All photos by Stian Klo. Used with Creative Commons permission.
We’ve been following the trips of Norweigian adventure photographer Stian Klo for some time. Stian has been to some really picturesque locations, like the Finnish Lapland and Northern Italy. This time, we revisit his 2017 trip to Africa – a dream destination for intrepid travelers, adventure photographers, and wildlife photographers alike. With photos that showcase the fascinating wildlife and the vast landscapes it calls home, we can see that Stian achieved his goal for this adventure: “to embrace the adventure and not force the creative process in terms of photography.”
This goal, he said in his set description, was something he decided on before he set out for Kenya. “I love a good wildlife portrait as much as the next guy, but coming from a landscape background, I wanted to capture the animals in their natural habitat in an undisturbed way. I didn’t want to pull out my 600mm and focus on just their facial expression, but rather frame the compositions to showcase the vastness of the land and the environment these animals must endure on a daily basis.”
That’s exactly what we see in this set shot in the world-famous Amboseli National Park, the lesser known Tsavo West NP, and the Arabuko Sokoke Forest and National Park on the east coast. There’s a mix of close-ups and more “environmental” portraits, with his subjects going about their daily life in peace. It’s definitely an approach that tells viewers something more about the trip and the animals we are already familiar with.
There’s also a particularly interesting creature that he managed to photograph: a red elephant! “Yes, it’s true and not a Photoshop trick by any means,” he stressed. “Our guide, Francis Wamae, told us that within a certain herd of elephants in Tsavo West NP, there are a few that often venture off to the foot of the Kilimanjaro to roll around in a special type of red soil, completely covering these massive creatures. The red soil acts as a defense mechanism against the aggressive and annoying flies. I had no idea, so you can imagine my surprise when we stumbled on this elephant.”