Photographer who nearly died after being trampled by elephants captures incredible animals close up with great camera trick
A photographer who nearly died after being trampled by elephants has finally managed to capture the incredible animals on film – thanks to a nifty camera trick.
South African Daryl Balfour, 62, appears to be walking just inches from the elephants’ feet in these amazing close-up shots.
But in fact Daryl is 50 metres away using a remote control shutter to snap the elephants up close – without the danger!
Daryl said: “I was seriously trampled by elephants and was lucky to escape with my life – I was in hospital and on crutches for almost four months.
“It’s why I prefer remote-controlled cameras these days for those extreme close-ups.”
The stunning shots of the dozens of elephants – including some calves – show them taking a walk in the Samburu & Buffalo Springs National Reserves in Kenya.
Daryl’s camera is nestled in the sandy road and snaps them as they walk past.
Daryl said: “I’ve long held a fascination for elephants – they are almost always doing something!
“And their trunk adds a human-like element because it is usually picking things up, twirling them about, caressing a baby, scratching an ear, rubbing an eye, stripping bark, breaking trees, entwined with another, squirting water or stuffing food into the mouth – there’s never a dull photographic moment.
“I’m always looking for a new angle, and over the past few years have been experimenting with extreme wide-angle, extremely low and extremely close imagery.
“The simplest way to get these is to book a safari to a place with photographic hides sunken into the ground.
“The other is to acquire or build a motorised remote-controlled camera caddy, fit your remotely-triggered camera safely into it, and then drive your camera-cart up to your subject.
“Of course, you can try walking up to an elephant and lying down in front of it with your camera but it can be very painful!
“But hides all produce the same kind of images and I personally believe to be too intrusive and invasive of wild animals’ space.
“So my solution is to find a place where I can confidently predict elephants might come, then simply set my remotely triggered camera down on the ground, move away 50 metres and await the passing parade.
“Of course, there’s the possibility an elephant might stand on it but this is part of the excitement!”