I have been working with remote controls for three years in Amboseli and this picture is as close to perfect as I can achieve. I have spent countless hours failing with remotes for all sorts of reasons – but this one image makes all those disappointments palatable. The job is about putting in the hours and never quitting. You reap what you sow.
The compositional balance is strong, the light is exciting and bold and the elephant looks magnificent as indeed he is. The position of the camera within the thick grass adds further intimacy to the image, which is pin sharp. It is a cracking photograph and one that I am proud of – I have seen very few shots of elephants that are as imposing and powerful as this. The bull has a patriarchal confidence in his stride that commands attention and respect as one. He is manifestly fresh out of a nearby mud bath and this may have put an extra spring in his step.
Whilst this image was taken before breakfast, the light was strong apart from the elephants, which for a brief second were shaded by a rogue cloud. This offered the chance to blow out the sunlit background and draw emphasis and focus on the ivory exchange directly in front of me.
These enormous mammals deserve a future and in Amboseli they have one. The elephant population in Amboseli has risen 20% in the last four years – a combination of healthy rainfalls and a considerable reduction in poaching. There are many people that must take credit for this and other parks should look at Amboseli as a paragon in the field of conservation.
- Large: 56 x 81” or 142 x 205cm
- Standard: 37 x 53” or 94 x 136cm
- Large: Edition of 12
- Standard: Edition of 12