The species depicted is a Common Waterbuck, found throughout much of Southern Africa. The photo was taken in the Kruger National Park late one afternoon in March 2012 - a few minutes after sunset.
There are two things I want to point out here. The first is obviously the pose - I had a couple that just showed this female's facial portrait outline. They were deleted. This one, a crucial moment in this sighting, is something quirky and I kept it. She was merely trying to ward a fly off by batting her one eyelid, but the photo takes on a whole new implied meaning with this expression, don't you think?
|click on the photo to view at proper resolution and sharpness|
Nikkor 500mm f4 VR-II
f8.0 | 1/1250 SS | ISO-9000
I love being able to make images at these ISO settings, images that are actually usable! Just recently a photo of mine was accepted by Gallo Images, a high profile stock library in South Africa that's affiliated with Getty Images in the USA, which was taken at ISO-7200! The low light capability of the Nikon FX sensor enables me to really push the limits when it comes to photographing in the dusk hours of the day.
Some of you may be thinking that it looks better because it's a downsized and processed photo. There's some truth to that, as downsizing reduces apparent noise and I did run some selective noise reduction on the background - but the clincher for me is not whether there is noise/grain, but what amount of fine detail, contrast and dynamic range is captured at these settings and in these conditions. Here is a 100% crop of the eye, meaning it was cropped down to this resolution of just below 800px wide, no downsizing done and zero other processing done except for my RAW exposure adjustments in Lightroom.
|click on the photo to view at proper resolution|
Yes, there is noise present, but there's also oodles of detail for me to work with.
Folks - trust your cameras! Trust the technology that went into making the sensor and the electronics that convert the light captured into a usable image. Push yourself to make images at times that you previously put the camera down because of "lack of light".
Until next time!