In the build up to this day, Conservation Action Trust, Wilderness Safaris and Africa Geographic invited readers to submit images celebrating the wonder of African Elephants. We’ve had a flood of entries and would like to express our thanks to everyone who took part.
As voted by Africa Geographic’s Facebook audience, and winner of a Canon DSLR camera:
Pieter Jocobus Ras
Here is what Greg du Toit had to say about the selection.
‘Each entry in some way captured not just a moment but also contained some form of ‘elephant essence’. It was interesting for me to note that it was the monochromatic images that seemed to stand out (although the colour finalists were superb photographs in their own right). Why is it that the monochromatic images rose to the top? I think it could be because elephants are ancient creatures that remind us of the dinosaur era or at the very least of woolly mammoths; it could also be that they are timeless in stature. Elephants are also one of the few creatures on our planet that share a similar lifespan to us humans and perhaps a monochromatic view of them pays homage to their wise old age and long memories.
When judging a photographic competition, the hardest part always comes when one needs to use words to substantiate one’s choices. Nobody will deny that words are a powerful language, but photography is a completely different language.
Like words, photography is a powerful way of communicating but it appeals to a totally different part of the human psyche. So here I am, trying to use words to describe why the image of two elephant heads touching rose above all the others.
Firstly, congratulations to Seyms Brugger! If I am to use words to explain why this image spoke to me I would say it has something to do with the symmetry depicted. I would also say that the clarity of the image accentuated through the skilful use of the black and white medium makes me feel like I can reach out and tough the dry wrinkly skin of the subjects.I would add that the photographer has opened a window for us to experience an intimate and authentic moment between two of Africa’s giants.
Elephants are highly social and intelligent creatures and looking at this image I can see this not only with my eyes, but with my soul. Wait, even better, I can feel it! But words are not necessary to describe this photograph for it speaks for itself. It speaks to me in a place deep down, a place far away from the Oxford dictionary. It speaks to my African roots and if at first you cannot hear it speak then keep looking until you do…’