Photo Tip – A Big Mistake is Chopping Off Animals Above the Feet

During my July trip to Chobe, the park was full of giraffes.  Further, like the elephants, they would come down to the Chobe River at sunset to drink.  After viewing them do this for a few days, I decided I wanted to shoot this event with a large lens so that the compression would yield a large sun setting behind the towering animals.  Well I did it and below is the photo:

Elephants along the Chobe River at Sunset - Copyright 2009: P. B. Eleazer

Elephants along the Chobe River at Sunset - Copyright 2009: P. B. Eleazer - Camera Settings : Canon 30D and Canon 500mm at -2 EV, 1/630sec, ISO 400 and f/8

You may think this is a nice photo.  Well it could have been …. Note the base of the image; I chopped off the feet of the two giraffes.  This leaves an incomplete image, ruining an amazing site and capture.  So, when framing your memory shot, check the edges of the viewfinder frame and don’t chop off the feet!

Photo tips:

  • When composing an image, make sure you check the corners of the viewfinder for composition details like … “are the feet encompassed within the frame?”
  • Using a telephoto lens compresses a landscape.  At sunset, the effect is a very large sun.
  • When shooting into the sun, expect to lower exposure 2 to 3 stops to avoid a colorless “blown” sky.
  • If possible, when shooting into the sun, try to have the animal positioned above the horizon, so it is not lost in the darker, low contrast areas.

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