The Story Behind "Plume"

The Story Behind "Plume"

To me, one of the aspects that makes an image worthy of sharing is that it reveals something to you about the subject in an artful, intriguing way - like this one.

The name Amboseli comes from a Maasai word meaning salty dust, and it truly delivers just that. The elephants in Ambo take advantage of its natural makeup and spray a mineral rich dust - as seen in this image, “Plume” - over their backs as protection against the sun.

In the moment when they spray dirt in the air, it forms an arc that is naturally in compositional conversation with their trunks. As, in my opinion, elephants are among some of the most unique and interesting animals to spend time with, watching this ritual reinforces not only their intelligence but their raw beauty. As the rest of the dust settles around them, it’s as if a very specific ambiance and mystique has been imparted upon this already magnificent ritual in a perfectly minimal environment. The posture of these elephants feels elegantly frozen in time which vividly reminds me of my days in fashion photography.

I could watch elephants during their daily comings and goings for hours, but for me there’s a few aspects that can make or break the final images that I feel are worth sharing. The intersection of fine art and documentary photography is the space I always want to be in because, through my work, I want to share the extraordinariness of these animals while also preserving their existence on camera, and this beautifully-candid elephant ritual presents just that.


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