Earlier this week I put together a group of black and white zebra images that I’d taken in Botswana, Tanzania and Kenya over the last few years. I love zebras and lets face it, there are few animals that are better suited for black and white photography. However, when I see a photo like the one above, I realize how much I have to learn.
Enter Johan Swanepoel.
The first thing that strikes me is the mood of this image: It’s dark and powerful with an intensity that belies the reality of the moment – the zebra was just having a good ‘ole roll.
For me this image drips with drama. My imagination takes over and I think, perhaps the zebra isn’t rolling but instead the victim of a vicious battle, having been knocked down only moments before this shot was taken.
The use of a shallow depth of field adds a dreamy effect along with a wee-bit reduction in clarity, while the conversion to black and white puts the finishing touches on a highly compelling image.
What do you think?