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Image credit Baby elephant drinking Kenya 2017 Joachim Schmeisser

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PublishedDecember 4, 2017 at 05:09pm
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Joachim Schmeisser

Elephants in HeavenImmagis Fine Art Photography, Photography, Munich, Germany
Thursday November 23, 2017 - Saturday January 27, 2018 - Event ended.

The insightful animal portraits of the “orphan elephants”, which are being cared for by the “David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust”, have become a real affair personal matter for him. After initial exhibitions of the portraits in 2009, Joachim Schmeisser received prestigious international awards, including the much sought-after Hasselblad Master Award 2012.

KIBO Kenya 2009 Joachim Schmeisser
Wild elephant babies playing I Kenia 2017 Joachim Schmeisser
SUGUTA Kenya, 2009 Joachim Schmeisser
SABACHI Kenya, 2009 Joachim Schmeisser
Earth I Kenya 2013 Joachim Schmeisser
Wonderful morning Kenya 2017 Joachim Schmeisser
Mudbath IV Kenya 2017 Joachim Schmeisser
Baby elephant drinking Kenya 2017 Joachim Schmeisser
Gone Kenya 2017 Joachim Schmeisser
Tracks of the last Giants Kenya 2017 Joachim Schmeisser
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35 years ago Joachim Schmeisser started his career as an advertising photographer. Beside the commercial photography he dedicates himself to themes of personal interest. Top priorities are people and socially relevant subjects. “I see photography as a mirror of my feelings and it should direct full attention at the subject’s essence. It is all about beauty, fragility, fugacity, and mindfulness, dignity and the soul, as well as the right of every individual to have a equal place on this planet.” His aim is to have a look behind the scenes and to bring the invisible to the surface. His pictures touch our hearts – the emotional language of the soul.

In Elephants in Heaven, the photographer Joachim Schmeisser takes us on a very personal journey to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, where he documented orphaned elephant children, their guardians, and their daily fight against poachers. Approximately 25 works are presented as highlights from the book of the same name, and includes some large format prints as well as elegant platinum palladium prints.

Because elephants are pachyderms, a combination of two Greek roots meaning “thick skin,” one might think that nothing bothers them and that they lead quiet, safe lives. Nothing could be further from the truth: elephants have been hunted and killed for their ivory tusks since antiquity. And people often ignore the calves left behind, who must now live out their lives as traumatized and fearful orphans.

Wildlife photographer Joachim Schmeisser made it his mission to document the story of these abandoned baby elephants. Through his sponsorship of elephants, he came into contact with the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the world’s largest and most successful rescue and rehabilitation operation for orphaned elephants, headquartered in Nairobi. Professional veterinary technicians bottle feed the elephant calves until they are old enough to locate their own food. By living together with older elephant calves, they also learn the social rules governing elephant herds. After this phase is complete, the elephants are taken to one of the Trust’s rehabilitation stockades before they are released back into the wild.

Without the trust, the elephant orphans would have no chance of survival. Joachim Schmeisser followed numerous elephants through the entire process and captured fascinating pictures from their arrival at the nursery all the way to their release back into the wild. Elephants in Heaven provides a visual record of how these traumatized elephants are raised in a place that is truly heavenly for them, offering a compelling behind-the-scenes look inside an elephant nursery.


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