Wildlife photographers all have a particular goal when they are out in the field capturing their subjects.
These may be photographing for commercial reasons such as stock images, wildlife prints, images for books, and marketing, to name a few.
Some do it for the love of it, the passion it constantly fuels, the sweet memories it evokes and the story that it tells. I would most certainly position myself in this category.
This image and experience is very personal to me. This is more than just an ordinary image. It has a unique story behind it and certain elements captured within this image can relate to the plight of these magnificent animals, the struggles that they are undeservedly forced to face on a daily basis.
I have titled this image – “ Blurred Lines.”
Firstly, the technique I used, a radial blur, does create the effect of drawing your gaze to the horn whilst most of the other elements are out of focus. This rhino’s single most distinguishing feature is also the sole reason for it’s radical decline.
I decided to portray this rhino in monochrome, punching the contrast, lifting the blacks and lowering the highlights. There’s truth within this as it does depict the gloomy outlook for this animal. All colour has seemingly faded as we fight for their survival.
The implied movement of the people around the animal suggests that there are a myriad of conservation initiatives out there, frantic and disorganized. There seems to be endless talking and only a select few behind the scene’s getting their hands dirty. Most involved have had limited success in their efforts to reduce the poaching and potential destruction of the species.
The blindfold is significant. They have poor eyesight. These mighty beasts have few natural enemies and no need for strong eyes. Sadly this has made them easier targets and allows poachers a gateway for committing foul deeds. The physical blindfold symbolizes the fact that the animal cannot visualize the bleak future that they face today. They cannot see the poachers coming before they meet their fate, and they know not the dire situation they find themselves squarely within.
The lines are blurred, the boundaries have been crossed and blood money has passed through foul hands.
Our rhino’s cannot help themselves. They cannot fight for their survival.
It is up to me, and it is up to you.