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

Image 1: Canon EOS 5D Mark II + 24mm f1.4 lens at 24mm; 1/250 sec at f10; ISO 100.
Image 2: Canon EOS 5D Mark II + 16-35mm f2.8 lens at 19mm; 1/250 sec at f5.6; ISO 400.
Image 3: Canon EOS 5D Mark II + 16-35mm f2.8 lens at 20mm; 1/60 sec at f4.5; ISO 1000.
Image 4: Canon EOS 5D Mark II + 16-35mm f2.8 lens at 18mm; 1/250 sec at f5; ISO 400.
Image 5: Canon EOS-1D Mark IV + 16-35mm f2.8 lens at 16mm; 1/125 sec at f2.8; ISO 1250.
Image 6: Canon EOS-1D Mark IV + 35mm f1.4 lens at 35mm; 1 sec at f20; ISO 400.


Intellectual property rights to all WPY images are retained by the photographers. Reproduction without prior written consent constitutes an actionable infringement. For usage enquiries please contact us.

Brent Stirton, South Africa

Brent has an extensive history in documentary photography, including coverage of water issues in more than 30 countries. He has a strong focus on sustainability and the environment. His work has been widely published in international media, and has received multiple international awards, including the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photojournalist of the Year Award in 2013 and 2014.

  • The real cost
  • Waste product
  • Sunset over the land of rhinos
  • Weighing up the value
  • Learning to fight back
  • The consumer
  • Out of Africa
  • Ivory trash
  • A traditional killing
  • 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
  • The spoils of war
  • Survivors
  • In the firing line
  • The price they pay
  • Ivory widows
  • Ivory haul