WPY 2013

Photograph Details

Winner 2013

Wildlife Photojournalist Award

Brent Stirton, South Africa

God's Ivory

Since the ban on the ivory trade in 1989, hundreds of thousands of elephants have been slaughtered and millions of dollars’ worth of illegal ivory traded. Much of this fuels a religious market of worshippers manifesting their devotion through ivory carvings. No ivory-trafficking kingpin has ever been caught. Every piece of ivory bought marks the death of an elephant. Brent worked with a writer for three years collecting the visual evidence for a story for National Geographic.

Technical specification

Canon EOS 5D Mark II + 24mm f1.4 lens at 24mm; 1/250 sec at f10; ISO 100.


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Brent Stirton, South Africa

Brent Stirton is a South African photographer who has photographed remote regions and the clash between man and the his environment for over 15 years. His investigative work appears most often in National Geographic Magazine as well as many other international publications. Brent has received multiple awards for his work and his pictures have appeared in numerous exhibitions in over twenty countries. Brent is currently working on a global series on endangered habitats and animals, looking at solutions, leadership and fund-raising efforts through which our natural world can be preserved and respected.

  • The real cost
  • Waste product
  • Sunset over the land of rhinos
  • Weighing up the value
  • Learning to fight back
  • The consumer
  • Ivory trash
  • A traditional killing
  • Blessed profits
  • From tooth to totem
  • The end of elephants
  • Bred to be killed
  • Value choice
  • Trophies and trade
  • Choreography of the kill
  • Lion guardians
  • Living with lions