Greg du Toit was the overall winner of the 49th Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition with his image Essence of Elephants.
Since first picking up a camera, Greg has photographed African elephants. ‘I’ve always wanted to capture their special energy and their state of consciousness,’ he says.
The shot was taken at a waterhole in Botswana’s Northern Tuli Game Reserve from a sunken hide. Greg used a slow shutter speed to create the atmosphere and ‘to depict these gentle giants in an almost ghostly way.’ He used a tilted wide-angle lens to catch the size of any elephant entering the foreground, and a narrow aperture to create depth of field so that elephants in the background would also be in focus.
To emphasise their mystery, he attached a polarising filter and set his white balance to a cool temperature. The lucky final touch was the baby elephant, which raced by so close. The slow shutter speed conveyed the motion, and a burst of flash at the end of the exposure froze the fleeting detail.
For more info on Greg visit his website http://www.gregdutoit.com/index.php
Video produced by NHU Africa. For more info visit www.nhuafrica.com