Tsavo East

Archival Pigment Photograph

Signed, dated, and numbered from edition of 12 on recto. Signed, titled, dated, and editioned on certificate of authenticity.

This magnificent old elephant is not only one of the planet’s few remaining big tuskers, her tusks are actually symmetrical and touch at the tips – to my knowledge this is unique. The Tsavo Tusk Rangers found her taking shade from the midday sun in the heart of Tsavo East – a long drive for sure, but so long as she remained reachable, it was worth making the journey. We were a long way from base camp – maybe a four hour drive.


The difficulty was to determine how to work the camera at ground level – remotes were not an option as there was no pattern to her movement and a prerequisite for remotes is predictable movement from the subject.


The next best option was to work from underneath the jeep – a potentially dangerous approach but Richard Moller knew this elephant has never charged and toppled a vehicle before and whilst there is always a first, I trusted Richard. That’s a golden rule of mine in the field – trust those that you partner with on the ground, otherwise why partner with them?


Nikon’s newest camera – the D850 and newest medium telephoto lens, the 105mm were my combination that day and the textural detail in this elephant showcases the benefit of this combination. I think everyone played a part in this picture – Richard, the jeep, the camera, the cameraman and most of all the elephant. In fact, I don’t think I would get on the medal podium.


This is a high impact portrait of a wonderful elephant in her last years. I will never see her again. – David Yarrow