As a wildlife photographer I seem to be frequently asked what is my favorite animal – the answer would have to be – elephants. Probably my favorite park to photography them would be Amboseli National Park in Kenya.

The story behind this image is one of those odd chance happenings really.

I had returned to the hotel after a morning drive when some of the staff there asked for a lift to the gate. The park bakes in the midday heat and was hurring back to the hotel when I saw this herd of elephant walking with determination towards the road. They were thirsty and in a rush and being led by a matriarch with beautiful tusks. I drove quickly to where they would cross the road, set up a camera and started to take pictures. Within a minute they were past and it was all over.

The light was a bit harsh as it was in the middle of they day so I decided to try and make the image a bit less contrasty

Bull Elephant

If there is something I don’t like about Amboseli National Park it is that its overrun with tour vehicles driven by “guides” who have little consideration for the elephants the tourists have come to see. Its always frustrating to have a great sighting and within minutes be surrounded by mini busses with very loud tourists. Inevitably the elephants would move away or alter their course.


Elephants at sunset

Photographing in Etosha National Park I would often look at the sun setting behind the drinking elephants and wonder how I could make a picture out of this scene. A few things need to come together to make it work. You need to be low enough to get a silhouette, the sun must be very low to the horizon, you need to be in just the right position and crucially you need a cooperative elephant.

Quite a few evenings I tried, frantically moving position as the sun approached the horizon but I could not get what I wanted. Suddenly one evening all those elements came together and as a bonus two elephants head to head. Proof I suppose, that the harder you try the luckier you get.