Even if you’re the leader of the photo safari, you get only so many “Stop here!” requests. Mark Alberhasky knew that, but this scene in the Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya could not be ignored.
“It was late in the afternoon,” Mark says, “and we were heading uphill toward another location. Everyone else was sitting in the Land Rover, but I had my head and shoulders out the sunroof, looking around. I knew this one was a classic image—the elephants’ silhouettes, the single tree, the incredible cloudscape. I shouted to the driver, ‘Can you stop here? Give me 30 seconds!’ “
He rested his 500mm lens on a beanbag on the roof, framed the shot, took it and dropped back down inside. “My wife was sitting right next to me, and she said, ‘My god, it was just 30 seconds.’ “
Mark is always on the lookout for cloudscapes. “One of the things that makes cloudscapes so photogenic in Africa is the incredible vistas, but you could say the same for Montana: you’re out where you can see the beauty of the whole sky—no buildings, no obstructions.”
The image was made with a D3S and an AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4D IF-ED II at 1/2000 second, f/11 and ISO 200, with the camera on manual exposure and Matrix metering settings. In post processing, Mark adjusted the contrast to aid in silhouetting the animals and accenting the sky. “The image turned out just the way I wanted it,” he says, “and I have a 48-inch framed print in my house.”
To see more of Mark's work, visit his website at www.imagema.com.