I've been completely off the grid in Namibia's beautiful desert for a few weeks. And though there's magnificent landscape imagery to be found, I was still missing the big shot. So when scouting for that one image on Etosha's dry plains the stakes where high...

The extreme conditions, most notable the dry and scorching heat, are what sets this place apart from any other location. This is actually a good starting point; in the end it's all about plurality. The world doesn't need another picture of a center framed, sideways and high point of view elephant. It has been done excessively and most of the time it is just hackneyed pulp. We all know how these creatures look like. These "proof shots" a nice to show your Big 5 checklist to family and friends back home, but they're not captivating in any other way. After failing over and over again I can safely say I'm better than that. This is not ego talking; it's a continuous drive to excellence.

hen working in these conditions I wanted that characterizing heat and drought to be the main stage of the image with the animals playing a key role. Motivated by preparation and a large amount of sunburn and dust, hours of waiting went by hoping for that single special moment to unfold. This patience paid off in an enchanted moment.


hough there's not a single elephant to be seen, it's immediately clear what massive animals are headlining this image. The dust implies heat, drought and - most of all - movement.

Jochen van Dijk
Etosha, Namibia