"I discovered the unique relationship that connects elephants and humans, when I first arrived in Laos in 1999. For more than ten years, I spent a few weeks every year photographing logging activity in the forests of Sayabouly Province.
The lack of machine and modern equipment used in timber activities gives my black and white images a timeless impression. Yet these pictures describe a reality that will probably disappear soon. In recent years, biodiversity conservation politics and measures have banned forest exploitation and elephants are gradually being used in other tasks, mainly in tourism and often far from their villages.
The aim of this series of photographs is to raise awareness about the imminent disappearance of this interspecific community; ultimately, about the loss of a precious knowledge shared between humans and their elephant’s partners."
Philippe Coste has generously presented two photographic series on elephants.
Of Elephants and Men
Des éléphants et des hommes (Laos 1999 - 2010)
First, "Elephants and Men" explores mahout-elephant collaborative work during timber operations, and is presented as a diaporama with a soundtrack. Please turn on the volume and open the video to full screen, when viewing.
A Fleur de Peau
"A fleur de peau" is a set of still photos from his book. Throughout these pictures, Philippe Coste invites us to discover the largest terrestrial mammals in an unusual intimacy. By placing us near at hand to the animal, his images reveal the surprising sensuality of elephants through incredible and mysterious skin landscapes. If you are interested in purchasing the book "A fleur de peau", or some prints of the photographs presented here, please do not hesitate to email to Philippe Coste at this email address