Photo Stories

The Story Behind the Photo: Is this how to Mount an Elephant?

The Photo Story

While traveling in India, we visited the Tropical Spice Plantation in Goa on the western coast of India.  Several of my colleagues were interested in taking an elephant ride at the plantation.  I, of course, was the photographer.  

How to Mount an Elephant

I was interested in watching the trainer prepare the elephant for the rides and understanding how the elephant was being treated. I then I watched the trainer mount the elephant.  This was not what I had expected and I was concerned for the elephant.  I guess I was thinking of how people mount a horse. It must not have bothered the elephant too much as he just continued eating.  

I'm not a big fan of keeping animals in captivity like this.  However, I did not see any signs of mistreatment of the elephants. 


Camera:  Olympus OM-D E-M1
Lens: Olympus 12-50mm f/3.5 – 6.3 lens
Focal Length:  27mm
ISO:  500
Aperture:   f/6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/500 second
Exposure Compensation: 0
Lighting:  Late morning, Bright and Sunny

Post Processing

  • This photo was cropped in Adobe Lightroom 5.
  • Google’s Viveza 2 was used to selectively brighten and darken areas of the photo, and to increase saturation and contrast.
  • The Detail Extractor Filter in Color Efex Pro 4 was used to increase the detail of the trainer and elephant.
  • Used Topaz Denoise and a Layer Mask in Photoshop CC to selectively remove the noise from the photo.
  • Selectively sharpened the image using the Unsharp filter and a layer mask in Photoshop CC.

Written by Martin Belan

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