Madhusudhan Srinivasan  

Boswell - The  Stuntman by Madhusudhan Srinivasan

May 2020 - Boswell - The Stuntman

May 2020 - Madhusudhan Srinivasan


About the Image(s)

Boswell - The Stuntman

This big bull is a famous elephant in Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe. I was fortunate to see him and his famous stunt in 2019. He is known to be the first ever elephant to defy gravity and stand on his hind legs to reach for vegetation. Seeing him, there are 6 more followers in the same national park trying same stunt to ensure they get to feed themselves when they run out of easy reach.
It was our day 3 in the park and we were desperate to see this spectacular view which happens to be a signature shot of Mana Pools. Our guide/ranger inquired couple of fellow drivers for whereabouts of Boswell and one driver gave us the hint. We immediately rushed to the area as guided and fortunately, we could locate Boswell. We approached him from almost 500mtrs by foot and closed into him till about 100mtrs. Boswell was relaxing with his family and slowly & steadily, he started becoming comfortable with our presence. As expected, he started to show his signature stunt. On his first go, it was overwhelming for us to witness and obviously I missed couple of shots due to unpreparedness. Gradually, on his 2nd, 3rd and 4th time, we got few good shots and returned to our vehicle giving him space to be with his family undisturbed.
Although the actual shot had many elements in the frame, I decided to isolate this action since I had screwed up my composition as-is by concentrating only on Boswell's act :-).
Any feedback to improve further in PP is most welcome please.

Gears used: Nikon D850, Nikkor 24-120mm @120mm, Handheld
Exif: 1/160, f9, ISO200, Spot Metering

7 comments posted

Jason Stewart   Jason Stewart
In my opinion, you did a great job in post production. A little more of that golden light on the face would have been great but its not something you can change. Excellent opportunity, it must have been amazing to witness!   Posted: 05/01/2020 12:37:03
Madhusudhan Srinivasan   Madhusudhan Srinivasan
Thanks for the comments Jason. Yeah I too wished the lighting on him was a bit better.   Posted: 05/03/2020 15:44:34

Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Bring on the circus ball!!
Talk about being in the right place at the right time--you certainly hit the mark. Your composition is perfect (love the vertical format) and the exposure is right on. I also note your D850 handled the dynamic range quite well.

My suggestion is due to the situation. As always, the eye to drawn like a magnet to the brightest part of the i mage and in this case it is the green tree behind and in front of the elephant. I think i would use an adjustment rush to "slightly" lighten the elephant, and then use the adjustment brush's luminosity mask to select the color of the bright green leaves and make them a bit darker. This two adjustments would have the effect of making the elephant stand out more in the final image.   Posted: 05/05/2020 09:22:42

Michael Weatherford   Michael Weatherford
Wow, that's a wonderful image. IMO, just need to lighten the shadows on the elephant and selectively darken the brighter areas of the background. Use lots of feathering on the darkening so it's not noticeable.   Posted: 05/06/2020 20:00:14

Todd Grivetti   Todd Grivetti
What a balancing act! Remarkable shot Madu. The reach is incredible for these animals. Vertical composition is perfect for this in your cropped version and does this image justice. Looking at your original, it is really washed out, and you did a very nice job working the light, colors, shadows, contrast, highlights, etc. in Post-production. I like the warm hues you added for the afternoon light.

DOF is perfect and I feel that if you were any tighter on the subject, you would have lost some of the elephant. I would also suggest adding a little more light or decreasing the shadows to the face and eye. Even the tusks appear to have some light on them. Use that to your advantage. Very nice image my friend.   Posted: 05/09/2020 13:45:45

Richard Matheny   Richard Matheny
Wonderful Image Madu. I would have taken it in any light and worried about the processing latter. You can always improve an image with today's technology. Everything about the image is spot on except the darkness of the subject. Use the brush to lighten up the animal and darken the surrounding and hang it on the wall/ OK, I would hang it on the wall without that because this is a once in a lifetime shot. Be Proud of this one my friend.   Posted: 05/09/2020 14:45:35

Mark Winter   Mark Winter
A great capture! Patience, or luck, or both always pay off. I like the vertical composition, and the framing with the tree. As the others noted, perhaps a little less show n teh elephant, and some selective darkening. Well done!   Posted: 05/13/2020 16:29:33


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