Theme for December 2017 : Elephants

Alongside the big cats, elephants are surely a safari favourite. It is a wonderful sight to see a herd of elephants approach whether it be across the dusty plains of Amboseli or through the long grasses of the Masai Mara.

Elephants are among the most intelligent animals and also very social. They often use their trunks to caress each other and even to comfort themselves by touching their own mouths, faces, ears or tusks. These forms of interaction make them great subjects to watch and photograph.

Visitors to Mana Pools in Zimbabwe can experience getting really close to elephants by spending time in the forest on foot. Under the close supervision of the guides, you can sit at the base of a tree while a group of elephants approaches and they forage for food around you. This gives great opportunities for interesting close-up shots. Mana Pools is also a well-known destination for seeing elephants stand on their hind legs as they reach up to the top branches of trees.

Elephants can be photographed in many ways from wide shots of entire herds to close-ups of individuals. Their heavily wrinkled skin makes them ideal subjects for black and white photography which emphasises textures. Images of just parts of the body work very well as they are so distinctive.

My selection includes some classic shots such as a baby elephant under its mother as well as some more unusual ones that focus on parts of the body or involve slow panning.

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