Fine Art Photography

Baraka

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I’ve photographed the “Big 5” many times. But I was always left feeling unfulfilled with my Rhino shots. I decided that I needed to give these beautiful creatures their rightful place amongst my walls of beasts. So, I visited Ol Pejeta, the largest wildlife conservancy of black rhinos. Sadly, I was only there one night, but I was able to experience more rhinos than all my Africa travels combined. And then, I met Baraka. The blind black rhino everyone so feverishly talks about. Baraka which means “blessing”, is a gentle boy with a mystic presence. He was blinded in one eye during a turf war with another rhino. He later developed a crystalized cataract on his left eye and unfortunately lost that one too. I spent about 15 minutes total with Baraka and within the first 60 seconds I had this shot. I was so fulfilled with the image and the experience that I quickly realized that I needed to be less concerned with the shot, and more invested in the moment. I got to feed and pet him and reflect on how lucky I was to be one of the few humans in the world to live through a moment this intimate with a famed black rhino.

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