“At the Mercy of Men”- Lake Nakuru, Kenya – Mitchell Krog – Featured Photographer
Happy Valentine’s Day! I absolutely love this image. One of the hardest things to do in a wildlife photograph is to create an image of an animal while still showing its environment. Mitchell captures this perfectly. It is no wonder this image took first place in the Fujifilm Getaway Wildlife and Environmental Awards 2011. After you read his story slide on over to Mitchell’s Galleries, friend him on Facebook, and follow his tweets!
Take it away Mitchell:
I took this shot on a trip to Kenya in late 2009. I was in Lake Nakurufor a few days primarily to focus on the vast populations of Flamingoes that flock to the Lake. One afternoon on my way down to the lake, there stood this single Rhino right out in the open with the most amazing backdrop that just screamed to me in black and white. I had my driver stop the vehicle and I grabbed my wide angle lens and just waited for the moment when he might look up directly at me. Light was already quite low so I cranked my ISO up to 800 and opened up my aperture to f/4 as I did not want to risk losing this shot. It did not take long and the Rhino lifted his head for a brief moment, stared directly at me, and that was the moment captured.
There has been such a plague of Rhino killings in South Africa over the past 2-3 years with well over 800 of these magnificent beasts having been slaughtered for their horns. This image is very close to my heart and was that way from the moment I captured it. To me it portrays a vision that I hope to never see in my lifetime, the last Rhino standing out in an open field long after all the other Rhino’s have been slaughtered. It would be a grim day if we ever see the headline “Last Rhino Killed”. Luckily Kenya seems to be much more in control over controlling poaching in their country and hopefully with responsible management we will have these gentle beasts sharing our planet with us for many years to come.
I was honored to have this image take first place in the Fujifilm Getaway Wildlife and Environmental Awards 2011.
Not only does this photograph inspire , but it also stimulates action. Please check out the International Rhino Foundation website http://www.rhinos-irf.org/ for more information.
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