When you are out on safari you would think that you’d be able to see a giraffe from miles away the same way you would see the Eiffel Tower in Paris long before you got to it. For some reason in Africa it seems the bigger the animal is, the stealthier they are. Driving through the trees of Ndutu we kept on getting surprised by these random giraffes popping out from every direction. We would sit there in silence and poof one would be 10 feet in front of us only to dash away after it got a quick glance at us. I felt like I was in some kind of arena as puppeteers in some safari control room was launching random giraffes in our direction, laughing at our surprise as they monitor us with secret tree cameras. Like an African hunger games except instead of fighting to the death I’m just trying to get a decent photo!
Anyways, these giraffes have a few things working for them that help keep them nice and quiet. Larger animals are simply a lot more graceful because they are so heavy, they tend to look like they are walking in slow motion because the shear mass of their limbs slows quick movements. Because they are so large they don’t have too many predators (mainly lions) this negates the need to run around in a constant panicked like state, and verbal communication is unnecessary .
Photographic Details: I often say, never centre your subject, but in this case I was able to frame this giraffe down with this tunnel of trees as she popped out. Framing is a great compositional tool, and if you can find something interesting to surround your subject in a centered subject isn’t so bad. She turned and stared at us for a few moments, then quickly made her way again. You can see how her front leg is poised to take off again, a really cool demonstration of body language is plainly depicted here.
Camera Settings: 1/250s f/2.8 ISO100 160mm