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2013s Best Wildlife Photo Is As Unique As Its Backstory

By Anthony Thurston on October 17th 2013

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at London’s Natural History Museum is full of great photos taken from around the globe. But this years wining photographer earned his title via one of the most dangerous photo ops you could encounter in the wild.

Elephants are huge, they travel in herds, and can be bad news for humans in the wrong place at the wrong time. Photographer Greg du Toit was bedded down at a watering hole in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve in Botswana when he encountered a herd of elephants. One ran within feet of him, and would have certainly caused major damage had it stepped on Greg.

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Instead of getting out of dodge like most sane people, Greg stayed and managed to capture what would go on to be named the Wildlife Photograph of the year for 2013. The image itself is not what many would consider a top notch wildlife photograph, it certainly has a unique look.

Du Toit wanted to represent the animals as gentle yet ghostly, so he set a slow shutter speed, used a polarising filter and messed with the white balance to create a cool atmosphere. As he waited, a baby elephant trotted right in front of him, just in time for him to capture the moment.

If it is all the same to you guys, I prefer to photograph elephants at my local zoo. No chance of getting stepped on and crushed into oblivion. That being said, kudos to Greg for this shot. Knowing the story behind it gives me a much greater appreciation for what I am seeing.

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What are your thoughts on this winning photo? Would you have stayed and gotten the shot, even at the risk of very serious injury? Let us know in a comment below.

[via Gizmodo]

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

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  1. Kris

    I would have ran as fast as I could have!!!!! Way too close for comfort….

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