We began our trip to Etosha at Dolomite Camp in the far west of the park. Until recently this area was off limits to visitors and it was the first time we had spent time here. The dolomite outcrops give the area a completely different look and feel to the rest of the park. It was dry, seasonal rains had not yet fallen here although the eastern areas of the park had received rain. We were lucky to see elephant as they tend to migrate northwards at this time of year leaving the waterholes and finding fresh grazing and pools elsewhere.
Here you see a male, one of three bachelors who kept each other company. Note his broken tusk.
Etosha’s elephants are of the largest in Africa, the tallest measuring up to four metres at the shoulder. Adult bulls have a mass of between 5 500 and 6 000 kg, while the cows have about two-thirds of the mass of the bulls in the same area.
Their tusks on the other hand, are smaller than those of elephants elsewhere in Africa. This is ascribed to breakages resulting from mineral deficiencies in their diet and genetic defects. The fact that Etosha’s elephants have smallish tusks is a distinct advantage, in so far as this makes them less likely to fall prey to ivory poachers.
The elephant’s tusks are specialised incisor teeth consisting of dentine (ivory) surrounded by a thin layer of enamel, which wears away as the tooth grows. The tusks continue to grow throughout the elephant’s lifetime, having erupted when the calf is about three years old. Tusks are usually asymmetrical, the one more worn than the other, and are used for ripping bark off trees, as a support when bending branches, occasionally as a digging tool, and as a formidable weapon.
This photograph is copyright of Rosemary Walden - © Rosemary Walden 2012. All rights reserved. Any redistribution or reproduction of the image in any form is prohibited. You may not, except with my express written permission, copy, reproduce, download, distribute or exploit the content. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system
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cargus (8044) 2013-01-04 21:36
Le sujet est bien cadré,luminosité joliment mis en valeur des couleurs, il est une image claire et bien fait.
Nicou (117686) 2013-01-04 21:43
L’éléphant ce fond avec l'arbre de même couleur cela fait comme un camouflage, superbe image et captage fantastique vue et image dan la belle savane grandiose.
Bravo et amitié
leo61 (0) 2013-01-04 22:11
hi Rosemary !
good composition with the empty space on the right and this bizzarre tree.
good to have sunlight on his huge ear and eye.
greetings from Bagan /Myanmar and happy new year,
jjcordier (73996) 2013-01-04 22:11
Il y a comme un mimétisme entre la matière de l'arbre et la peau de cet éléphant impressionnant qui parait chercher un peu d'ombre dans ce paysage qui semble brûlé par le soleil. Belle capture!
Wahclellaspirit (3961) 2013-01-04 22:19
Happy New Year Rosemary,
You were quite close to this mighty elephant, what a grand scene to behold in the wild! Well taken as he appears to be sleeping or just resting in the shade of the tree.
emka (74159) 2013-01-05 0:06
Impressive view of this big creature. It looks a bit sad. Interesting mimicry - it is difficult to see what is the dry tree and what is elephant.
We saw so much elephants in Botswana and than in Etosha that in one camping people preferred to go to swimming pool than to the water hole to observe them. I miss Africa
ktanska (24318) 2013-01-05 2:33
Quite a successful picture on extreme light. Dry hay, even dryer tree and an elephant looking for shade. And you were lucky to get so close, I guess they don't always wait next to the few roads that cross Etosha!
dkmurphys (47230) 2013-01-05 2:40
The elephant looks almost camouflated behind the tree. Fine closeup, well taken wildlife scene.
timecapturer (45957) 2013-01-05 3:27
had this thing about elephants when I was a kid, I went mad on my first trip to London Zoo when aged 7 and got into trouble with my teacher for running off to see the elephant enclosure.
To see one in the wild like this would be so cool, despite the heat of Africa ;-)
This shot is just so beautiful. I love the pose and the amazing textures on the hide which seem to be echoed on the tree. Executed superbly and a striking presentation. Love it!
Enjoy the weekend - regards Brian.
Sergiom (55735) 2013-01-05 5:59
Cela prendrait un arbre beaucoup plus gros pour qu'il puisse se cacher derrière .Le cadrage est fantastique, les détails d'une grande netteté et la lumière est parfaite.
Noel_Byrne (21682) 2013-01-05 7:53
For such a huge and impressive creature, he is sure doing a good job of blending in wiht his surroundings. He looks a little sad to me, perhaps the way his gaze appears to be slightly downward.
I find it incredible that people would kill these magnificent animals for something as stupid as the tusks, and amazing that a defect like a broken one can turn out to be a benefit. Lve the texture in the tree too.
All the best
abmdsudi (40538) 2013-01-05 9:05
This is awesome closeup of an ellie in natural environment, sharp in focus and well full framed image. The warm light, shadows and glimpse of background give it real feel, in natural colors and fine contrast to blue sky. But interesting also to note that she is partly camoulaged against the tree trunks. A fine informative shot indeed in particular about the tusk. Great effort on your part. Well done
siolaw (38052) 2013-01-05 9:15
A fine capture of the elephant, with great colour and textures combination. Perfect sharp and expo with good balance between shade and sunny areas.
Cricri (102185) 2013-01-05 10:37
Une très belle image et scéne de l'éléphant ce collant contre l'arbre, ce qui rend incroyable les teintes et la texture de l'ensemble qui ce confondrait presque, très!s belle présentation
Happy New Year 2013 for you
annjackman (18303) 2013-01-05 11:21
How wonderful to be in Etosha after Christmas. This elephant blends with the tree as if it is trying to hide! The textures and sharpness are lovely.
Best wishes for 2013.
barni (15747) 2013-01-05 12:03
Voilà une belle cachette pour cet éléphant.
La lumière sur l'animal est très bonne.
bukitgolfb301 (34706) 2013-01-05 15:14
Hi dear Rosemary
Ya greatest and typical African image indeed!
The contanimation of this elephant and old trees is very significant point I suppose. Seeming like so big male elephant but eyes are so gentle. Thanks a lot and have a beautiful Sunday!
Takero from Tokyo
Silvio1953 (117355) 2013-01-06 0:33
Ciao Rosemary, great capture of superb creature, beautiful wild ambientation, splendid light, wonderful natural colors and excellent clarity, very well done, my friend, have a good Sunday, ciao Silvio
brianmcc (6051) 2013-01-06 3:11
you have composed this very well with the elephant positioned firmly in the centre of the frame giving a solid feel to the scene representative of the statue of this impressive animal. the textures are wonderful with the elephant behind the tree and the two seemingly blending together perfectly.
have a lovely weekend,
willperrett (6282) 2013-01-06 12:36
Sorry I haven't visited recently: I've taken a break from TE for a few weeks, but have now returned, batteries fully recharged.
Did someone tell this elephant it could hide behind this tree? Certainly the camouflage is pretty good, but he's not concentrating on keeping out of sight. Perhaps if he shut his eyes we couldn't see him...
Great wildlife photograph, and without any hint of extra saturation from P'shop. Good work. Happy New Year.
mirosu (12686) 2013-01-07 5:08
You have made a good attempt here, choosing to go in tight on the elephant. The composition works well, and the focus with shallower DOF draws the full attention to the elephant. You have captured it in perfect light. I like the combination with the tree trunk in FG.
P.s. many thanks for your nice comments to "opera House". I appreciate it very much.
marabu61 (7599) 2013-01-07 6:10
Happy new year to you, may it bring joy, happiness and lots of great travel opportunities to you.
Etosha is definitively very high on our bucket list of parks we still want to see in southern Africa. Anyway I think our next trip to the region is going to include Namibia.
a beautiful portrait of this magnificent animal in a very natural pose and suroundings.
have a good day
GREGG (7888) 2013-01-07 8:32
Happy New Year,
fantastic portrait of an elephant in its natural habitat
bravo,same wonderful photos!!!
have a nice evening
Didi (55145) 2013-01-09 8:30
Nice African scene with hot lights ambiance
The trees are very good fro scratching elephants body :)
Best wishes for the year 2013
Ricx (13495) 2013-01-09 15:41
Hi Rosemary- The superb sharpness is what draws me to your photo-- It is something I am really struggling with at the moment-- just cannot seem to get it perfect on a regular basis.... wonder if you have any tips?
Your Namibian photos continue the yearning to return to Africa- I have a busy six months and hoped to be through in the winter..
we are currently being spoilt on BBC - with the new David Attenborough - AFRICA - his latest - some amazing stuff on the Kalhari last week ( fighting Giraffes) and this week it was the Savanahs of the Rift valleys.. superb footage-- .. Have a wonderful 2013 Look forward to hearing from you Rich
PS when is your next trip?
Waylim (25166) 2013-01-10 13:22
Congratulation for being able to visit this place. There are so many wonderful places on this earth and so little time and money to get there.
What I love most about this shot is how the elephant and the tree are becoming one. It is amazing how nature works and how everything fit together. It's been sometimes.
Good to see such wonderful nature shot and wildlife.
serp2000 (38467) 2013-01-11 6:01
Superb! I have never seen similar mimicry of the elefants. He just interflows with the tree... Amazing scene, perfect sharpness. An interesting and very informative note.
Have a good WE!
Royaldevon (27035) 2013-01-11 9:04
I can only imagine how you felt when you were pausing to take this shot. My heart would have been pounding from anticipation and the sheer pleasure of witnessing this scene.
You cannot help but notice the similarity between the wrinkly grey tree bark and the elephant's skin; the elephant could almost be an appendage growing from the tree!
What a wonderful, sharp capture! The contrasts of light and shadow reveal the textures beautifully. The shot is well composed, the elephant looking into the open space.
Oh, I'm so envious!
Well done, my friend.
thebest (4272) 2013-01-12 18:59
Your trip will be engraved in your mind forever.. The wonderful photo's that you have captured & shared with us all here on Trek Earth are a credit to you.
I love this photo for the content of course & taking the elephant under the shade of the bare tree is fabulous.
sacavem (18610) 2013-01-15 9:54
Very simple composition which adds to the quality of the image. Nice one and TFS.
InasiaJones (31442) 2013-01-15 14:56
Hello Rosemary and my best wishes for the New Year.,
I would be tempted to assume that most photographers are on the look out to shoot animals in full view and as close as possible, but I think that the way you have have shoot this elephant in symbiosis with its environment is particularly attractive and visually interesting.
The way the skin of the animal blends with the texture of the tree is an element of curiosity and surprise at first sight, then our eyes and mind have to make the effort to distinguish which parts belong to the pachyderm and which parts belong to the tree.
The play of shadows and light add to the mystery and unique ambiance. I also like the way the grey foreground elements stand out against smooth and natural colours.
A catchy image that invites us to look at it with attention and amazement.
delpeoples (52767) 2013-01-19 22:41
Hi dear Rosemary
This is such an interesting post, certainly due to your informative note but also due to the excellent quality of your photo. I love the colours, that are so familiar to me now. I am glad to hear that these type of elephants are less vulnerable to ivory hunters. Such a sad thing to hear that these people still perform such atrocities, but when I see the hunting of whales goes unabated, it's no surprise. Excellent shot and note.
sevy (15357) 2013-01-24 0:20
I like elephant and it is a enjoying photo subject. The interest of this shot is the partially hidden elephant against the tree: same color and texture, it is hidden like an huge cameleon.
- Copyright: Rosemary Walden (SnapRJW) (29570)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2012-12-27
- Categories: Nature
- Exposure: f/8, 1/500 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Map: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): Elephants [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2013-01-04 21:22