HALALI AREA, ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK, NAMIBIA
AFRICAN BUSH ELEPHANT, LOXODONTA AFRICANA

An elephant calf feels well protected by its mother as the family approaches a waterhole in Etosha after a hot dusty day in the bush.

After a gestation period of twenty-two month the newly born elephant calf will be the center of attention within the herd, all members of the tightly-knit female group participate in the care and protection of the young. Adults and most of the other young will gather around the newborn, touching and caressing it with their trunks. The baby is born nearly blind and at first relies almost completely on its trunk to discover the world around it.

The arrival of elephants at a waterhole always meant entertainment and more so if there were young calves. Guarded by the elder sisters and almost walking between the legs of its mother an elephant calf is often surrounded by an almost impenetrable grey wall - making it difficult to actually get a clear view for a photograph.

Apart from the soft light in contrast to the grey of the elephants and the calcrete ground of Etosha the appeal of this image lays in a implied dynamic of movement, accentuated by the kicked-up dust. Cropping off parts of the other elephants puts even more emphasize on the calf, its head in the perfect point of the Golden Ratio composition rule.

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