On the Move

When you photograph faces, you photograph the moods behind them.

Morning, early May, Maasai Mara, Kenya. Although the long rains were petering out, today the clouds were burgeoning again, perhaps for the last time. I drove slowly on the treacherous tracks, slipping and skidding, looking all around, hoping to re-connect with The Marsh Pride of lions. The animals I encountered appeared completely indifferent to the conditions. They were intent on feeding – elephants and giraffes continued to browse in the forest, impalas continued to graze in the woodland, and zebras dotted the plains. I encountered The Marsh Pride at last, five lionesses and eight cubs walking easily to their favourite resting place, a sheltered dry river bed. I have known this pride, on and off, for several years now. They are very good about letting you watch them. They have even rested in the shade of my car on a few occasions. The pride had eaten this morning and the cubs were in an energetic mood. The lionesses were remarkably tolerant of their mischiefs. I was hoping for a photograph that would juxtapose these contrasting moods and, after an hour of trying, I ended up with this – the cub is intense, the mother is aware yet indifferent.

On the Move 28x19” - Paper Edition of 150 - £750

Deluxe Edition 38x25” - Paper Edition of 25 - £1,250

Hunter

It is one thing to make a portrait of what a being looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who that being is.

Early morning, Maasai Mara, Kenya. The short dry season had set in, marked by clear blue skies and grass that was fading yellow. It was exhilarating to drive around, which I do by myself in my own 4 x 4 with easy access to my camera equipment. I had been keeping track of a coalition of four male lions, known locally as The Four Musketeers (Hunter, Scarface, Morani, Sikio), for a couple of weeks or so. They held sway over a vast swathe of Mara and I remember their teamwork, their roaring and their marking territory with serious intent. They were familiar with my car to the extent that they sometimes marked it as if to say that it was their territory.

This morning, I found the lions quite quickly as they meandered in the tall grass, on a mission to where they only knew. However, sometimes they re-emerged on a track with Hunter in lead. He paused to glance at me, alert and poised. He seemed momentarily puzzled but then visibly relaxed and I caught a glint in his eyes.

Hunter 28x19” - Paper Edition of 150 - £750

Deluxe Edition 38x25” - Paper Edition of 25 - £1,250

The innovative and arresting wildlife photography of Anup Shah has established him as a unique presence in the genre for over 20 years. His work has become synonymous with originality, intimacy and detail, and has been featured in countless exhibitions, books and magazines as well as winning him numerous prestigious awards including Wildlife Photographer of the Year an astonishing 14 times. Anup’s striking images reflect his key aspiration, which is to be authentic. Always looking for new ways to inhabit the environment he photographs, he works with a combination of remote and hidden cameras, but most importantly, places himself at the heart of every situation. Anup’s images have been published widely and his books include Tiger’s Tale, The Great Rift Valley of East Africa, Wild Rhythms of Africa, Circle of Life, Serengeti Spy and African Odyssey. Along with his wife, Fiona Rogers, he has spent the past decade photographing the chimpanzees of Tanzania’s Gombe National Park for their new book Tales from Gombe. His magazine work includes eight full length features for National Geographic magazine.

Steadfast

A moment locked and framed in its own unique time.

Late December, the short, dry season, Maasai Mara, Kenya. The afternoon sky was threatening downpour. I had been concentrating on photographing elephants for about a month now. Although elephants travel long distances, they broadly follow the same routes, setting out and returning. Thus, I had become familiar with a few families. One family, led by a calm matriarch, was quite relaxed around me sitting in my 4x4 sipping tea. But that day was a great opportunity for an atmospheric photograph.

The elephant family emerged from the riverine forest and on to the adjoining plain. The elephants went about their daily task of feeding, alert to the signals from the matriarch. But she was not bothered in the least. I set up the shot at a dusty patch, anticipating that the family would come there. I hoped that the resulting photograph would speak of both raw nature and tranquillity emanating from the elephants set against the impending, menacing storm.

Steadfast 42x22” - Paper Edition of 150 - £1,250

Deluxe Edition 50x26” - Paper Edition of 25 - £1,950

Dance

Dancers do not need wings to fly.

Mid-morning, Maasai Mara, Kenya. It is the long dry season. Looks like another sun-drenched, breezeless day. It is as if every living thing is going about leisurely feeding and walking before the heat really kicks in. I am with a 15 feet tall giraffe bull walking with all the dignity in the world. I know him well – a solitary being, he hangs around at the long edge of riverine forest and grassland. His range is quite near where I have pitched my tent overlooking Mara River. I pass through here every day. Whenever I see him I pause to watch and he stares back, amused I think. Today he is on his way back to the shade of the forest, his gait effortless. But then something spooks him and he breaks into a short run. I imagine him taking off to fly, conjuring up a tremendous image of freedom – a symbol of what Mara’s wilderness means to me.

Dance 29x15” - Paper Edition of 150 - £695

Deluxe Edition 39x21” - Paper Edition of 25 - £1,250

Achievements


Named as one of the world’s top wildlife photographers by Rotovision.

Featured in Horzu Magazine as one of the five best wildlife photographers in the world.

14 times Winner: Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Featured in Masters of Nature Photography (Natural History Museum 2013).

His magazine work includes eight full length features for National Geographic magazine.

His images have been published widely and his books include Tiger’s Tale, The Great Rift Valley of East Africa, Wild Rhythms of Africa, Circle of Life, Serengeti Spy and African Odyssey.

He has spent the past decade photographing the chimpanzees of Tanzania’s Gombe National Park for a new book Tales from Gombe written with his wife, Fiona Rogers.

Onwards

Butterflies and zebras and moonbeams and fairy tales. That’s all she ever thinks about riding with the wind – Jimi Hendrix.

Mid-October afternoon, the long, dry season, Maasai Mara, Kenya. The animal herds, thousands in number, are at the river bank, plotting a way to cross south toward Serengeti. This Mara River is deadly. Many years ago, I had waded across it on foot, keeping a vigilant eye on lurking crocodiles and wary hippos. So I understood the hesitation of the nervous animals wanting to cross. Dilemma, to cross or to turn back? Squeezed in a sheltered gap I waited. Someone wrote that all wisdom is contained in two words, wait and hope. So they waited and waited, tails flicking, ears twitching, looking here and there with trepidation. Then hope kicked in and as their hooves splattered mud on a soggy earth and the river crossing began. It was powerful and decisive, their pace compact yet energetic. It felt as if one was about to be run over.

Onward 28x19” - Paper Edition of 150 - £750

Deluxe Edition 38x25” - Paper Edition of 25 - £1,250