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Nick Brandt - Behind the Photo: Ranger with Tusks of Killed Elephant, Amboseli 2011


photo-eye Gallery Nick Brandt - Behind the Photo: Ranger with Tusks of Killed Elephant, Amboseli 2011 In early May, Nick Brandt began posting the stories behind his beautiful and evocative portraits of African animals to his Facebook page. Brandt has graciously given us permission to reproduce them on photo-eye Blog. This week, Ranger with Tusks of Killed Elephant, Amboseli 2011.
In early May, Nick Brandt began posting the stories behind his beautiful and evocative portraits of African animals to his Facebook page. Brandt has graciously given us permission to reproduce them on photo-eye Blog.

Ranger with Tusks of Killed Elephant, Amboseli 2011 — Nick Brandt
"I find it hard to imagine the living elephant that possessed these tusks. I’ve never seen elephants with tusks anything like this size, and now, I never will. They are all gone, dead, mostly killed by man.

Even with one part of each tusk embedded in his skull, this elephant would still surely have had to lift his monumental head to prevent them from dragging like excavators through the earth.

Those two gargantuan tusks, that bounty, would likely fetch in excess of half a million dollars in China today.

The elephant was killed by poachers in Tsavo in southern Kenya in 2004. His tusks were stored in Kenya Wildlife Service’s ivory strongroom. In July 2011, they permitted me to borrow these and many other tusks of elephants killed at the hands of man for the ranger series. These photos feature rangers belonging to Big Life Foundation, the organization that I co-founded to help protect and preserve the wild animals of East Africa.

Photographed as always on medium format black and white film, I waited several days for the normal clear blue skies to disappear, waiting for the right somber cloud cover to take the photos."—Nick Brandt





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