We spotted this baby giraffe during our second Safari outing. It was hanging around the road we were on. It was so close to the vehicle that I was able to capture a very sharp image. All of the wildlife images I captured were hand-held. By this time, I had quite a bit of practice being motionless while photographing. This is very tricky and does require a lot of practice and patience. The general rule is that you want your shutter speed to be equal to or larger than your focal length. In this case, I was photographing with a 400mm lens but my shutter speed was only 1/320th. It would have been at least 1/400th to abide by the rule. The light was not great and I did not want a lot of grain (high ISO) so, I got a bit lucky.
Giraffe gestation lasts about 15 months. They normally give birth to a single offspring at a time, however, twins occur on rare occasions. The mother actually gives birth standing up. The calf then emerges head and legs first and falls to the ground uninjured. The mother then spends time grooming the newborn and helps it stand up. Newborn giraffes are about six feet tall at birth and they are able to run around almost immediately. This giraffe was about ten feet tall so he was probably a few months old.
This image was taken with my Canon EOS 5DS using my Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 II Lens set on 400mm. The camera was set on Aperture priority mode with the aperture set at f/5.6, shutter speed at 1/320th of a second and the ISO set at 640. This is a single image processed in Lightroom and Nik Color Efex Pro.
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