Photographed in the Okavango Delta, Botswana in July, 2009, I took several close up, portrait shots of wildlife including giraffes.
The long telephoto lens allowed me to get a clean image without a distracting background. Because of the giraffe's long neck, it's tempting to go with a vertical format, but in this case I decided to go horizontal format and give the subject some space to look into, some negative space if you like.
When it came time to process the file, I felt that monochrome would work well and experimented with the split toning options in Lightroom 2.5. This was really a case of playing with the sliders until I got something that appealed to me. Having set different hue values for highlights and shadows, I then pulled the saturation down to low levels for each to try and ensure a subtle effect.
This was a case where I processed the image and then didn't look at it again for several days before coming back to it. That break was worthwhile as my feelings about the image and my processing changed in that time. I found that, on a second viewing, I wasn't entirely pleased with the image and so reopened the file and made a further, small but I think necessary, adjustment.
Canon 5D Mk 2, focal length 700mm (500mm +1.4x converter) at F6.3, shutter speed 1/1250 second at ISO 200.