Wednesday 19 August 2015

Under the Winterthorns

If you have been following my work for a while you would know at least two things.

1. I love Mana Pools in Zimbabwe.
2. I love showing the bigger picture in my wildlife photos.

Well, I want to show you a photo taken IN Mana Pools showing the BIG picture.
It's an elephant photo, but it's not really in principle just about an elephant - got it?

First, have a look, and then I will discuss it...

Nikon D800  |  Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8  |  Circular Polariser  |  f16  |  1/160 SS  |  ISO-6400

I captured this photo alongside my guests as I hosted a Wild Eye photographic safari in conjunction with Mwinilunga Safaris in Mana Pools. 

You see, as I explained in this post, my fascination with Mana Pools goes far deeper than just the wonderful experiences that can be had walking with the elephants, lions, wild dogs etc. It's also the ethereal beauty of these floodplain-forests and the immense and gnawed Faidherbia Albida (Winterthorn) trees that dot the landscape that has me in awe.

What I was going for with this composition and perspective that actually diminishes the elephant was that encompassing sense of beauty and awe, where the elements themselves combine with the wildlife to create a sense of what I was experiencing myself in this moment as I was crouching behind the base of the tree with the termite mound around it - closer to the elephant than I was to the perceived safety of our Land Rover...

It's not primarily about the elephant. It's about the tree(s), the mood and the moment my guests and I experienced.

I'd like to think I achieved that.
I'd also like to know what YOU think...
Drop me a comment, tell me what this photo does for you!

Until next time,

Morkel Erasmus


  1. Wonderful composition mate well done. Must visit this place one day! So Africa so HOME for me personally as I am still a Kenyan even though I live in Australia now made me very homesick and wanting more. Encourages me to keep going with our Rotary projects for endangered species.

  2. I'm sitting in my office in suburban Warrenville, Illinois, and yet, this image transports me to a part of the world so far removed from what I can imagine. What you've captured in that photo might as well be on a different planet compared to suburban northeastern Illinois.

    A stunning photo, as always. Keep up the great work!

  3. Very nice. So different from the usual photographs when size of the elephant is emphasised by using a low angle. Here, such a huge creature is dwarfed by a magnificent ancient tree. Even the termite mound made tiny little critters dwarfs the elephant. Distant view of the river gives the viewer a sense of the place where the photograph was taken. Neat.

  4. I love this photo precisely because it is about so much more than the elephant. The world's largest and most enigmatic mammal, dwarfed by a beautiful tree; such a shame that the trees and the still plants are often overlooked when so often they transform a composition. Brilliant photography, I will definitely be following.

  5. Elephant seems like a pet ! I 'd love to have one of these in my little garden !
    Gorgeous picture.