09 November 2008

Elephant in chains

Elephant chains, Chitwan

At Sauraha, the village adjoining Chitwan National Park in Nepal. This was a working elephant at a stable on the outskirts of the village.


All content © 2008 Pete McGregor

11 comments:

Michael said...

Such a sad photo. The chains seem so much more permanent than the twigs and grass under the elephant's feet.

But there we are.

pohanginapete said...

Michael, yes, something about any animal in chains seems to evoke that sadness. To be fair, the elephants I saw (plenty of them) seemed to be well looked after. I don't want to pass judgement one way or the other, but I suppose the photo could all to easily do that. Still, I'd hope it would raise questions or at least encourage wondering — although the photographing was primarily intuitive; I wasn't consciously attempting to make a statement.

Relatively Retiring said...

I found this image so powerful that I was (temporarily) lost for words, and unable to post a comment. The texture of the elephant skin against the chains is profoundly moving.

Greg Brave said...

I am out of words... beautiful photo with a huge message behind it... it can be "replicated" to many problems of our world. I think you should make something like "my best photos" section on your site, and include this photo there, so more people would see and appreciate it.

pohanginapete said...

RR, thank you. Some of the other types of fetters I saw were far more disturbing.

Thanks Greg. I suppose I could add a label ("Pete's favourites" or something) to selected photos, but I'm reluctant to do that. I'd prefer to let viewers see the photos uninfluenced (at least initially). That being said, I do like this photo. Among other things, I'm intrigued by the impact of the twigs and straw.

Greg Brave said...

But since eventually you will have many photos here, and not all viewers are like me, who thoroughly go over all the photos you have. So most of the people who visit your site won't reach great photos that you posted earlier.

pohanginapete said...

Greg, I'll think about it, but will probably stick to my guns. Another way of looking at your suggestion would see it as guaranteeing many photos would be viewed rarely, or never, after their initial posting. I'd like visitors to explore, to browse for themselves, to be surprised and, I trust, sometimes delighted by what they discover.

D.V.A. said...

my first "awwww maaan" from your collection. it's heart-ripping... really brought sorrow (especially with the monochrome effect... and it also adds a bit of helplessness... but most importantly it renders emotion, which is a great achievement. I love your work.

pohanginapete said...

D.V.A., thanks :^)

Philippa Wilkinson said...

Dear Pete,

I was just enquiring about the elephant in chains picture? could I posibly email you about it? Kind regards Philippa

pohanginapete said...

Philippa, use the 'send me an email' link beneath my profile photo.