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11 / 20

EARTH

 Limited Edition 

8 of 8

AVAILABLE EDITIONS

LARGE: 8 of 8 60"x 45"(152cm x 114cm)

STANDARD: 12 of 12 45"x 33"(114cm x 84cm)

LEWA, KENYA 2015

My camp inside Lewa Conservancy was located inside a Yellow Fever forest next to the Lewa Swamps. We were on our way back from a day in the field when we noticed a great herd of elephants finishing their evening drink at the swamp. My friend and driver Martin Maina slowed to a full stop, and turned off the engine. The evening air was warm on my sun-kissed face, and the orange glow of the vehicle headlights was beginning to illuminate the golden grass. We sat there in silence, when this mountain of a bull emerged from the swamp. He was away from the rest of the group in his own world. He squared right up with our vehicle, but judging from his body language, was completely accepting of our presence. I leaned out my window, waited for the right moment when his ears flapped open, and this portrait was born. The scratches on his ears spoke of great adventure, the lines on his skin of hardship and wisdom and the calmness of his demeanour of freedom. This bull seemed to embody everything an elephant should, and remains one of my most beloved portraits. 

 

As he walked out into the plains, the giants were silhouetted against a dim, purple sky. The sound of cicadas and crickets filled the air. A few stars began to slowly twinkle and I could smell our caretaker Carol's cooking back at camp. Distant laughter echoed through the marsh, and in that moment, life anywhere else in the world seemed utterly pointless. The contrast between elephants outside the protection of the conservancy and these calm animals gently grazing away was obvious. The herds on Lewa are gentle and quiet, and do not view vehicles as intruders. Their demeanour is one of total confidence and absolute freedom. Were it not for the occasional low rumble or the sound of tearing grass as they were feeding, you could close your eyes and almost walk right past them without any knowledge of their existence. 

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