Vanessa Beadling

Camera: Canon 5DM3

Lens: 300mm f2.8

Aperture: f8

Shutter speed: 1/1600

ISO: 1250

Description: A close-up of an elephant trying to take advantage of the patchy shade afforded by a lone tree on the Maasai Mara savannah.

Story from behind the lens: From just after sunrise, we had been watching a family of elephants enjoying themselves by a waterhole. As they wandered off into the mid-morning heat, one of them peeled off to take shade under a sparsely-foliated tree. This close-up starkly captures the rugged textures of the animal's features. The shadows of the tree's branches also paint a vivid lattice work of light and dark shading across its face.