This is a 6:20 am picture taken in the Serengeti National Park. Vultures were taking advantage of a dead prey. The unlucky animal was killed by some lions that were resting not so far from the vultures.
The vultures were very far, I had to use my Sigma 150-600mm Sport at its full length. The dust on the scene reduced the clarity.
Among the sequence of pics, this one is very peculiar. There is only one vulture staring "at me", while all the others were diving into the dead body of the poor prey. Its head and neck from white became red as they were covered by fresh blood; the sun rays just emphasized it.
The challenges I faced once back home were related to the need of removing the haze-dust effect from the scene and make sure the colors were consistent with what I actually saw for real.
Here below a quick before/after comparison between the shot I brought home and the one that I published on 500px
Nikon D810 - Sigma 150mm-600mm “Sport"
600mm - 1/125 - f / 6.3 - ISO 450
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, Africa
The development of the image from flat to great was made through some adjustments that you can find in Lightroom and I want to share with you. Here below a quick workflow summary that I applied to this image:
- Base Adjustments
1) adjusted the highlights (all the way left)
2) opened up the shadows
3) increased the whites
4) closed the blacks
5) increased clarity just a bit
6) increased Vibrance
1) opened up the whites
2) moved left the shadows
1) Increased sharpness
2) Moved up Noise Reduction
- Dehazed just as needed
- Cropped to create the triangle feeling and make sure the vulture was at the center stage (rule of third fully applied)
Laowa 12mm f/2.8
Nikkor 24-70 Z f/4
Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8
Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8
Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
Nikkor 70-200mm f/4.0
Sigma 150-600mm Sport
Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 Tripod
Manfrotto MHXPRO-BHQ2 Pro Head
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