Rhino Portrait

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The square-lipped or white rhinoceros has always been a favorite photographic subject of mine. Their skin is rough and has great texture texture which can make for beautiful black and white images. Despite weighing anything between 3500 and 5000 pounds they are typically quite placid and if familiar with the presence of a landrover or game viewing vehicle will pay you very little notice. Males and females look very similar to each other and it can sometimes be quite a challenge to tell the sexes apart. The males tend to be larger and have shorter thicker horns. This is a fairly large female. I have tried to create a contemplative but powerful portrait of this beautiful animal. I chose to go with black and white to enhance the interesting texture in its skin and photographed from a low angle to empower her.

The bird sitting on her back is called an Oxpecker. Together they share a symbiotic relationship; the bird feeds off ticks, lice and dead skin thus cleaning the rhino while it gets a meal. The grey line down her side is a sign that she has just recently taken a mud bath. Like elephants, buffalo and warthog they mud wallow to cool off and get rid of ticks and parasites.

Shaun Walton White Rhino Portrait

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