National Geographic : 2004 Dec
ONE THAT ALMOST GOT AWAY Final Edit AFRICA'S MIRACLE DELTA Shall We Dance? After months of diving among crocodiles as he explored the aquatic jungle of Botswana's Okavango Delta, photographer David Doubilet found him self swimming with much friendlier companions: a small herd of safari elephants and their mahouts. Doubilet snapped frame after frame of the ele phants frolicking in the water, when suddenly a pair of skinny legs caught his eye. "If you start with the golden light and white sand," says Doubilet, "and add something as incon gruous as the biggest legs on the planet next to the graceful legs of the mahout, it becomes quite funny." The editors loved the quirky juxtaposition of limbs but were more drawn to the energy and movement of other images depicting the world's largest land mammal delighting in watery weight lessness (pages 55-7). "We exhausted the elephant underwater look," says photo editor Bert Fox, adding with a straight face,"we felt the legs would have to stand alone." NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC * DECEMBER 2004 WEBSITE EXCLUSIVE Cut it or keep it? Find out more about what tipped the balance for this photo and send it as an electronic greeting card in Final Edit at nationalgeographic.com/ magazine/0412.