Picture of the Week 50 – Looking Down an Elephant’s Throat


Canon EOS 5D ,Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 Macro II USM
1/400s f/8.0 at 105.0mm iso400

How many pictures of elephants have you seen? Enough? Probably. But how many photos have you seen looking down an elephant’s throat? Probably not that many.

The lesson here is that even familiar objects can make for interesting and novel photos. Sometimes you just have to get close (maybe not physically close, so use a long lens). Try zooming in on a zebra’s stripes. Shoot just the hairs on the back of its neck. Shoot down an elephant’s throat…

Of course, some opportunities have to first present themselves, and when they do, you have to act fast. In this case, a San Diego Zoo keeper was showing off this elephant’s reactions to various commands and one of them was to lift its trunk and open its mouth.

By the way, the tusks were sawed off by zoo keepers for two reasons. This female was too dominant and would have potentially hurt other elephants newly introduced to the exhibit. In addition, she had a habit of rubbing them against the wires surrounding the exhibit, practically filing them off herself. You can clearly see the deep mark left on one of the remaining stubs. Not to worry, sawing off the tusks does not hurt the elephants.

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