Elephants are one of nature’s greatest, but most gentle giants. As humans we show an incredible lack of respect to these great mammals, failing to recognise their majesty and grace. Poachers, drought and man-made boundaries are threatening the lives of these amazing creatures. It’s heartbreaking to think how some people can stand in front of these giants, stare past the long beautiful eyelashes into their tiny glassy eyes and think of them nothing more than a trophy that’s there for the taking. We have had the privilege of seeing and communing with elephants both in the wild and at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Nairobi orphanage. It’s impossible for your heart not to break as your orphaned elephant grabs your finger with his exploratory trunk and looks into your eyes with a trust he’s only just beginning to understand. You cannot fail to shed a tear as you witness a new orphan being brought into the orphanage, scared, shaking and crying. In happiness? In sadness? I’m not sure. Ideally none of this would exist, no need for wildlife trust, replaced by an understanding and a safety. But in the absence of that, I have great appreciation for the work of
So, I’ve been spending some time in our photography archives recently, reviewing images taken many years ago that have been since banished to the depths of my hard drive. My hope was that I might previously have overlooked some gems which, ten years on and with a different eye, I might choose to resurrect and share here on Taraji Blue. Thankfully my effort was not wasted… Our photos from years gone by are such a departure from what we normally do – but rediscovering the SLR film images from 10 years ago is inspiring me to capture and portray techniques typically lost to DSLRS. I have spent so long chasing the dream of pixel perfect, sharp images that I have often forgotten what it’s like to be artistic with my images. This year’s Wild Photos conference taught me that a good picture isn’t always a technically perfect one – sometimes it’s a sense of place/environment or a sense of the moment which is more enthralling. People don’t just want to observe our travels and images – they want to feel a sense of what is it like to be there… What it’s like to stare a male bull elephant in
12th August marks World Elephant Day and its aim is to bring the world together to help and protect our elephants. Regular followers of Taraji Blue will know that elephants are one of our most favourite animals. We have been privileged to spend many a happy hour in their company, mainly in the National Parks of South Africa and Kenya and we will never grow tired of their company.I thought it pertinent to therefore share some of our favourite experiences of elephants and some of our favourite photos that we have captured over the years. Meeting the Herd: At Harpoor Dam in Addo National Park we were speechless to come across one the largest herds of elephants we have ever seen. Despite their bulk and size they appeared out of the bush silently, marching slowly in formation toward the watering hole. I stopped counting at 40 elephants as my heart could take no more. Instead I focused my attention on the tiny babies who were confidently leading the herd across the plains. Ears flapping and tails swinging with excitement they almost tripped over themsleves in glee. We spent a couple of hours with them, before slowly trailing them back towards
This week on Taraji Blue we’re recalling and celebrating our favourite sunrises and sunsets. It was taken in the Maasai Mara a few years back on a return trip we’d longed to take. It captures the rising sun through the silhouette of a tree and symbolises not only the awakening of the bush, but the way Africa awakens my soul every time we visit. To me, it captures the essence of the bush and symbolises the hope of the day ahead. I have it blown up in my living room at home in the UK and it never fails to raise a smile from me, and plays havoc with my wanderlust to return to Africa. This photo is a continuation of a week where we celebrate our favourite sunrises and sunsets. If you like this picture, please feel free to share using the social media links provided below. For more images, visit the Taraji Blue photo gallery. You can also show your support for Taraji Blue by liking us on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/tarajiblue following us on twitter https://twitter.com/TarajiBlue and connecting with Alistair and myself on Google+
This is an oldie but a goodie. Taken in the ye olde days when we shot in film we captured this image of elephants in Samburu National Park. I have purposefully not post processed in anyway because I love the rawness and texture of the image . The immense landscape, the colours, the seemingly insignificant size of the herd of elephants – they all help to demonstrate the enormity of Africa’s beauty. Sometimes I do miss film, then I recall how much it cost to process, the agonising wait to receive your holiday snaps back and the disappointment when your pictures have not turned out as planned…then I fall back in love with digital.