<< Previous Next >>

Baby Elephant Walk

Baby Elephant Walk
Photo Information
Copyright: Loot Eksteen (loot) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-10-17
Categories: Mammals, Bushveld, River
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 170-500mm f/5-6.3 AF APO Ultra DG, Digital ISO 100, UV 86mm Kenko
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/320 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Kruger National Park - 2006
Theme(s): Baby Animals 3, The pictures more views, Wild Life, Photos with titles of songs(2), Wildlife of Africa, Mammals of Africa, Mammals of Southern Africa II, A study in Mammalogy (mammals) 1, 80-89 Points I, Kruger National Park 1, A - Z of Mammals [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-01-28 16:04
Viewed: 77584
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 88
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Savanna elephant - Loxodonta africana africana

Watching a herd of 43 elephants enjoying the cool water of the Olifants River is sheer pleasure. We where standing on top of the Olifants River bridge crossing this life giving river when the herd approached the water.

It was noticeable that even the adults could hardly contain themselves to behave with dignity befitting a pachyderm of advance years or status. Obviously the young ones just went crazy. They had no brakes and nothing were going to stop them as they charged into the water and started to splash and wrestle with one another.

I remember thinking, at the time, "Which juvenile would mind anything about proper conduct or behaviour when the cool refreshing and inviting waters were calling, on such a scorching hot 36°C afternoon?" Anyway, water was made for enjoyment and enjoyment was what they would get while mom and the herd bully allowed it or where still busy quenching their own thirst. Their elated antics are enough to make even the grumpiest tourist burst out laughing.

Life as a baby Elephant

- Babies are born with an incredible mass of 77-113kg.
- They weight 4% of an adult female's and 2% of an adult male's weight.
- New-borns may consume 11.4 litres of milk a day.

Infancy is a fascinating time for all species. In the case of the elephant life cycle, it is early childhood that is most captivating. Young calves are tended by their mothers and by other females of the herd. Infancy is not only an important time for the young calves, but also for the young mothers-to-be. Through this close interaction and kinship the young females develop necessary skills required for motherhood.

They are amazingly social creatures and this particular period in development plays an important educational period for babies while their brains develop and they learn important survival and cultural knowledge.

Due to a calf's fairly underdeveloped brain, they are very much like a blank slate which must be shaped over the upcoming years. In this way they are quite similar to humans and many of the other great apes since a great deal of brain development goes on outside of the womb. This opens worlds of possibility for complex learning, social development, and the formation of culture. In this situation a species tends to rely less upon instinctual behaviours and more upon socially learned behaviours within each individual's genetic boundary. It is the close contact and relationship between adult and calf that allows knowledge to be acquired and processed.

The major activity infants are involved in is feeding, resting and travelling. Within the first 3 months of birth, their food intake is typically provided solely by the mother. Up to 2 years, the calf is very nutritionally dependent on the mother. After 2 years, the shift of emphasis is upon independent feeding despite the fact that the mother's milk remains an important part of a calf's diet.

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0.

stevkds, lovenature, Adanac, jeanpaul, simon182, annagrace, Janice, coasties, saeedabbasi, ellis49, manyee, dew77, horia, badar, Alex99, Aaltjie, RAP, Leace, blakitan, cecilia, Dyker, scottevers7, jmp, Shoot_Score, pilonm, ramthakur, SkyF, peter_stoeckl, marhowie, SunToucher, hester, ScottHale, oscarromulus, betsie, Miss_Piggy, Rehanna has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
Animal Behaviouringridshaul 1 12-25 02:53
To Aaltjie: Limited but bulging bagloot 1 02-18 21:55
To Shoot_Score: No willowloot 1 01-30 22:47
To RAP: Croppingloot 1 01-29 14:09
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Hi Loot.
Nice capture with excellent sharpness and colours. Good work. Tfs.

Hi Loot
What great notes!
This young elephant is so cute and you caught him in the water cooling off. Nicely framed in his natural surroundings. It looks like you captured this moment in mid day and the lighting turned out very well. The wet skin shows the pattern of his skin rather well. A wonderful portrait of this baby Elephant. Thanks for sharing this little darling today.

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-01-28 17:02]

Hi Loot,
What a wonderful capture of this priceless baby. I love how he has his trunk twisted. The capture itself is awesome with great detail, color and atmosphere. Thanks for sharing.

Salut Loot
Un beau portrait de ce gros spécimen.Félicitations pour les détails.

Merci et au revoir...JP

What a cutie!
Love the detail and texture of his leathery skin. Sounds like you enjoyed taking this photo and will always remember this fun moment. Well done.


Wow, I had a 4 kg. baby and it about killed me! Thank God for c-sections!

Wonderful image of a precious baby. You are so lucky to live so close!


  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-01-28 19:26]

Bonita y original escena, buenos detalles y agradables momentos, magnífica luz y pov. saludos Loot.

Hi Loot,
It seems all babies are cute in their own ways, but there is just something so endearing about a baby elephant. A friend was telling me about an organization that is working to rid an area in Africa of land mines because they have disrupted an important elephant migration route. She couldn't remember which country. Do you know?

This is a great shot. Sounds as if you got to witness something pretty special.
I hope you are feeling better.

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-01-28 22:00]

Hello Loot

A wonderful photo of this young one splashing in the water.Wow 36C we almost hit -36C the other day.Much warmer now ,it's only -20C.I can't get over the textures and clarity of this shot.Excellent DOF and POV.The shot is well focused with very nice colour.Super Job.TFS


hi loot,
excellent capture of this lovely baby elephant enjoying water,
nicely composed shot,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2007-01-28 22:26]

Loot, you win here on the cute factor... I love seeing these miniature baby elephants, and the wetness shows up all her wrinkles and bits and pieces so well. Well captured MF.

Hi Loot

A monster baby, but still cute! I love the twist at the end of it's trunk. Great note too. It must have been a great sight! Thank you MF... a lovely shot. :-)

Hi dear Loot ,
very nice image.
excellent light and sharpness.
great colors.
great work.
thanks and regards dear Loot .

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2007-01-29 1:29]

That must have been quite a sight to behold... and to cherish.
I can just see you and Anna watching the elephants play, with a big smile on your faces. What a joyful event that must have been.
I bet you wanted to get in and join them too, though that might have been a tad dangerous. ; P
About your notes: I recently watched a National Geographic Special called "In the Womb", and they showed the development of an elephant fetus in utero. Fascinating stuff.
About your shot: It is amazing. The focus and exposure on it are such that I can feel the wetness on the wrinkled skin. And you could not have gotten a more perfect POV of this little one in the middle of the water. He has managed to get himself completely wet. There is not a single dry spot on him. That is quite a feat.
Very cute stance and pose.
TFS. ; )

  • Great 
  • ddg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 867 W: 24 N: 1008] (5507)
  • [2007-01-29 3:11]

Bonjour Loot, la lumiere sur ce bébé elephant venant de prendre son bain de boue est parfaite et vous avez choisi le bon moment pour shoter! Beaucoup de mouvement egalement dans cette photo, félicitations, Didier.

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2007-01-29 3:46]

Hello Loot,
Funny capture,he seems very cute.Exposure is spot on,details are crisp clear and razorsharp.I liked POV,lighting and moment you caught also a lot.Excellemt work!

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-01-29 4:29]

Hi Loot

What a spirit-lifting story!
Only reading this made me smile and cheered me up...i can't begin to imagine what i would feel if i would experiance this live...
Baby elephants are really cute and playful, especially if they are in their natural environment.
This "little" one from you picture seems just that - full of life and enjoying every second of it!
The POV here is great and the natural colors are lovely.
A truely wonderful post, my friend!

Bravo and TFS

  • Great 
  • badar Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 106 W: 0 N: 160] (785)
  • [2007-01-29 4:51]

Hi Loot,
This little fellow seems to be really enjoying himself, who would not as you have very aptly said.
Badruddin Ali

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-01-29 6:45]

Hi Loot.
Really extraordinary of quality and subject picture. Bravo, superb done.

I love at this shot everything. Razor sharpness, rich and clear at high range colours, reproduction of all details of the animal, water, vegetation. Reproduction of the motion and mood of childhood are simply perfect as well as the whole composition and cropping.

Thank you for your very interesting note too.
My best wishes and TFS.

Hallo my friend

U bent op een rol. Het gaan van sterkte naar sterkte Telkens als ik uw foto's bekijk ben ik verbaasd van het begin.

Hey my friend, how many super photo’s do you have in your bag?

Heeft, enkel gewild dit zeggen ben een schitterende scène. Een geheugen ben ik zeker u en uw vrouw niet gemakkelijk zou vergeten. Ik keer aan Zuid-Afrika in deze week terug, en als u ziet ben ik aan de vrij kant, kent u de reden. Het elk van beste, tot ik de kans heb om uw foto's te onderzoeken nogmaals.

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2007-01-29 13:10]
  • [+]

Acostumbrado a captar con mi lente insecto y flores de pocos gramos, ver con tanta claridad y definición un bebé coloso que alcanzará varias toneladas como este es impactante estimado amigo.
Gran punto de vista para retratar a este maravilloso ejemplar con luminosidad y foco, que brindan colores intensos y naturales.
Pregunta... el original no permitía ver más de la reflexión del elefante sobre el agua?.
Gracias y mis mejores saludos... Ricardo

Accustomed to capture with my lens insect and flowers of few grams, to see with so much clarity and definition a baby colossus that will reach several tons like this is impacting dear friend.
Great point of view to depict to this wonderful sample with brightness and focus that offer intense and natural colors.
question... didn't the original allow to see more than the reflection of the elephant on the water?.
Thanks and best regards... Ricardo

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2007-01-29 14:46]

Hello Loot , What a beauty baby olifant , lovely shot , great compositie colours details exelent work tfs ,Greetings Teunie .

Hi Loot,
Very cute baby elephant. Exposure was well managed in capturing its wet and shiny skin.
Superb sharpness with great details.
Excellent shot.

Ben Lakitan

Quality image, as are lots in your portfolio. Outstanding!!!

  • Great 
  • Dyker Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 136 W: 0 N: 57] (170)
  • [2007-01-30 1:04]

Hello Loot
Thanks for this bonus in the small package as I told you elephants are my favourites. You really made a good posting here and I must say that I really fancy this photo. Straight to my favourites it goes. You got good colours and sharp focus all around, but it peaks on the baby elephant with its wet skin and even with the water around its legs as well. Very nice light and composition.

Hi Loot,
An excellent capture on this young elephant. A very good exposure has the colors and detail looking superb. You have managed the bright light perfectly. A high cutness factor is in play here. Elephants are amazing creatures.

Hi Loot,
this is a high quality shot with great details and sharpness.
You took this in a perfect moment when he is moving in the water. The exposure is also very good.
Beautiful work, my friend.

HI loot
great capture of this cute baby elephant!
colours,sharpness and composition are great
best regards

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-01-30 16:09]

Hi Loot,
Extremely well focused and very natural colours make of this photo a very good portrait. Ligh reflection on the wet skin is specially attractive. Excellent notes of thi so social creautures.
Best regards,
José M.

Hierdie foto is baie goed Loot! Daardie vel op dees olifant is so pragtig! Lots of detail in that shiny skin! Wragtig pragtig oomblik!

Is that a willowlike bush in the b/g? I like the way you framed this youngster. Great shot of a special moment! Just look at the brown on the ear and in the water. Do we see the start of some tusks? You know where it will be featured, if we do! ;) Tfs! Groetnis, J.

PS Great to see this habitat also.

  • Great 
  • pilonm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 588 W: 90 N: 975] (3321)
  • [2007-01-31 12:14]

Hello Loot,

As long as we can see elephant in the wild I will keep hope facing the future of african wildlife... This baby is very nice and so cute... Being on a bridge explain that pov where the elephant is lower than you... Maybe using a higher speed than 1/320s, you wil have the trunk not blurred... I like very much the reflection of light on his wet skin...

Good picture and TFS,


Hi Loot,
You talk about juvenile behaviour and I face 800 varieties of them every day to earn my bread, and sometimes butter too!
The excitement and sheer glee in the look of this young elephant is unmistakable in this fantastic picture. I love it!
The picture is technically superb. The focus is extra sharp, the details, especially of the folds on the skin, are perfect and the depth of view gives a three-dimensional look to the subject.
How are you keeping now? Please take care of yourself.

Hello Loot,
very well composed lively portrait. I like the very well captured straightforward motion in water, the wet skin shining in the bright sun, the muddy colours in contrast to the mirrored sky in the water. Excellent notes, again.
Thank you! Best regards,

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-02-01 14:40]

Hi Loot,
this little baby looks like it has a wonderful time out in the mud, but which infant does not. Grea shot, the wet look does show of the details in the skin so well. Great POV and the colors are well saturated.
Great work.

Hello Loot,
Baby animals are always endearing, and this shot is no exception..
Great action shot with just enough blur to show movement, with the subject well focused.
Very good color, exposure, and I like the animals wet skin texture so well seen :)
Well done mf.

  • Debz Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 505 W: 0 N: 847] (3307)
  • [2007-02-08 15:47]

As a new member, I am just browsing everyone's shots. What a wonderful image to see a happy baby elephant! You don't need my critique but I just want to say Fabulous, lovely.



Hi Loot,
With temperatures this high, even the inner child in me will take the overhand and makes me go crazy in cool water. I hope that this will stay for the rest of my life, since it would be a huge sign of getting old once I've lost it.

The playfulness in this photo is clearly visable, especially if you look at its trunk. Due to the wet skin, the details came out even better and made the look of the young one nice and shiny. Wonderful work on the composition and the DOF. Colors and light are perfect and the details are extreemly good.

A very cute shot of this baby elephant, it really looks like he's having the time of his life and you captured it so well. :)

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2007-02-19 13:02]

Hi Loot

I missed this cute fellow. Lovely shot, I love all the wonderful textures in the wet skin. Lovely light and colours and a great composition. This looks like a great idea for a hot day



  • gerhardt Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1936 W: 244 N: 4106] (11620)
  • [2007-02-23 8:02]

Hi Loot,

This is a subject with a very high cuteness factor. The flip side to the cuteness is that it is very difficult to get a decent composition. You did very well given the busy BG to isolate the subject.

My only nit would be the slight motion blur on the head.

Very well done.

The detail and the use of light here is incredible.
This is a perfect example of the use of light and texture.
If you would have laughed out loud, would it have startled them and made them charge you?
This is definitely worthy of an enlargement, yet, so many of yours are!

What a WONDERFUL occassion you are sharing with the world.
Such detail. One can "see" that this register is not from a zoo. The wilderness is very well obvious.
A lot of detail my friend; even the tiny hairs on the eye
can be seen CLEARLY.
Such GREAT photography.!!! Congratulations.

Hi Loot,

What a beauty. Has she/he here/his eyes closed???? So sharp, colorful is this photo. The BG is a little bit soft (not to), but that's make this capture so nice. Well done. regards and TFS Bob

Beautiful shot. Good composition. The baby looks really cute.

Hallo Loot
Nice scenery you captured here, showing us this baby elephant, enjoying itself in the water. I remember this scene so well, and enjoyed so much to see the little elephants playing among one another in the water. It was very delightful to see the interaction they have with one another. They rolled each other over in the water, tried to "dip" one another just like children would do and one could see that they are really enjoying the fun in the sun. Even from a distance the wetness on the body shows the patterns of his skin pretty well. You brought out the atmosphere and view we experienced that day out well in this photograph. A wonderful portrait of this baby elephant.

Dear Loot
I add a few comments - to your interesting notes - from "The Trials of Life" by the great man, David Attenborough:

"...Climbing up a steep bank or trying to extricate itself from a mud hole is likely to produce squeals of distress from the infant and the adults will rush over to see what is wrong. As time goes by, the mother seems to become a little blase about these shrieks for attention and lets the still enthusiastic females fuss over the infant...

...A female elephant does not breed until she is about ten years old. If there is a drought...she may have to wait a long time for a baby on her own. But her maternal instincts develop early and if a calf has a problem... she will rushed to help it usually watched by its mother."

We all do adore young animals of any kind (may be not millipedes!)- but a baby elephant produces definitely the aah factor. I find it particularly amusing, when very young babies throw each leg more outwards than forwards, which produces the most odd endearing gait.

I can not find anything to say about your perfect photographic technique,which has not yet been written by other admirers of your excellent work.

Enjoy the rest of this day with your family,
warm regards

Calibration Check