About the Author

Tristan Cooke

Writer

Tristan is a Zimbabwean born journalist. He grew up moving farms in his home country and moved to South Africa to attend Rhodes University. With a passion for wildlife it was a natural progression that he gravitated to Londolozi. He now works in ...

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37 Comments

on Photography Series episode 1: The Ranger’s eye

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Christa Blessing
Master Tracker

Great photos, Chris!

Chris Taylor
Ranger

Thank you Christa. I hope you are keeping well.

William Paynter
Digital Tracker

Thanks for sharing your photographic techniques Chris. I really enjoyed the Rhino study.

Chris Taylor
Ranger

I’m glad you enjoyed it, William. The rest of the series should be great to follow in the coming weeks too.

Francesca Doria
Master Tracker

Wow! You are masters of photo editing! Wonderful

Tristan Cooke
Writer

Thank you Francesca. We are so privileged to be able to pursue photography in these wild spaces. It means we get to practice the art of editing on a day to day basis. As with Chris’ edits here, the practice tells!

Chelsea Allard
Digital Tracker

This series is such a great idea, and this was a wonderful start. I love the thought process behind each version.

Tristan Cooke
Writer

I’m glad you like it Chelsea. Each blog will bring something different to the table, and I can’t wait to engage over episode 2!

Willa Stanger
Explorer

Superb idea to show the different iterations of the rhino study. Thanks for the expertise sharing.

Tristan Cooke
Writer

Thanks Willa, I’m glad I could capture Chris’ perspective on rhino photography. He really does know his stuff! I hope that episode 2 will be equally compelling!

Marcia Parker
Digital Tracker

It is a great photo that I had favorited awhile back. I like the contrast of the oxpecker color against the grey skin, and also the way it highlights the massive size of the rhino. And although it is obviously a photograph of a rhinoceros, the cropping gives it a quality for me where it becomes something more…like I’m staring into the eyes of a prehistoric past. 🤩

Tristan Cooke
Writer

I love your insight Marcia, it does feel as if you are delving into an old time, with the help of a new lens. The crop brings incredible detail to the shot and I found myself fixed to the image searching for meaning.

Susan Young
Explorer

Fabulous Photos, love the Rhino. You make it look so easy. Thank you

Chris Taylor
Ranger

Thank you Susan. Sometimes, with a bit of luck, you get what you are looking for in a photo and this was one of those moments.

Linda Rawles
Digital Tracker

So interesting – a true artist! And thanks for bringing focus on the rhino in more ways than one.

Tristan Cooke
Writer

I completely agree Linda! Chris’ eye for photography is matched by his love for the rhino. The feeling in this image is tangible. I hope that you will follow along and are as captured by episode 2.

Valmai Vorster
Master Tracker

Chris your photography is stunning and how you edit the foto’s is interesting. I loved each foto of the rhino and how you edited each one. The last foto in Black and white and the oxpeckers colour that come out is so stunning. Thanks for sharing Chris, much appreciated.

Chris Taylor
Ranger

Thank you Valmai. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

Mary Beth Wheeler
Guest contributor

I thoroughly enjoyed your discussion of the evolution of this rhino photo – especially the whys of the edits made. I’m looking forward to more tips in this series.

Tristan Cooke
Writer

It brings me joy to know you enjoyed the discussion Mary. Being able to speak to brilliant photographers, I am learning so much and I hope to really dive into the why’s of stunning imagery. It is incredible to bring to light the inspiration behind an artist’s creation. Can’t wait to release episode 2!

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

Fantastic way to begin this series Chris. I find your rhino shot and edits fascinating. Ultimately, I like the last edit, using the oxpecker’s colors in the monochrome image. How did you add the colors? It’s fortunate you were able to repeat the front view shot using a smaller aperture-

Tristan Cooke
Writer

Thank you for your kind words Denise, Chris will be available to comment soon. In the meantime I found an interesting youtube tutorial on how to add selective colour to an image. I hope that you find this interesting and I look forward to engaging over episode 2!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RH2NW-jjrtQ

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

Thank you Tristan for the link. I’ll check it out and try it with one I have with a rhino/Buffalo and their oxpeckers. How do you like your Nikon Mirrorless? I have a Nikon d850 and Sony A7r4 – I enjoy both but love the eye tracking feature of the Sony!

Tristan Cooke
Writer

I’m interested to see the end result of the edit. I’m loving the Nikon mirrorless, but jealous of the Real-time Eye AF on the Sony. Haven’t had the chance to use one but heard that its incredible tech!

Leonie De Young
Master Tracker

An interesting Blog Chris and good advice. Beautiful pics and love the rhino one. Thanks for sharing.

Suzanne Gibson
Guest contributor

Fabulous photos Chris, and congratulations on your well-deserved promotion.

Chris Taylor
Ranger

Thank you very much, Suzanne. We hope to see you back here sooner rather than later!

Cally Staniland
Master Tracker

From a novices point of view I have to say I think they are all amazing…different, but amazing ! If I could capture just one of these I would be so super chuffed with myself. For the keen photographers out there what a great free lesson !!

Tristan Cooke
Writer

Stick with the photography Cally and soon you’ll be wowed by your own shots. A lot of patience and effort combined with your unique eye in the field can translate to something really beautiful! I’m glad you found value in our teachings and hope you’ll follow the remained of the series.

Paul Canales
Master Tracker

Super fascinating story of the process Chris took with this image, and absolutely stunning pictures. Can’t wait for the rest of the series!

Tristan Cooke
Writer

Thanks Paul, that is what I find appealing in photography, the story. Too many articles lay down 10 tips and leave the reader with little to feel and nowhere to start. This series will dig a little deeper, keen to continue the journey next week!

Paul Canales
Master Tracker

Brilliant! I find the same to be true when people ask me about cooking (I am a chef in California). It is so easy to get caught up in esoterica and forget simple, straightforward techniques and methods that really give people the ability to enjoy cooking!

Tristan Cooke
Writer

Tick the simple boxes first and once the foundation is laid then you have the ability to really step out of the box. Episode 5 of the photography series will be out on the 29th and I think you may enjoy the idea behind the final episode. Follows the ideas in our chat Paul, apologies for the delay getting back to you.

Michael and Terri Klauber
Guest contributor

Tristan, This series is a great idea and we are excited to see where it goes! Chris’s aperture mistake and then experimentations are just the kind of education we can all learn from. We love the last image where he combined the B&W with the colored Oxpecker!

Tristan Cooke
Writer

Thank you for your kind words Michael and Terri. I find that learning through experience and storytelling is always far more intriguing than scanning through a list of tips and tricks that you’ll struggle to remember. I really get a feel of the POP effect on that last edit of the rhino.

I am as excited as you are for the episodes to come, can’t wait to get them out!

Lisa Antell
Digital Tracker

Fabulous photo! Love the B&W rhino with the colorful oxpecker! I am also a self taught wildlife photographer and trying to learn from my (many many) mistakes and missed shots. Thanks so much for the tips!

Tristan Cooke
Writer

Hey Lisa, glad you enjoyed the tips. Agreed on the B&W shot with the colourful oxpecker, one of my favorites! That’s what people too often miss, they look at an image in its final production and believe that a photographer will always capture these images. The more mistakes you are making, the more you are learning. Keep at it!

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