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Elephant Pictures - Pg 1

This gallery showcases pictures of individual elephants, family groups, and breeding herds, all taken while on safari in Botswana, Zambia, and South Africa.

Photographing elephants, because of the animals' size, can be less demanding than photographing other wild animals as you don't need to be as close to fill your camera's frame.

It's nevertheless still a challenge to produce images that adequately portray the immense power, dexterity, and strong family bonds of Africa's largest mammal.

Elephant bull close-up
Elephant Bull, Close-up

Click on any picture to enlarge

Elephant matriarch with juveniles Elephant matriarch with juveniles
Elephant drinking from Zambezi River Elephant drinking from Zambezi River
Elephant using trunk to drink Elephant using trunk to drink
Elephant family in tight group Elephant family banding close together
Elephant eye, extreme close-up Elephant eye, close-up view
Baby elephant running Baby elephant running, side-on
Elephant females, head shot Elephant females standing close together
Elephant on banks of Zambezi river Elephant on banks of Zambezi River
Elephant baby with adults Elephant baby under close protection

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Elephant bull, front-on
Elephant bull front-on view
Elephant tail, close-up
Elephant's tail, close-up
Elephant group at waterhole
Elephant group at waterhole
Elephant walking away from waterhole
Bull elephant leaving waterhole
Elephant kicking up dust
Elephant stirring up dust
Elephant pulling up small shrub
Elephant pulling up small bush
Elephant with trunk raised
Elephant female with trunk raised
Elephant with huge tusks
Elephant bull with big tusks
Elephant group in tight formation Elephant family grouped in defensive formation
Elephant female standing tall in dominance display Elephant female stirring dust in dominance display
Elephants spraying dust Elephant mother and calf using trunks to spray dust
Elephant mothers and youngsters Elephant mothers guarding their youngsters
Elephants wading in Zambezi River Elephant pair cooling off in the Zambezi River
Elephant carrying log in trunk Elephant walking and carrying small log in its trunk

Harsh Light a Problem for Elephant Pictures
Elephants enjoy wading in water, whether in rivers or muddy waterholes. There's no better way of cooling down those huge bodies in the heat of the day.

But it's also the time when the sun is high in the sky, casting intense, contrasty shadows.

Your camera's light meter is also likely to be fooled by the reflections from the water, exposing for the glare of the water and so under-exposing your subject, leaving you with an elephant silhouette.

It's a problem one has to live with when photographing elephants and other African wildlife - potentially excellent subjects are often found in the worst light.

That's why it's best to haul out your camera gear in the early morning and late afternoon, when the light is softer and casts a warm glow. Of course, when it's cloudy and overcast, the opposite applies and it's better to take your pictures later in the day, once the light gets brighter.

Elephant Photography Tips
Elephants are a dull, uniform color, usually ranging from gray to shades of brown (depending on whether they've been wallowing in mud or had a dust bath). This makes it difficult to use color to create an eye-catching image. Elephants also have unexpressive faces, unlike cats and many other mammals, with small, sunken eyes, making it difficult to use facial expressions and/or eye contact to add interest and a focal point to your image.

You therefore have to focus on shape and outlines (like trunk raised, ears flapping), behavior (dust showering, using trunks to suck up water), and close-ups (wrinkled skin, trunks, and tusks) to create an interesting picture.

For More On Elephants, See:

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Contact Details: Scotch Macaskill, Dirt Road Traders, Currys Post Road, Howick, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Tel: +27 (0)82 578 2329. Privacy: Your privacy is guaranteed. See our Privacy Policy for more. This site accepts advertising and other forms of compensation - see Disclosure and Advertising for details. Site updated: 2020. Copyright © 2002 - 2020 Scotch Macaskill