Q: What equipment did you use throughout the shoot?
Whatever lens you use to photograph an elephant, if you’re sitting in a jeep, anyone with an understanding of cameras or the capabilities of your equipment will know that photo has been taken from an artificial position in a car. Therefore, to capture the enormousness of an elephant in all its glory, you must photograph from the ground. You can either do so from lying underneath the jeep (which although tricky, protects you), using a remote controller (weather-depending), or the option I felt was preferable on this shoot – get as close as you safely can. Having worked with Tim before, I was confident and understood his behaviours well enough to get within about 20-25metres. Given how close I was, I didn’t need anything longer than the razor-sharp AF-S NIKKOR 200mm f/2G ED VR II or the AF-S NIKKOR 105mm f/1.4E ED, both incredible prime Nikon lenses with a tight frame. Prime lenses are nearly always my choice for projects like this.
On the camera body side of things, I wanted to photograph Tim just being Tim, not necessarily charging around, but just quietly going about his business. This meant I didn’t need a high number of frames per second, but a super-crisp resolution. The Nikon D850 was ideal for this. It also means that if you want to print the photograph to display it life-size (which I am planning to), the image quality will look as good as it does on the computer screen.
For the profile of the deputy lieutenant of the gang, I used the AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G. He has a powerful, sinister face, and the 35mm’s wide-angle portrait abilities captured this perfectly.