During summer in Kabini, you will not find a single elephant. You will find at least a hundred,” said a board put up in the dining area of the resort I was staying at. On this trip, I counted over 500 individuals on a boat safari in one evening, with a good naturalist friend.
One evening, a few elephants swam across to a lush islet. The resident Black-bellied Terns seemed to be upset about the gentle giants venturing too close to their nesting area and acted on it. We observed this from a distance, slowly approached the islet, and parked the boat in the shallow water. By now, the matriarch seemed very irritated by the terns and started chasing them off while trumpeting furiously.
While elephants with calves are usually not known for the greatest tolerance to visitors, this matriarch had more reasons to be short tempered. We were holding on to a stump, sitting in the boat, and out of nowhere, she charged us with a threatening trumpet. Even as the boatman quickly pushed the boat to deeper waters to evade the charging elephant, I clicked this silhouette with a basic 70-300 Nikon ED lens I had in those days.
While the equipment it was shot with was humble, the distance this image travelled was enormous. Thanks to it, a lot of things in my photography changed, one of them being gaining momentum towards a professional career in photography, apart from winning my first-ever award.
This image won Jayanth the third prize at the Sanctuary Asia Wildlife Photography Awards in 2007.