Photography has always been a passion of mine, even if I’m not very good at it (… yet). So when I was made aware of David Hicks’ recent gallery in which he photographed elephants in Asia, I knew I had to find out more about how he managed to take such unique pictures. I wanted to discover the story behind the photographs.
C: What inspired you to photograph elephants in Sri Lanka and Thailand?
D: I love elephants. Their skin, their mannerisms, their almost human-like wiseness. Even though I’ve ridden on an elephant, I’ve always been appalled at their mistreatment at human hands. They’re innocent and loyal mammals, and don’t need human interference to be happy and healthy.
C: How were you able to get such close-up photographs of these large, wild animals?
D: Some of the really close-up photographs were taken in elephant sanctuaries, which are there to protect worked or mistreated elephants. Some have just arrived while others are fully rehabilitated and hopefully over their trauma. A zoom lens helped on occasions.
C: Do you have a favourite picture from the collection?
D: Yes, a couple spring to mind. The first is where the lumps on the elephants head mimics the hills behind. The second is where the elephants skin is juxtaposed against a brick thing.
C: What message did you want to get across with Gentle Giants?
D: That despite the mistreatment from humans, they can still be a happy and healthy species. Because they’re slow, it’s easy for humans to poach or take their tusks, and that’s disgusting. Yes they can be dangerous if you’re standing in the wrong place but they won’t intentionally kill you.
C: Which other species have you captured on camera?
D: I normally only photograph nature that’s been affected by mankind in some way. My projects have included pigeons, dogs and cats.
The new gallery ‘Gentle Giants’ from David Hicks was take in Sri Lanka and Thailand. Visit hixposure.co.uk/elephants to view the full gallery.