A Swiss photographer has swept to victory in an international wildlife photography competition, with an image of a herd of elephants captured from a microlight aircraft in Zambia.

[Photo credit: Marc Mol]

Marc Mol beat hundreds of entries to win the wildlife photography contest which was staged by the Society of International Nature and Wildlife Photographers.

Commenting on his winning shot, Marc said: ‘What a nice and welcome surprise. A herd of elephants cast incredible shadows across the dry Luangwa River floodplain as they journey to the refreshing waters of this dwindling river.’

Marc, from Laufen, took the photo from a microlight aircraft in the early morning light over the Luangwa River floodplain in the South Luangwa National Park.

He used a Nikon D3S with a Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 VR II lens, shooting at a focal length of 70mm.

The photographer added: ‘The looming shadows of the herd, led by the matriarch, are clearer than the animals themselves, who seamlessly blend in the textured patterns of the sand below them.’

The Societies CEO Phil Jones said: ‘The quality of entries for this month’s competition was magnificent, with images ranging from macro shots to hippos bathing in the natural environment.

‘Marc’s image captured the beauty of nature and was a worthy winner.’

Marc won a year’s membership of the Society of International Nature and Wildlife Photographers.

  • Peter Kelly

    Nice shot but, not meaning any disrespect to the photographer, I have to say I’m somewhat underwhelmed regarding the originality.

    Indeed, I’ve seen very similar pictures of camels and oryx that, if I’m not mistaken, are also prizewinning. After all, given the likelihood of strong sun in Africa and the wide availability of wild animals, it wouldn’t need much more than a means of being airborne to achieve such images.