Evocative means to bring strong images, memories, or feelings to mind.
Evocative comes from the Latin word evocare, which means to “call out” or “summon.” To summon something you need a voice, and indeed, the Latin word for voice is vocare. Other related words include the noun vocation, which means “a calling.”
The reason I’m telling you this is because I have chosen what I believe are the 20 most evocative images to come out of the Londolozi blog this year. They may not be the best technically shot photographs, visually beautiful or complex but in my opinion they most definitely make you feel something. For me this is the key to any creative product; did you manage to make the audience feel something? Photography is a subjective art form and so I am fully aware that this selection and my reasons for choosing them may not have been yours too. So if you have any images that leap out at you from the year that you found particularly evocative, then please share with us in the comments below.
A Matimba male lion shakes his mane after being drenched by a summer thunder shower. The movement makes me think of a domestic dog, so incongruous with this wild cat. Photograph by Trevor McCall-Peat
For me there is something so romantic and mysterious about this photograph. It’s almost as if the photographer has stumbled into an intimate moment being shared between this elephant and the forest of Leadwood trees. One wonders what they might be whispering to each other. Photograph by Sean Cresswell.
I love this photograph for the mere fact that it gives you a different perspective on something you don’t often get to see. There is also something about the expression and look of surprise on this praying mantis’ face that makes you wonder what it makes of the strange creature pointing a camera at it. Photograph by Rob Crankshaw
Such an incredibly tender and powerful moment, beautifully captured. It is quite something to see those jaws wrapped around a tiny cub’s head when we all know what that bite is capable of. Photograph by Don Heyneke
Elegance and luxury encapsulated. I look at this image and just want to be that guest over-looking the Sand River, enjoying the serenity of nature with the luxury of a cold gin and tonic. Photograph by Elsa Young
Although this photograph of a dead elephant calf is almost an affront to one’s sensitivities, it’s one that really tells a story. It has a journalistic quality about it and captures the harshness of the drought we found ourselves in this year. Photograph by James Tyrrell
For me this image just gives me the feeling of the most beautiful kind of adventure. Every part of me wants to be on that vehicle exploring the curves of the Manyelethi riverbed scanning for the creatures it houses. Photograph by Sean Cresswell
One of the Londolozi children learns off an iPad in the Londolozi creche. So often I think that we forget that adults holds so many of the keys to a child’s education about life, and I just love how Salma’s little hand wraps around the one guiding finger of her mother, Omelia. There is such joy and innocence in childhood. If only we could all continue to learn in such an enthralled way. Photograph by Amanda Ritchie
Does the hyena manage to catch this vulture? What exactly is it chasing them away from? The intrigue of this image asks more questions than it answers. Photograph by Don Heyneke
“Two necks on legs slowly swing their heavy heads. This is the graceful dance of the awkward” – Heinrich Van Den Berg. The angles and lines the giraffes create in this image juxtaposes beauty and serenity with the harshness of what is in fact an aggressive and dangerous dance. Photograph by Amy Attenborough
It is incredible to imagine that this tiny cub, smaller than the size of its mother’s head, will one day grow to hunt alongside her. The size difference here illustrates just how vulnerable these cubs are during this early phase of their lives. What will stories will emerge in the years in between? Photograph by Don Heyneke
A special moment of unity where the lodge gathered together to pray for the Ndlovu and More families and some much needed rain. Photograph by Don Heyneke
We always talk about the heartbeat of Londolozi, which is created in moments like this. General Manager, Duncan MacLarty, celebrates with his team after scoring the goal that tied the game against the formidable Londolozi Leopards team during our annual Christmas soccer match. Photograph by James Tyrrell
The greatest love story at Londolozi this year is the one of the ostriches. For me the success of this family is summed up right here. Photograph by Sean Cresswell
This year we’ve experienced some incredible blood moons, super moons and meteor showers as well as seen a significant increase in the interest of Londolozi staff in photographing the night sky. Here Trevor McCall-Peat captures something we often see but with a clarity and detail that we don’t often get to enjoy.
Here some Varty Camp guests film a buffalo being killed by lions in the Sand River right in front of camp. Normally one would be inclined to photograph the action but I love the different angle and creative eye Amanda Ritchie showed here by looking at this scene from a completely different perspective.
Many people say that elephants are incredibly clever and that they engage in interesting behaviour like paying respect to the dead. We will never know for sure if this is true or not, but as this elephant inspects the skull of a deceased buffalo, it begs the question what exactly this bull was thinking. Photograph by Kevin Power
The Ndzanzeni female snarls at a hyena passing by. Her expression completely encapsulates MY emotions later that day when she lay down to sleep, after we had waited with her for fourteen hours in the hope that she would lead us back to her den! Photograph by Amy Attenborough
Personally I think the quality of light is what creates such an evocative image here. The harshness of the moment, represented by a complete absence of grass at the height of the drought, contrasts with the beauty of this photograph of an animal not often associated with that word. Photograph by Mike Johnson (Londolozi Guest)
A multiple exposure of the winter night sky. David Dampier has condensed 30 minutes of time into one image, to encapsulate the march of the heavens that is beyond the perception of our human eyes.