Some moments are unplanned in photography. But it’s the effort to put yourself in those positions in the first place that generally go unnoticed that really need to become part of a natural workflow for a documentary photographer. Never stand still, never get complacent. The next great moment may just pass you by and you didn’t even know it.
Such is the case with this photo. I was on a 7 day field trip with the elephant patrol in Sumatra and on the 5th morning it could been pretty easy to sit around (already exhausted) and wait for the elephants to be brought back to camp. They always get a bath before heading out onto patrol, it’s the one thing the elephants love more than anything. I decided to save my DSLR battery for documenting the work over the next few days and waited for the elephants to come in from the forest to get their bath so I could shoot a few iPhone shots. What I wasn’t expecting was this brilliant moment and composition of the bathing elephants and the rising sun piercing through the forest canopy. Just a brilliant moment that I never expected and the iPhone did a nice job of capturing the essence of what it felt like to experience that moment.