Blue & Gold 1 - Elephants

Alan Smith
Published February 19, 2017 05:14 PM






The colours in Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe are a photographer's dream. Pre-dawn blue is washed with a deep rose tint as dawn breaks. This turns to a wonderful golden hue as the sun crawls above the horizon, only to be replaced by a blue haze in the forests as the day progresses. Towards the end of the day the whole process runs backwards.

I was fortunate to be able to photograph elephants in this luminous wonderland while on a photo safari with Marlon du Toit and Wild Eye, South Africa. In particular we spent some time with "Fred", named after Fred Astaire because of the dance he does before standing on his back legs. When we were there the land was very dry and the elephants were struggling to find enough food. Fred's trick, which he shares with the better known Boswell, enables him to pull down branches that are beyond the reach of other elephants. His willingness to share his bounty means that he is followed by a small group of hungry onlookers.

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