The Elephants – My Photographic Highlight
( It appears that some of these images appear soft, they are all pin sharp but I’m having issues with the website so I’m not sure what is going on i that area at the moment. Pete:) )
There are times in ones life where you are left speechless and spell bound. This was one of those situations for me and you don’t have to be a photographer to be moved by what we all saw.
I was running my African Photo Tour and I work with photographic Guides on my trips as we are all on the same page and that’s a point of difference in doing a Photographic Tour with myself as opposed to a safari.
We were driving along the track when we came across a river and we were all taken by the amount of elephants that we saw there.
There were roughly 30 elephants all ranging from very young through to the grandpas of the group.
When we pulled up, there were some that were just standing on the waters edge and others were in the water knee deep and others up to their heads.
All of a sudden the ones in the water started playing. They were pushing each other over in the water, they were jumping on each others backs and dunking their mates under the water.
It was like watching the best movie possible and your screen was life size at 360degrees.
My guide turned to me and asked me, “how long do you want to stay” and I replied, “ until the party is over” and that we did.
The 2 and half hours seemed like 15 minutes. There was so much happening and as we had to be very quite. All you could hear were the cameras shutters clicking away , some at 10 frames a second and the sound of the elephants splashing, grunting and particularly their tasks smashing into each other. They were all playing and it was an experience that you may never come across again.
As I stood there photographing and watching, I was just blown away with what I was observing in front of us. There is no doubt for me , that this moment was my entire highlight of Africa.
With the wildlife that I have shot over the last 30 years and I don’t specialise in that field, (mixture of landscapes and wildlife) this is up there in my top two all time experiences.
The main reason for this, is that you could travel to Africa a 100 times and you may never get to see what we saw. Wildlife is totally unpredictable and what happens one day may not happen the next day. So when it does happen, you have to run with it, stay with it and see it through to the end as it will never happen the same way twice.
I was moved to tears at one part and it wasn’t so much with what was happening in front, but I thought how lovely would it have be to have that special person in your life to be able to share this with you. I think nothing could be sweeter than to have that special person in your life to share some of these amazing and moving experiences. This was continually going through my mind and in the end it moved me in ways that I had to really keep it together for my guests who were none the wiser.
Having these huge animals just being themselves was something that I’ll never forget.
I have photographed 50,000 Australian Pelicans breeding in the remote deserts of Australia near a lake called Lake Eyre and that is a miracle in itself. That’s another story!
The saying that “ an elephant never forgets” is true. We were told if an elephant is treated badly by people, that they don’t forget and it is those elephants that can be aggressive as they remember back to what was done to them in the past. The ones that are happy for you to sit and watch, generally speaking haven’t been treated badly in the past.
I can’t help to think that God has created such a wonderful world of nature but sadly it is man yet again who is stuffing it up for most.
We are our own worst enemy.
It wasn’t just me that was able to get this snap shot of what took place in front of me, all my guests were able to walk way with amazing images that will always be hard to repeat.
One day it will be nice to have that special friend to share such an amazing experience with. Pete 🙂
So what is Part 2? Yes more elephants in a different setting and simply wonderful. By far this huge animal without doubt would be my favorite animal in Africa. If you find that hard to believe, when you see them in the wild, you just may to begin to understand why I say that they are my favorite animal.:)
There are 3 videos below. First is on the elephants, the second is an overview of the trip in parts of Africa and the third is on the hippo.:)