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Knowing by Andrew Paranavitana

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In southern Sri Lanka, we visited Yala National Park, a sanctuary for wildlife. We went out on a 6 hour safari in search of elephants and leopards. Not a single leopard was found but we did come, literally, face to face with this elephant.

We spotted him about 50 metres away and he wandered over, closer and closer to our open air 4WD. When he was close enough to reach out and touch, mild panic washed over us. Mum, who was sitting next to me, put her head between her legs to hide and my aunt closed her eyes and hoped for the best. Everything was still and silent.. except for the sound coming from my camera :)

I was able to hold my composure as long as I was looking at him through the camera. I ended up taking about 80 or so shots of him before he grabbed a tuft of grass next to the rear wheel, ate it and left.

All in all he was around for about five minutes. Felt like a lot longer though! He was not threatened by us in the slightest. We truly underestimate the intelligence and knowing these animals have.

Featured in Amazing Wildlife
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Original shot cropped and edited with textures from – free use stock: Visualogist. Edited in Photshop CS4.

Canon 50D
18 – 55, 58mm

Uploaded 10pm


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Andrew is a Melbourne born, independent photographic artist who has exhibited and sold works globally.

Recreating the world as we forgot it..

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  • rodeorose
    rodeoroseover 3 years ago

    Fantastic shot Parmi- I love to contemplate their intelligence too my friend…you have conveyed that here so well in his beautiful gaze….GREAT story ;)))))))))))

  • Thanks so much, mate! There is something about elephants that connects with me so well. I love them. Looking forward to processing more animals from our day out :)

    – Andrew Paranavitana

  • banrai
    banraiover 3 years ago


  • Thanks a lot, mate!

    – Andrew Paranavitana

  • Isa Rodriguez
    Isa Rodriguezover 3 years ago

    oh yes! whaT A WONDERFUL shot . how special , powerful beauty

  • Thank you kindly, my friend! So pleased you like him :)

    – Andrew Paranavitana

  • Berns
    Bernsover 3 years ago

    This is so gorgeous, I adore elephants!

  • Thanks so much, mate! Aren’t they incredible!! :)

    – Andrew Paranavitana

  • BCallahan
    BCallahanover 3 years ago

    this is great, Andrew!!! you can see every wrinkle in his skin…. that ok for an elephant… but not sure people would like for you to do it to them!! hahaha…. this is EXCELLENT!! hugs!

  • Hahaha, so I shouldn’t try this for people portraits?? Thanks so much, Barb, glad you like him :)

    – Andrew Paranavitana

  • K8Karsten
    K8Karstenover 3 years ago

    Oh MY stunning!!!

  • Thanks so much, Kate :)

    – Andrew Paranavitana

  • Desirée Glanville
    Desirée Glanvilleover 3 years ago

    great capture!!!!

  • Daisy, thanks so much! Hope you’re well :)

    – Andrew Paranavitana

  • bushpoet
    bushpoetover 3 years ago

    Beautiful work Andrew, love the close framing.

  • Thanks a lot, mate! Glad you like this one, was a special – although fearful – moment :)

    – Andrew Paranavitana

  • RickGeorge
    RickGeorgeover 3 years ago

    Superb composition and detail Andrew!

  • Thanks very much, Rick!!

    – Andrew Paranavitana

  • Sonia de Macedo-Stewart
    Sonia de Maced...over 3 years ago

    wow, love the golden effect, makes him look so “goddesque”, or should i say divine. Love the composition, a fave ;-)

  • That’s so nice to hear, Sonia. Thank you so much, my friend! :)

    – Andrew Paranavitana

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