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This is one of the most dramatic photographs I have ever taken, and I am the first to admit that luck plays a crucial part in the success of the image. This is the beauty of working with nature, moments constantly change and are full of surprises.
There are so many elements to the photograph that it allows us to engage with the scene for considerable time. The fighting zebras are clearly the main focus with the billowing dust as they rear up in battle. But the locusts were the biggest surprise for me; I had no idea they were there until viewing the file on my computer and they play an important role in the composition. They fill a void preventing a looseness to the scene while leading our eye around the photograph, from left to right and then back to the main subjects.
The zebras are not fighting for females, they are fighting because times are tough, with almost no food and limited water. And so, the locusts have another role in that they help communicate the story of how tough a drought is for the wildlife; as they fly away from the scene, it suggests that there is nothing left in this barren landscape. The dramatic skies also aid in telling the narrative but most importantly, they create the perfect stage for an epic fight.
There is something so thrilling about not knowing whether or not you got the shot you hoped for, and this was an occasion where everything came together. Every time I look at this image, it motivates me to continue my attempts to capture photographs that cannot be re taken.
Kenya Elephants series
35.6 × 95.7, Edition 2, $1,000 - 2,500;
61 × 164, Edition 2, $7,500 - 10,000;
86.4 × 232.3, Editions 1-2, 4-15, $10,000 - 15,000;
86.4 × 232.3, Edition 1, $50,000 - 75,000