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Megatransect II

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Photograph by Michael Nichols

An imposing tusker had no trouble breaking the camera trap’s beam on a nighttime stroll over the same elephant path taken by the gorilla. To the dismay of Nichols and his assistants, elephants destroyed a camera trap, perhaps because they smelled human scent on the equipment or were disturbed by the camera’s flash.

Camera: Nikon N90
Film Type: Kodachrome 64
Lens: 28mm
Speed and F-Stop: 1/4 @ f/5.6 (Remember it’s night and the only light is that provided by flashes.)
Weather Conditions: Rainy
Time of Day: Just around midnight
Lighting Techniques: Three Nikon SB25 flashes

Special Equipment or Comments:
“Camera Traps”—The camera is triggered by an infrared beam called a Trailmaster. When the elephant’s body broke the beam it told the camera to take a picture. The camera was kept in a waterproof box fronted with optical glass, and flashes were kept in plastic Ziploc bags. Specially adapted Nikon cords ran from the camera to flashes. The camera stayed in place for two months and was checked once a week.

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