I am flattered that this image of a nineteen-foot high giraffe running towards me on the dry bed of Lake Amboseli truly grabs the attention of those that chance upon a limited edition print. I knew I had a cracking picture after I breathlessly picked myself up from the arid ground immediately after this brief encounter. The angle of view and the composition is close to perfect and that is presumably what engages the buyers of the work. There are generic giraffe pictures and then there is this. It transcends the banal and I am proud to have taken it.
Amboseli is the perfect canvas on which to tell stories because it is flat, elemental and free of distractions. The lack of noise emboldens this image – it is unequivocally all about a giraffe – albeit a large adult one, moving at a fair speed. The picture could have been taken anytime over the last 10,000 years.
There is another helpful component to this photograph in that the soft early morning light offers a calm and detailed portrayal of this majestic animal. If the giraffe was harshly sunlit – from either behind or from in front, I think the image would be too busy and have far less soul. As it is, this is all about the surreal subject matter, not the real weather.
I will always remember the first time I showed a big print of this to anyone. It was in Upper East Side, New York at a famous French restaurant. The owner – who has long been a reputable collector of photographs – was spellbound and I was humbled as he gathered his friends and family around the print. Today, this imperious giraffe looks down on everyone that is eating at his iconic lair.