‘We photographed the animals with motion sensors, then the humans. In the final edit, the exchange of looks between mother elephant and man was a wonderful surprise’

Poaching in southern Kenya is largely under control now, thanks to the numbers of rangers in place, but there is a bigger issue these days: the invasion of humankind into the wildlife habitat and the conflict that ensues. There is only so much space for people and animals to coexist. That is what I wanted to depict in This Empty World, my series of shots taken in southern Kenya in 2017.

Each work is a composite of two images: the animals photographed first and the humans second, shot weeks apart. We worked on Maasai community ranchland, near Amboseli National Park. I needed a location that had both wildlife habitat and unprotected land inhabited by people. I also wanted it to be extremely denuded, due to overgrazing: the dust was important from an aesthetic point of view.

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