Do I Entertain?


I’m sure you remember this guy from a few posts ago, although you only got to see his backside. I received strong feedback on that photograph, here and uniformly in other outlets.  But for the first time, I felt really moved by one of my own works. I’m easily moved by other photogs, but I think sometimes with your own stuff, you might be a little bit too close to see it.

The photograph prodded me enough to go on a Google expedition in regards to circus animals. In short, I was appalled by what I encountered. I’m not one to quickly jump on any bend, especially because with the right rhetoric, someone will make you feel bad about owning a housecat. Inside the heap of condemnation in regards to circus animals, one passage from a resigned elephant trainer stuck with me. I’m paraphrasing here, but it was “There is nothing in the nature of an elephant to stand on a large ball or stand on his front legs. They will never do it out of their own volition. Put a thousand large balls on their grazing lands and you’ll never see one sitting on one. They do it because of training. They do it because they fear the repercussions if they don’t.”

7 thoughts on “Do I Entertain?

  1. This one is a good image too Brandon. I really like the totally blacked out background. The previous image has more emotional impact, where as this almost appears to be a portrait of a happy elephant. Regarding the treatment of elephants, I have become educated of late regarding the (lack of) ethical treatment of animals. Sadly, there seems to be no end to the cruelties we’re prepared to inflict on animals just to make a buck.

  2. As someone else said there is such a sadness flowing out of this picture. For me what really makes the picture is the intensity of the staring eye. It’s almost like the elephant is asking me what am I doing here. A strong picture with beautiful black and white tones

  3. Here in Spain,circuses are generally human performer only (the ones i´ve been to anyway) and my daughter would´nt like to see animals that way,she prefers safari parks,however i really like this photograph,the elephant seems to have a knowing look about it.Great shot!

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