The Elephant Ride ~ Thailand

A bumpy elephant ride photo through the jungle in Mae Tang elephant camp North of Chiang Mai in Thailand.


When I was invited to the Mae Tang Elephant Park as a photographer to help raise funds for an Elephant Hospital, I participated to many of their activities including elephant bathing, bamboo rafting, some Elephant Love and of course, elephant rides.

I admit it’s not the most comfortable ride I’ve had. Camels are probably worse though. Much bumpier than the stoic oxen pulling their carts on a muddy road.

It’s also a real challenge to take sharp photos while riding those pachyderms. I had to increase my ISO, put my camera on continuous mode and shoot away! One over a dozen shots turned out to be sharp enough to work with!

So the mahout (trainer) took us for a 30min ride across the jungle while stopping from time to time at these towers (this one on the photo was broken and abandoned), trying to make us buy bananas or sugar cane to ‘feed the elephant’.
Whether you buy or not, he will get a few sugar canes for free to feed the animal anyway… they don’t want an angry and hungry beast wrecking havoc through the jungle with hysterical tourists yelling for help!

Talking about crazy tourists, this family on the photo, probably from the Arabian peninsula countries, had to win an award. The obnoxious guy was talking a few decibels to high for everyone’s comfort and the lady walking around in expensive clothes and high heels kept complaining about the mud and smell.

I know it doesn’t seem like it but I did enjoy the ride. Honest!


Things I love today:

The smell of coffee in my new lens-mug

The sight of an interesting museum

The sound of the street market

The taste of Thai Donuts

The feel of getting paid for my work


Quick Tips:

When shooting portraits, try to position your camera slightly above the person’s eye level for women and slightly below eye-level if it’s a man. It gives a more flattering portrait.


Are you interested in improving your photography? Would you like to have an honest opinion about your work? I have launched a new feature on Canvas of Light: FREE PHOTO CRITIQUES! Just go to this Photo Critique Page, follow the procedure and I’ll gladly share my knowledge with you and help you improve as much as I can. Enjoy!


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brandy bell

Love it Daniel, you’re inspiring me more and more to visit Thailand this summer…

Allison Suter

Words can’t describe how much I love this image.


[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Photo Of The Day, Brian Furbush. Brian Furbush said: RT @eloren: The bumpy Elephant Ride in Chiang Mai, North of Thailand. Enjoy! #travel #photography > Ha this is awesome. […]

Christy @ Technosyncratic

Great photo – I had the opportunity to ride an elephant last year in India, and it was amazing and terrifying at the same time. :) Also, I really appreciate the photo tip for today, very helpful!