Critique Style Requested: Initial Reaction

Please share your immediate response to the image before reading the photographer’s intent (obscured text below) or other comments. The photographer seeks a genuinely unbiased first impression.

Questions to guide your feedback

It was my hope of getting such an image that motivated me to have my Sony a7 converted to Infrared by Kolari Vision.

Other Information

Please leave your feedback before viewing the blurred information below, once you have replied, click to reveal the text and see if your assessment aligns with the photographer. Remember, this if for their benefit to learn what your unbiased reaction is.

Image Description

Perhaps the most famous wild Elephant in Africa, I took this image of Craig, a 52-year-old bull, where he was feeding just outside of Amboseli National Park in Kenya.

Technical Details

Sony a7 converted to Infrared, Sony 24-70mm f/4 lens at 25mm, manual exposure, f/8 at 1/250th, ISO 400.

1 Like

Imposing. Intimidating. Curious.

Those are the attributes that came to me first. With the ears in that position, it seems like this big fella was relatively calm and not looking to stamp you to death. Or your camera. He is just wonderful. Almost as old as I am. Certainly more famous and more of a presence. I’m not sure about the banding in the sky - could be compression related. I like the sepia tones here, since they aren’t done often with wildlife. The texture in the skin and tusks is just a joy to behold.

1 Like

One great photo. The tone and texture is perfect. !!!

1 Like

Great subject and stunning POV here ! That is the only elephant I know by name !
I’m keen to know, why you opted for infrared treatment? I’m ok with sepia toning in elephant and trees but it is not suiting (deep sepia) the sky and there is banding too.

HI Charles,

My first thought was how this image shows a “Bigger than Life” presence.
I didn’t get the feeling that Craig was threatening in any way, I’m sure he’s very used to people with cameras.

After reading your comments about who this fella is, I thought there must be a few videos of him and I wasn’t disappointed, I felt compelled to watch a couple of them.
It’s very interesting that he’s known as a “Super Tusker” and it’s sad that there are only 25 or so super tuskers left.

Then I thought that this guy must be one of the most photographed elephants in history.
Your IR image must be at least somewhat unique.

I really like the low perspective and the colors are very pleasing, I’m a fan of sepia tones so this works well for me.

Thanks for sharing this because it also serves as further inspiration to have one of my older cameras like the Sony a6000 converted to IR, I’m undecided on which way to go, I don’t know if I should have a full conversion done or have it converted to a specific wavelength. I should carefully read Tony Sweet’s article on Infrared again (posted here on NPN just a few days ago).

Thanks! :slight_smile:

Interesting about the banding comments. I did not see them on my screen until I looked at it from a higher angle, but I know it has to do with the difficulty in processing IR images. I am posting another image of Craig today, which I spent a great deal of time processing in preparation for printing in large format. I will ask if anyone sees banding in it.

I also photographed him with my Sony a1 in color. But I think the IR image has much more impact. Note my comment above about banding, and do look at the image of Craig I’m posting today, which was much more carefully processed.

Now I found this one – wonderful perspective and an amazing subject!!! And an interestingly different take with IR! I love it!! I think the issue with the sky can be fixed with re-processing.