March 13th is National Elephant Day in Thailand. Chiang Mai Photography Tours enjoyed spending the day at Mae Sa Elephant Camp along with hundreds of locals and foreigners – and over 70 elephants. It’s all about elephant appreciation and the biggest buffet luch you ever saw.
Before mechanization elephants were used as working animals mostly hauling cut logs in the jungle and provided a perfect form of transportation through the thick tropical forest. The Royal Thai Army also made extensive use of elephants in their task to protect the land borders in times past. Now elephants are cared for in camps where tourists come to see shows and enjoy riding the huge animals.
Elephants are great to photograph – especially when you can see so many in one place! With a great deal of action – and care needing to be taken – there’s fabulous opportunity to shoot hundreds of images in a few hours. Being familiar with photographing elephants and making sure to communicate carefull with the elephant’s handlers we are able to introduce our customers to a whole new photography experience. The day’s photography is not without it’s challenges which include jostling with many others wanting the best angle, the sheer size of the elephants, early afternoon sun providing difficult lighting situation (not to mention the heat!) Guidance during the workshop focused on choosing the best locations to obtain access for interesting angles, composition choices and most certainly focused a lot on capturing the moment of the action whenit’s at the best.