Sunday, March 4, 2012

New Work: Woman Riding A Galloping Elephant

 Impossible, "cartoonish", and yet fun to look at and full of concepts. I predict this will be a successful stock photo.

New Work
In the continuing evolution of my photography blog I am going to start sharing more of my new work here. When I create an image that especially pleases me, or has some sort of quality that I think is worth mentioning, whether it is artistic in nature or something that enhances the images value in the market place, I will post the image here on this blog along with my reasons for doing so.

Elephant Ride
In this case the image is another of my “funny elephant pictures”, one of a young woman galloping at speed on an elephant. Now I will be the first to admit that this is kind of a strange image. It is almost cartoonish…and we all know that elephants don’t gallop when they run, and even if they did, it wouldn’t look like this one! Nonetheless, I believe it will be a successful stock photo.

A Feeling Of Freedom And Adventure
This image won’t work for everyone, but it works for me. First and foremost, it makes me smile when I look at it. We all know that photographers are terrible editors of their own work…and that maybe the case here, but the fact is I just plain enjoy looking at this picture. I love the way the woman looks joyful, the feeling of freedom and adventure I get from her with her dress and hair flowing in the wind. I love the contrast between her delicate form and the massiveness of the elephant. I can almost feel the thud as the elephant's feet pound into the earth with each huge leap. I believe that others will fee the same way and equally enjoy looking at this photo. Hopefully that will make the image a great stock photo…time will tell.

Elephants In Thailand, Backgrounds In Mongolia
I photographed the woman in my studio. She was sitting on moving blankets covering apple crates. Stephanie pulled out on her dress and, when she let go I would fire off a shot capturing the movement of the material as it snapped back. We did additional shots in which Stephanie would perform a gentle toss of the model’s hair giving that its movement as well. The elephant I photographed in Thailand. It was actually standing still. I used six different elephant shots to composite this one together. The background was near the Gobi desert in Mongolia, of all places! Actually, it was two different shots in Mongolia, one with just the grass and one with the mountains and sky.

Elephants, Nature and Symbolism
On a conceptual level this image has a lot going for it. Elephants are very positive symbols for us including the representation of strength, power, memory, loyalty and even nobility. The green environment offers a positive view of nature. The woman wears a white dress indicating purity. That she wears no jewelry or shoes indicates closeness to nature, and the fact that she is riding an elephant indicates confidence, skill and even mastery.  What I would call ancillary symbolism includes speed, accomplishing the impossible, and even teamwork (the woman and the elephant are both enjoying themselves in a co-operative effort). Another possibility is that this is a photograph of creativity. There is room for even more symbolic meanings that can easily be tapped into through the right headlines and copy.  And yes, I purposely left plenty of room for the inclusion of headlines and body copy or inset photos.


Anonymous said...

Photography entails a subjective distortion of the truth. Wonderful!

John Lund said...

Thanks John!

arovingeye said...

I've been following your blog for a while. I really admire your infinite nuggets of knowledge when it comes to maximising/adapting your skills so you can still succeed in the competitive and over saturated photo stock market.

I like your idea here of sharing the images you think will be successful and why - makes for an interesting read every time.

I recall one blog post saying you sold just short of 2000 stock images a month! That is exceptional (or have I interpreted your data incorrectly).

Almost all my photo stock sales come via getty and until I read your monthly sales figures I was quite pleased with my average 30 a month sales - however, I've only been taking this photo stock opportunity seriously for around 18 months - not a lifetime like yourself.

Anyway, keep up the great blog - always makes an informative read.

Regards, Paul

Elenaphoto said...

Lovely image indeed! I have no doubt it will be very successful as stock. So many possible uses! Big corporations like using elephants as their symbol, too, so this might bring a *big* sale:).

John Lund said...


Can't recall exactly how many sales a month I reported...but off the top of my head I think it is currently around 1200 a month when I total all the various sales reports.

Anyway, I will keep blogging!



John Lund said...


Thanks...I am keeping my fingers crossed for that big one!