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Red-Faced Rhino

Red-Faced Rhino
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: 2006-10-14
Categories: Mammals, Bushveld
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 170-500mm f/5-6.3 AF APO Ultra DG, Digital ISO 400, UV 86mm Kenko
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/20 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Travelogue: Kruger National Park - 2006
Theme(s): Wild Life, Wildlife of Africa, Mammals of Africa, jmp *1, Mammals of Southern Africa II, A study in Mammalogy (mammals) 1, 80-89 Points I, Kruger National Park 1 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-02-01 19:31
Viewed: 10833
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 82
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
White rhino - Ceratotherium simum simum

The morning we left Crocodile Bridge it was dark, misty, and overcast. I did not have much hope for any photographic endeavours until much later the morning when the mist and hopefully the cloudy conditions would clear. However, travelling northward on the H4-2 Gomondwane Road, we were barely out of the gate when we met with this red-faced spectacle.

At first I thought it futile to even try to shoot this guy, but fortunately we live in the age of digital technology and I could optimistically select a fitting ISO setting for the conditions. So, I selected ISO400 just to end up rather disappointed again because even at F/5.6 the best shutter speed I could muster was a meagre 1/20 of a second. Remember, there is no possibility of using a tripod while sitting inside your car and since I don't have the reputation of a "cool-hand-Luke" I did not really have much hope of any success. Call it deviance, call it ignorance, but I decided that I will shoot this funny looking guy with the red-face and just hope for the best.

I could not believe the results though. Apart from the slightly bright surrounding habitat the outcome was rather pleasing since the rhino was well in focus, far beyond my wildest expectations. Obviously, because of the lack of light and the effort to compensate for the dark subject, the contrasting and reflective dry grass lit up a tad too much, but I would be the last one to complain with the final product.

Cool facts about Rhinos

- By 1895, the southern white rhino was considered extinct throughout its African range.
- By 1920, a small population of 20-50 animals was found in the Umfolozi region of South Africa.
- During the early 20th century, Umfolozi & Hluhluwe parks initiated breeding programmes to restore populations. Today, virtually every southern white rhino in the world (more than 8,000) are descended from individuals from those reserves.
- The merged Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park is home to ±18% white rhinos and ±17% black rhinos in the world.
- There are two subspecies of white rhino in Africa: the northern rhino (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) and the southern one (Ceratotherium simum simum).
- In 1900, the discovery of a northern population of white rhinos in the Uele district of the Congo Basin was met with relief and enthusiasm by biologists who wanted to ensure a future for the ancient herbivores.
- The northern sub-species are extremely rare and in 2000 it was estimated that there might be only 36 of these animals left. At least 30 of these were located in Garamba National Park located in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Over the last 2½ years rampant poaching amid civil disorder has reduced the northern white rhino to between 5 and 10 animals. The remainder is surviving in the Sudan, but they are no longer a viable population either.
- None of the existing five rhinoceros species have secure futures, but today the White Rhino is perhaps the least endangered.

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0.

JoseMiguel, lovenature, Janice, dew77, ellis49, Adanac, Argus, lgfoto, njmv79, scottevers7, jmp, simon182, SkyF, saeedabbasi, RAP, blakitan, Shoot_Score, manyee, Dyker, Alex99, peter_stoeckl, marhowie, Aaltjie, saguzar, Watershed, anel, snowfalken, Miss_Piggy, vanderschelden, Rehanna, betsie, devildoc has marked this note useful
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Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Aaltjie: Welcome backloot 1 02-18 22:02
To peter_stoeckl: The star of the showloot 1 02-16 18:56
To manyee: Red-faced spectacleloot 1 02-16 18:48
To ramthakur: Don't scratch my backloot 1 02-16 18:32
To simon182: Workshoploot 1 02-16 18:02
To jmp: Extreme prejudiceloot 1 02-16 17:51
To Argus: Oxpecker mobile habitatloot 1 02-16 17:30
To JoseMiguel: No woundsloot 1 02-16 17:14
To lovenature: No blusherloot 1 02-16 17:08
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Loot
It looks like this Rhino has been in the Red Ocher by the red colour on his face and body. (The natives around here used Red Ocher for painting their face, clothing etc. I wonder if it's a similar type rock.) I love the composition of your Rhino, especially the little bird sitting on his back. I like that his head is a bit angled so as to really get a good look at his large horn. The detail of your image is sharp. Your note explaining the Rhino is good but a bit sad.
TFS Janice

The details look great even on the oxpecker. I think you did a fabulous job with the settings Loot. :)

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2007-02-01 22:14]

Hi Loot, after all your worrying, you managed to shoot him really well. Very good focus showing us his wrinkles and colours. And the little bird is fairly clear to see too. Well done and I'll give you a big smiliey too. TFS

Hi Loot,
An excellent capture in these conditions! Nice composition and good colors. Details are wonderful and we can even see the texture of the skin. The little oxpecker is a bonus!
Very well done and TFS!

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2007-02-02 2:36]

Hello Loot,
What a capture.I liked POV,clear details,sharpness,moment you caught,framing and composition a lot.Little bird on red face increased the worth of value.Excellent work!

Hi Loot,
this a beautiful animal you habe caught. May he turn red in the face since you have nice to him and told him he looks lovely. ;-)
WEll composed, good details and exposure.
You must have tromg arms and be steady like rock, no need for an IS. ;-) A great not as usual. I feel sorry for these animals.
Great work, my friend.

Hi Loot,
I think this is an extraordinary capture of this couple, the rino and the little buddie visiting him.
The texture got on the skin is amazing, and also the orange tones around the eye.
Do you know if the rhino was wounded? It seems to have blood right over...perhaps it was the result of a fight.
You did a great job, despite the low light you mention. The exposure on the rhino was the right one.
Very interesting and informative your note.
I congratulate you sincerely for this photo and the effort to get it,
My best regards,

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-02-02 7:22]

Hi Loot,
Excellent work on this capture, colors are great, details are tack sharp, composition fabulous, all around a winner.

Coool shot Loot. I like the composition and colours.TFS

Hello Loot,

It looks like your trip a wondeful ending to capture this wonderful couple, I really like the details of the bird and the big one, The colors Bg POV are stunning, excllent work, TFS Kyle

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  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-02-02 9:50]
  • [+]

Great shot of a Red-billed Oxpecker in its natural habitat, Loot!
That you captured its habitat sharply and composed it well is of course secondary.
I just wonder if the rhino has been rubbing itself on a salt-lick as the cause of the redness?
TFS and best wishes,

Hello Loot, great portrait wish I had the opportunity to be so close to this animal, your note also is very good, thank you,

Hi Loot,
Amazingly sharp for the slow shutter speed you needed to use here. You got the exposure on the Rhino perfectly. Great colors and texture shown in that thick hide. Very well composed and framed. The soft, low, shadowless light really was tricky, but you did great. The bird on top hust really caps this one perfectly. Nice camera work!

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-02-02 16:27]
  • [+]

Hi Loot,
What a really good portrait! Tripod-like sharpness, excellent exposure over the rhino and and outstanding pose. Half animal visible gives a powerful aspect to the portrait that may be pure autosuggestion, prejudice for the quality of the author or a refined skill in eye-catching portraits.
Anyway I definitely like this portrait!
TFS, José M.

Bonjour Lott
Elle est magnifique cette photo de ce beau rhino blanc . De bien belles couleurs et un sujet parfaitement mis en evidence. Félicitations
Au revoir et merci...JP

Love this guy and his little friend!
Must have been an amazing moment. He looks like he's definitely the boss of the area!
You've obviously done really well in the situation and got yourself a wonderful keeper. It's so sharp, with such a low shutter it's phenomenal!
I had a little play in photoshop for you not that there's anything wrong with the photo I just wanted to see what I could in CS2 being a newbie and all, I'll post the result!
TFS this great work,
I'd love to be out there shooting, you're very lucky.

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-02-02 19:05]

Hi Loot,
a steady hand you have my friend, gutsy move, but the results are wonderful. Great details and textures and the sharpness is excellent. You even got the little bird very well.
Great work.

One of the most beautiful photos a've seen in my life!

Hi dear Loot ,
great details with excellent light and composition.
nice colors.
perfect work.
thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2007-02-03 5:40]

Una imagen captada en la intimidad del entorno de este imponente mamífero Loot con muy buenos detalles de agudeza, foco y texturas de su particular piel, con la iluminación necesaria y la difusión correcta del segundo plano de la escena.
Los distintos colores que presenta son inusuales en fotos de estos animales con buen encuadre y el bonus del ave sobre su espalda.
Gracias y saludos... Ricardo

An image captured in the intimacy of the environment of this imposing mammal Loot with very good details of sharpness, focus and textures of their particular skin, with the necessary illumination and the correct diffusion of the background of the scene.
The different colors that it presents they are unusual in pictures of these animals with good framing and the bonus of the bird on their back.
Thank you and best regards... Ricardo

Hello Loot,
You have managed really very well with the camera settings for this shot. The focus on the subject is quite sharp and that is what matters the most.
The details and the "red" appearance of the rhino are very well captured. I envy the bird using the rhino as a steed. Coming from a rural area in India, I have seen this kind of scenario umpteenth times.
'I scaratch your back,' says the bird to the rhino,'but YOU don't scratch mine.' Ha, ha!
Thanks for sharing this wonderful picture.
Best regards,

Hi Loot,
This is a mutualistic relationship between rhino and the bird, greatly captured.
Light condition seems very intense, but you had managed it very nicely.
Great shot, my friend.

Ben Lakitan

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-02-03 22:38]

Hi Loot

Awesome capture of this big fellow.The DOF and POV are very good.Excellent details and colours.It must be amazing to see one of these big creatures.TFS


Geez Loot, I would have thought that ole Neushoorn here might have smiled for yer camera! Has he not heard about you and your febbelous gallery on TrekNature? Someone should tell him, so next time you don't have to portray such a sad-sock face!

Colours are oustanding on that big bugger. The cleaner-bird is a nice touch! I guess a gul would have been out of place?

Thanx for sharing this gorgeous shot! Hierdie foto baie mooi! Dankie, J.

WOW, Loot... You really nailed this one. : )
Despite the difficult conditions that you mentioned, this shot turned out to be outstanding (as usual). I can practically "feel" the bumps on his rough skin, and he jumps out of the BG. The POV could not be any better, and such a close look at this "spectacle" is a thrill.
Oh, and the bird on his back is a real bonus. : )
Question: Why is he red-faced? Does he come like that?
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • Dyker Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 136 W: 0 N: 57] (170)
  • [2007-02-04 6:04]

Hello Loot
This guy rather looks argumentative as he probably did not have a good nights sleep and was rolling around all night in the red-ochre soil. What a spectacle, as you said. You nailed this photo very well with nice clear details showing and lovely colours. I also like your composition with the rhino peeking from around the dead tree in the foreground. The little oxpecker seems to enjoy the ride and it makes me think of the “Beauty and the Beast” idea.
Good work under very difficult conditions.

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  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-02-04 8:01]

Hi Loot.
What an exactness of the selection DOF. All objects in front of and behind of the animal are out of focus and whole image of rhino is sharp. I also like the great level of reproduction of the animal skin. We can see all story of his life. Small bird on its back is small piquant detail. Very nice composition. My best regards and TFS.

Hello Loot,
what a profile, what an encounter. Just appearing in its majestic size from half hidden in vegetation, and that bird sitting on its shoulders, the script for a film presentation could not have been made better. The deep rusty red hues in powerful darkness stand in perfect contrast to the pale misty greens around. The profile could not have been approached and composed ina better way. Details are perfectly well focussed and clear - no trace of any motion blur from very long exposure hand held. Excellent shot!
Thank you! Best regards,

Sharp shot Loot, excellent DOF isolating the subject well.
Very good color, POV, exposure, detail. Great technique to pull it off at 1/20th, and the birdie adds that special touch..Mr White Rhino even seems to be giving ya the eye ;)
Very well done.

My friend
We arrived in South Africa on Sunday, and I can could not resist the temptation to have a peek at your new photo.
Stunning like usual. How I wish I was that litte bird that goes for a free ride, so much to see.
I'll chat to you again soon, and I am awaiting to see your next posting. I am sure it will be as delightful as all the others.
Take care of yourself.
God Bless

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  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2007-02-07 11:53]

Hi Loot,

A wonderfull capture of a red rhino (unfamiliair to me,lol),sharp shot despite the slow shutterspeed,you really got a steady grip,for us the countdown has now really started and 10 days from now we will be in the plane to Nelspruit,Think it will be a temperature shock for us as it is -10C outside at this moment,after some reading in tips and tricks to photograph from a car I bought myself a beanbag to avoid camerashake as much as possible and to replace the tripod,I think it will work quite good although I think you will have to practice a bit to get used to this,anyway you will see some results in a few weeks on TN,


Hi Loot,
I just can say marvelous. I love this beautiful picture, with excellent definition and plenty of perfect details, specially in rhino skin.
No more words for today, photo tells all.

Hello Loot,
the shot is really detailed and we can see clearly the imperfections of the skin even if taken at 1/20, as you said.
The red billed oxpecker on the top of the rhino completes the composition.
It is nice to see such big mammals!
Well done and TFS

Sorry for delay, I forgot it :)

Your exposure and focus were right on for that rhino. He is perfect. Focus was probably helped by not being fully extended on you lens. My Sigma 80-400 is fabulous when not fully extended. Backgrounds can be dealt with later. Have you a bean bag? I made one about 10inches by 7inches by 4 inches, filled with soybeans. It works SO WELL on the edge of the window when shooting from inside a vehicle. It is also quick to use on the hood of the vehicle too.

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • viv Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 292 W: 3 N: 653] (3317)
  • [2007-02-08 16:27]

Hello Loot,
You have to be lucky to see the rhino so close and you are a very lucky man I think.
Great shot in spite off the lesser weather conditions. Great shot and with the red billed oxpecker it is extra special.
I love it.

Hi Loot,
A wonderful shot with very good details! The colours of this photograph are perfect, I really like it.
Well done and thanks for sharing ;-)

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2007-02-11 11:14]

Hi Loot,
It seems that I missed this picture which I appreciate a lot for its interesting composition and the natural colours. A plus is also the little bird on the rhino's back.Excellent shot indeed.
Best regards

Hello Loot,

Outstanding capture for a 1/20 sec handheld shot! Your photographic endeavor was definitely worth the try since this photo is the result!
A shame that people hunted these magnificent animals to such a degree that they become virtually extinct. I know that even from small communities it is very difficult to increase their population and the descending individuals may suffer from genetic diseases due to inbreeding. Even such a rehabilitated population has a dim future, like cheetahs who are, according to scientists, doomed to extinction. Let's hope that future generations will at least stop poaching and hunting rhinos, just to give them a chance to live.
The composition of your picture is very good and the eye-contact excellent. Somehow I can see the future of this guy in his eyes. The look in his eyes seems sad to me but you also captured great catchlights which I like to believe represent the sparkling hopes of all animal lovers that wish to see this species rehabilitated.
In spite of the very slow shutter speed you achieved very good results with great, sharp details. The great exposure created soft shadows. Maybe there are a few small areas in the shadows where details might be lost but this is a minor point. And just to put the cherry on the cake you also captured a cute bird on the rhino's back. Maybe this is a silent witness of the sad story of the great white rhino.
Congratulations on this picture and thank you for showing it to us!

With Friendly Regards,

Hello Loot,
Impressive Rhino shot. Very 'colorful':).
Very enjoyable wildlife photo.

Hallo Loot
The photo is very sharp and detailed indeed, and I can only say marvellous photography. It is an great capture with definition and plenty of perfect details, specially on the skin. You have once again proofed that you’re an outstanding photographer looking at the end result, with the weather conditions not very favourable for photography that day. A powerful animal very well captured. The little oxpecker going for a free ride is a bonus. Interesting and very educational note as always. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your day.

An excellent capture in these conditions! Nice composition and good colors.

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