Happy elephants proudly strutted their stuff all decked out in their finest attire. Their bodies were covered in vibrant designs. This friendly fellow had his face painted with a tiger on his trunk. Notice how the elephant’s eye lines up with that of the tiger on his nose.
The two Rajasthani guys mounted above seemed very intense.
This photo was shot with ambient light set to minus one f/stop and with a Canon 580EX II remote flash set to normal with no exposure compensation. I rigged it with a Harbor Digital 1/8-inch grid modifier for a tight circle of light on the elephant’s face. The unit was held by my Indian assistant a couple meters away at camera right and it was triggered by a Pocket Wizard TT5 radio receiver. I used an AC3 Zone Controller mounted into the hot shoe receptacle of the TT5 so that I could quickly dial in the power intensity as desired.
The festival was crammed with photographers jostling for position so my lighting setup had to be simple, quick and small. To change the diameter of the circle of flash I simply asked my assistant to move forward or backward after checking a test exposure on the camera’s LCD screen.
The image below on the left has no flash fill. In this photo the elephant was walking straight into the sun so the side of his face wasn’t illuminated well without the supplementary flash that you see in the righthand image. Notice how much better the green paint on his face shows up. Setting the ambient exposure down a stop darkened the sky and saturated all the other colors outside the circle of light from the flash, which helped draw the point of focus to the elephant’s face. The idea was not to make the flash fill too noticeable without comparison.
Elephants often indulge themselves in hot pink foot fetish fantasies.
Or in booty beauty to the extreme.
Remote flash can augment elephant heaven.
I’m told that butt bracelets cause pachyderm thrill and that imprinted flowers drive them crazy.
Click the photos below for info about some of the gear I used for images in this blog post.