Following my exhibition opening in Hamburg, I flew off to central Africa. For eight days we endured 110 degree heat; there was no way to escape it, and I was drinking nearly two gallons of water per day. Re-entry to chilly Seattle has been a shock to the system.
For months we planned the logistics of this trip – do we take drones or not? Hire planes or not? While in Hamburg we received word from the U.S. Ambassador to this central African nation that it was not advisable to take the drone, so we scrambled & FedExed the equipment home.
This turned out to be good advice since it was almost impossible to find the elephants from the ground, and we would have needed to locate them before we could send the drones into the air. The elephants are very nervous for a reason; herds in this region, as all over the continent, have been under attack by poachers. However, the African Parks personnel believe they may be calming down just a bit after a couple years of fairly successful anti-poaching enforcement.
We ended up hiring the plane that had dropped us off at the beginning of the trip and had the back cargo door taken off. We flew over the herd, which had divided into two. By the time we departed the park the herd had split into several smaller groups. It was good timing since capturing pictures of hundreds of elephants at once are highly unlikely in the future.
If you are interested in traveling to Africa with me, I am leading a photo journey in Namibia in September of 2018. Add your name to the pre-registration list now!