WPY 2011

Photograph Details

Specially commended 2011

Nature in Black & White

David Lloyd, New Zealand

In the flick of a tail

Photographers generally agree that giraffes, though easy enough to find, are tricky to photograph. 'They're so big that you either have to be far back, in which case you run the risk of background clutter, or you have to close in on detail,' says David. He saw the potential of the latter option when, in Kenya's Masai Mara, he encountered a giraffe at close quarters, and saw a second one on the horizon. He got himself into position and lifted his heavy lens to compose the image. What he waited for, though, was something that would inject life into the scene: a tail flick. 'I didn't expect that I would have to wait as long as I did. I was begging the giraffe in the distance not to move out of view and begging the one near me to flick its tail. My arms were aching from hand-holding the lens and were at the point of giving up when it finally did so.'

Technical specification

Nikon D700 + 200-400mm lens; 1/3000 sec at f4; ISO 400.

Masai Mara, Kenya: latitude -1.58198, longitude 35.2451 Masai Mara, Kenya: latitude -1.58198, longitude 35.2451

Masai Mara, Kenya

Intellectual property rights to all WPY images are retained by the photographers. Reproduction without prior written consent constitutes an actionable infringement. For usage enquiries please contact us.

Sign up to receive emails from the Natural History Museum about events and exhibitions, including Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

David Lloyd, New Zealand

Originally from New Zealand, David now lives in London but spends up to three months a year in Africa, photographing and leading photo safaris. His images have won awards and have been widely published in the press and several photographic monthlies, in both the UK and abroad. David also holds exhibitions of his work, most recently at the Royal Geographic Society in London in 2014.

  • The power of the matriarch
  • The enchanted woodland