Elephants are the largest land mammal on Earth, an unmistakable and thrilling characteristic, and within the environment they are considered the most influential ecosystem engineers among large mammals.
Because of their body size, they are among the most challenging species to photograph in terms of creating a great composition. That in itself has encouraged me to practice endlessly in order to perfect photographing them. The more I practiced, the more I learned and discovered better ways of portraying them without losing the context. Also, my years of being in the field have equipped me with the ability to anticipate their natural behaviour, which obviously results in often being in just the right spot.
The key element is to have the picture in mind before you even press the shutter – this will lead you to work on the composition as well as make sure that you have the right settings. The settings will also be influenced by the time of the day as well as the weather conditions. I always strive to put the subject in its natural environment – this tells a better story and is generally my photographic style. Preferably a bit of contrast in the image is ideal – this could be from colour in the surrounding environment which makes the image more eye-catching.
Often I look for pattern, mostly from movement, but always consider what lies behind my subject since the background can really mess up a good image.
Words and images by Lets Kamogelo
African Safaris with “The Safari Legends”