Brent Stirton is no stranger to photographing elephants and their mysterious ways. A photojournalist who specializes in capturing wildlife and animals’ interactions with humans, Stirton was an obvious choice to highlight the intelligent and adaptable pachyderm for National Geographic’s May issue.
Stirton has been passionate about documenting the symbiotic—and sometimes stormy—relationships between animals and humans since witnessing an outpouring of grief over the 2007 death of endangered mountain gorillas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. So passionate, in fact, that he wasn’t fazed by monsoon season in Southeast Asia while on assignment for National Geographic to photograph the way elephants are learning to live with humans.
We talked to Stirton about how he trekked through India, Sri