I am in love with large elephant bulls with beautiful wide tusks. These old bulls are rather “easy” to photograph, as they tend to be more relaxed than the younger bulls. They just have this presence about them and if you can capture that you would have done well. To get this particular shot I had to get close, real close. It was shot with a 16-35mm lens and to create that slightly out of proportionate effect you need to be close. Now don’t go out there and have yourself trampled by a big ellie! Always be careful when in close proximity to these large animals.

Everything works for me in this image. Once again it was a cloudy day and it brought out the texture and folds in the elephant’s skin and trunk. I brushed the elephant separately and used a lot of clarity and contrast on him to emphasize that without making it look too unnatural. The scratches on his ears simply add character and I love it. I also appreciate how the tusks push forward almost giving you the feeling of being stabbed in the eye! That is thanks to being near to my subject with a wide angle lens.

The sky is also important to me. Notice how on the original image below you don’t notice much in terms of cloud cover. Thanks to shooting in RAW format I managed to gain back detail in the sky, something you will not be able to do when shooting in JPEG. This is important to consider as you will not get the best of your images in JPEG format. RAW simply is the way to go and will allow you more freedom when processing. Overall I am absolutely in awe of the “largeness” of the big bull as he fills the frame. It shows power and absolutely screams of Africa.

Marlon du Toit thrives on adventure and has a deep connection with Africa and its beauty. Growing up near the Kruger National Park he was immersed in nature from a young age and is now a professional field guide at Singita Sabi Sand.

His eye for capturing split-second moments on camera is astonishing, and after years behind the lens, we thought we would give our readers some of his ideas for taking the perfect wildlife photograph when out in the bush. Follow the Singita blog for more of Marlon’s tips for black and white photography in the wild.


Similar blog Posts

Charting the Waters at Singita Sabi Sand

Singita Sabi Sand is, without a doubt, one of the world’s premier game-viewing destinations. High densities of wildlife existing in a state of natural balance, supported by healthy land and plant life, make for a pristine animal habitat and a spectacular safari destination. However, this was not always the case. In fact, when Singita began…

Read More
Singita Grumeti - Great Migration

Making the Most of our One Planet

In days gone by, unspoilt wilderness on Earth was found in abundance – but today it is rare and there is much to be done to protect these rapidly diminishing areas. Singita’s 100-year purpose of preserving and protecting Africa’s wilderness areas for future generations is achieved through a combination of dedicated conservation work including community partnership programmes…

Read More

Lodges and Camps

Wildlife

Food

Latest Wildlife Report

Singita Pamushana

The month of June has always been one of the best for game viewing, and this month lived up to its reputation. We leave the lodge in the early hours like snug bugs in rugs, beanies, jackets and gloves, and shed these as the morning warms up. We’ve long ago perfected the art of the...

Read More
View all Wildlife Reports

Videos from Singita

Latest Video

Serengeti Wildlife Moments

Spanning nearly 450,000 acres of endless savannah in Tanzania, Singita Serengeti offers visitors a front seat to the Great Migration as well as countless other wildlife experiences all year around. With a landscape that combines grassy plains with riverine forests and thorny scrubland, the area is home to a huge variety and number of big game and other iconic African animals.

Community & Conservation
A Wildlife Showcase
All Videos