

Superbe photo Radu, j'aime beaucoup cette ombre de la girafe dans la savane. Felicitations !

Another stunning shot.

Great picture Radu.
Very nice sillouette , nice colours and very good compostion.
Great note.
Excellent work.

Radu, you did it again. Simple yet so stunning. Lovely shot. Nice write up on the art form too. Well done man.

This is again a winner, Radu. So well composed, giving an elegant view, kind of african dream. Very sober also, with the black giraffe on these tones of grey. impression of infinity due to the low point of view. Well, this is inspirative photography! Congratulations.

  • Great 
  • urban Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 71 W: 4 N: 79] (413)
  • [2004-11-07 17:33]

These pictures are great. The contrast is great and the mood fells really exotic to me.

  • Great 
  • Lesley Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 297 W: 13 N: 913] (2988)
  • [2004-11-07 17:50]

Oh my goodnes...what a perfectly lovely image. I would love to have this framed on my wall...it is a photo to get lost in with exotic dreams! Thank you for posting this...it was good for my soul.

Great shot! I really love the multilayered composition here, and the shapes of the silhouettes are so evocative... Nothing really to critique, although I wonder whether the giraffe should be pointing into the frame? Anyway an excellent shot!

P.S. Couldn't help myself, I've posted a Workshop with the giraffe the other way around - see what you think ;)

This is stunning...the shadows and silhouette are just gorgeous. Very emotive! :o)

Another great shot well captured as the previous one.

Radu, this is really excellent! Well done.
Where in Ethiopia was this?

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2004-11-08 4:53]

Your pictures could illustrate books about Africa. When I looked at it I remembered all my readings about Africa from my childhood.

Radu, A great presentation again, composed well, with your slant on aesthetics very refreshing..Great post!

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2004-11-08 7:35]

Otro gran muestra de esta serie de imágenes en blanco y negro Radu.
Gran composicion con el el sol en medio de las palmas con un contraluz maravilloso.

Another great sample of this series of images in black and white Radu.
Great composition with the sun in the middle of the palms with a wonderful backlighting.

  • Great 
  • japie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
  • [2004-11-08 9:08]

Your silhoettes are some of the best I have ever seen!! Very well captured. I like how the whole image is forming layers.

Thanks for posting

This is just the best. Superb silhouette. Thanks for sharing

  • Great 
  • pione Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 94 W: 0 N: 113] (542)
  • [2004-11-11 7:40]

Stupenda composizione! I raggi del sole arricchiscono di interesse questa immagine!

Brilliant. Going straight to my favourites pile. The framing, the mountains in the background.. wow. The only thing I would possibly change would be to clone out the plant at the bottom left of the picture beside the tree, as I think it disturbs the top left/bottom right balance between the palm and the giraffe.

Absolutely stunning! Balanced and simple composition. Adding to my favorites!

  • Great 
  • deud Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 438 W: 11 N: 534] (2540)
  • [2005-03-01 8:17]

impresionant joc al luminilor si umbrelor! plus o compozitie reusita! ma mir cum de am scapat-o din vedere?

  • Great 
  • anoop Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 14 W: 1 N: 14] (106)
  • [2005-04-22 2:07]

Simply exquisite! A great photgraph and very uselful notes. Thanks for hsaring.

This African shadow makes me dream...
It is a pure beauty Radu. And the title is very appropriate. Thanks a lot for your wonderful images.

An absolutely stunning photo, Radu. Your note was incredibly helpful. I have always enjoyed shadow theater (our children's museum here has it for the kids to play with) and this is a perfect example. B&W was a perfect choice. Thank you so much for posting.

Stunning work!

  • Great 
  • Pedda Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 41 W: 1 N: 247] (1287)
  • [2005-07-12 4:28]

Hi Radu,

What a magnificent silhouette shot. I like the sunbeams since it adds some lightness to the picture. Nice framing and composition also.


  • Great 
  • wallie (34)
  • [2005-09-01 17:54]

This is very good.

Very very nice.... perfect composer...

Really beautiful, It all been said before.

  • Great 
  • Eric Silver Note Writer [C: 6 W: 0 N: 17] (129)
  • [2005-09-25 10:49]

It's a very oryginal portrait of a giraffe and the atmosphere of this photo is very relaxing.

Wow! I did not see this one, this is a gorgeous shot. I love the silhouette. Perfecto! Paul :)

Hi Radu!
This is really excellent picture. Very interesting composition. I like it very much! TFS. Regards.

  • Great 
  • Joost Silver Note Writer [C: 3 W: 0 N: 20] (98)
  • [2005-10-20 6:08]

Hello Radu,

You were so lucky to have taken this shot. Excellent framing/composition and the absence of many colors makes it a more powerful pic!

This is excellent, Radu! I like the idea and the name most of all.

Great BW picture. Fantastic shot!
Thanks for sharing :-)

  • Good 
  • ridfa Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 89 W: 0 N: 376] (4111)
  • [2005-11-28 11:12]


What a great picture! I love it, the different shades of gray- Wonderful!

  • Great 
  • OWO Silver Note Writer [C: 5 W: 0 N: 18] (120)
  • [2006-01-03 18:17]

No words for this one...just a number: 10

Que c'est beau!

La composition de la photo est superbe, les objets sont tous trčs bien disposés, ainsi que l'animal, les montagnes dans le fond ne font qu'embellir le résultat, un grand BRAVO!!!

Laeti et Pete

First I thought, the sunbeam is disturbing..second view....perfect shot..great..



Beautiful shot, very good the idea of black and withe in a photo like this!
Bye Tom

Excellent silhouette. Well done.

  • Great 
  • osse Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 955 W: 0 N: 89] (7805)
  • [2006-03-12 18:21]

Hi Radu.
Very well done a excellent sillouettes you have giving us.
Thanks for posting.

Very nice shot.

  • Great 
  • luna- (0)
  • [2006-03-29 13:51]

absolutley wonderful picture. wonderful, wonderful.


Very nicely done! You've inspired me!

one of the most magnificent images on TN - just now presented on TN's frontpage for celebration.
Great concept, perfect technics, excellent composition and the one and only title that fits best. Phantastic result.
A most powerful silent poem. Congratulations!
With thanks and best regards,

  • Great 
  • Kevlar (16)
  • [2006-10-10 2:22]

J'adore toute ces nuances de gris , et surtout les silhouettes Great WoW

  • Great 
  • abtinn (0)
  • [2006-11-28 2:31]

tanx for sharing this nice foto

Great silhouette play and wonderful atmosphere. Regards, Yvonne

Hey Radu ,
Your series of African pictures are awesome. Africa has always been very enticing and of great interest to me. Hoping to visit sometime and capture the wildlife and the rich culture!

Wishing you a very happy 2007.

  • Great 
  • optic Gold Star Critiquer [C: 322 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-01-06 16:32]

Outstanding image, fantastic light & composition TFS


Hello Radu.

Excellent picture, nice composition and silouette.

Jose Luis.

Wow, ......this is sooooo very beautiful. The Black and white and excellent choice..its a very powerful shot. Peaceful.. Love it...TFS

Great picture!Everything good until the smallest detail!Wonderfull point of view,excellent sharpness,good positioning of the giraffe.

wonderfull shot and color

great pic, as usual, TFS Ori

  • Great 
  • chanel (0)
  • [2009-01-26 9:55]

Wow, amazing... It would look great on my wall!

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