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The Clash of the Giants


Africa is always full of surprises and that’s is one of the major draw cards about it. You have no idea what you are going to see and when you are going to see it and if you do see it, you have no idea what will take place. That’s the magic of Africa.

You’ll always see wildlife but where and when, well that’s always a mystery is it not.

On this day while blazing the trail in Namibia with my photographic Tour group that I was running we came to a water hole in Etoshia National Park. A large part of our stay was observing at water hole where a family of Elephants were just drinking and going about their normal business when all of a sudden, one elephant decided to exercise his grunt. It was a clashing of bodies; bone crunching stuff and thumps that echoed throughout the surrounding land and that left you in awe.

I’ll never forget the crunching as they smashed into each other.

I think these elephants would have woken up the next morning with massive headaches.

The camera’s were being fired at 10 frames a second. As the group was firing off their cameras I was guiding them on what shutter speeds to use if they wanted to freeze the action. ( If you ever do Africa, then having a camera that will shoot at 10 frames a second is a massive plus and a must in my eyes. What I was shooting with in Africa and I think it is the perfect combination for wildlife is Canon’s 7D mark2 , that’s 10 frames per second. i also had the 100mm-400m 5.6. When you put this lens on a half frame sensor as the 7 D mark 2 is, that 400mm becomes almost 750mm. That’s awesome and the results are stunning.What I love about this combination of camera and lens, it is reasonably light compared to the massive lens that some use which you need to sell your house to be able to own it)

As I was shooting this amazing show of strength it occurred to me that nothing has really changed has it. These elephants were fighting over a lady, to claim right to her and the strongest elephant was to be the victor and she was his trophy.

The loser also not only paid the price of not mating with the “ love of his life” but he was then banished from the group.

Nothing has changed has it? In the human world guys are always pushing there weight around to fight for the right to be with the woman. Why??? As you grow older, you get to the point where you just gotta let it go. At the end of the day, if she doesn’t love you , then guys you just have to accept that. Yes it hurts but remember, if she dumps you, then she never love you the way you loved her and as much as it hurts you have to just accept it.

I think there is something very wrong with us males the way we carry on at times but that’s another story. The out come here with the elephant that losers has grave implications for him. What also went through my mind, that in all the 4 legged animals in Africa, this event is played out all the time, everyday and around the clock. There is always an animal fighting for his mate to be able to mate with her.

Africa is so fascinating, so enchanting and so emotive.

You’ll also notice that in some of the shots, one of the elephants has his penis hanging low Clearly on of these elephants was in the mood for some hanky panky  and how tough would it be , that you are ready for ” sex” and now you are fighting for the right to have it. What a contrast as they say.

When they are fully on fire, the elephants penis drags on the ground, that’s how massive they are and we were told by our guide that the weight of an elephants penis is 27 Kilos. Now that’s some food for thought!!

When you get to see this at close range, you can’t but be in awe of Africa. Pete:)

Pete Dobré

Author Pete Dobré

Pete's photography is self taught. As a young child photography was an interest. His passion for the varying landscapes of Oz comes from frequent visits as a youngster, to his Gandparent's sheep farm in Barmera, a small country town in South Australia. Pete Dobré is a Freelance Photographer who blazes the trail for 6 months each year, capturing awe-inspiring images. Pete's work expresses his creative flair, emotions and love for the natural scapes of Australia. He remembers the hot day when he was 8, leaving town for the farm. His parents had an old car. Within about 2 kilometres of reaching the farm gate, they were bogged on a small red sand dune. The flies were buzzing continuously and the heat was beating down. Sticks, leaves and branches were wedged under the back tyres, to get the car moving. His mum was in a panic but Pete thought that it was exciting. From that moment he knew that he loved being out in creation, with the sense of adventure in the wild. This is where Pete's passion began. Photography for Pete is an expressive means for visual communication. He says, 'There is never a boring moment in my work. There is always something to photograph and I love being creative. The only limit to creativity is a lack of creativity.' Pete's aim as a photographer is to present images that provoke and stimulate the mind, to capture God's awesome creation and to share this with others. If Pete can do a little justice to God's creativity, then he is quietly satisfied. As a photographer Pete's inspiration and passion for his work comes from knowing God who created everything in the beginning. Knowing God, the Creator gives more substance and meaning to what he captures on film. Pete sees his role as freezing a moment in time and history which will never be repeated exactly the same again. The light, clouds and seasons will always be different. Pete's love for natural conditions at different times of the day, displaying varying moods and cloud formations makes his work very special and eye catching.

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