Tanda-Tula Contrasts book cover by Chad Cocking
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Contrasts: a new book by Chad Cocking

Chad Cocking | Our Family

 Almost two years ago I posted a blog about the changing of the seasons (Changing of the Seasons Blog). In that story I mentioned that the images were taken as part of a “project” I had been working on to showcase the contrasts of the region.  Finally, after staring at a computer screen for hundreds of hours, scrolling through thousands of photographs, and making tens of thousands of fine adjustments to layouts, I am most excited to be showcasing the completion of my project (and no prizes for guessing the name!) – CONTRASTS.  

Tanda-Tula Contrasts, by Chad Cocking

Contrasts is going to be my second published coffee table book, and is just about on its way to the printers.  It is a project that – like the surrounding landscapes – has transformed as the creative process has unfolded.  My initial idea was to base a book around the seasonal changes of the Timbavati, with four easy and clearly defined chapters – summer, autumn, winter and spring.  This was brought about by the fact that the season differences are so large here that guests visiting Tanda Tula Safari Camp in the middle of the dry season couldn’t imagine that the dusty landscapes that surrounded them could ever transform in verdant fields flush with grass, greenery and life.  Likewise, when driving around in the uncharacteristically lush surrounds of summer, it seemed improbable that the stereotypical shades of a brown-coated Africa could ever remove the vibrant greens of summer.  

Tanda -Tula giraffe by by Chad Cocking in Contrasts

The problem I soon encountered in attempting to categorise my images into four seasons was that there only ever really appeared to be two distinctive times of the year – the dry and the wet season.  Spring and autumn barely registered in the photos; and I was okay with that, as it was more the differences between the extremes of summer and winter that I wanted to showcase.  In addition to this, so many of the photographs that I wanted to include within the book were not directly related to seasonal changes, and this required a different approach to unify the images.  To overcome these issues, I scrapped the idea of a seasonal book, and extended the concept of contrasts to include the differences that could be found in the evolutionary designs of the wildlife, as well as the contrasting lifestyles that they employed to ensure their end goal of surviving to pass on their genes.  The end result being that Contrasts showcases the contrasts of seasons, shapes and survival, captured in more than 260 images spread over 172 full-colour pages, accompanied by informative texts and captions that complete a book that I hope will sit proudly on coffee tables across the world. 

Tanda-Tula elephant by Chad Cocking in Contrasts

I fortunately learnt a great deal from producing my first book back in 2013, and this helped me in creating a book that I am very excited about, and one that I believe really showcases the wonders of this special part of a truly magnificent country.  I have been most humbled by the initial feedback from all those kind enough to have taken the time to page through the early drafts of the book, and I can’t wait to hold the first copy in my hands! To have a sneak peek at some of the page layouts, check out this link: Contrasts Preview 

Tanda-Tula leopard cub by Chad Cocking in Contrasts

Sadly though, I do know that simply because the files are ready and I’m happy to sign off on the book, the process is still a few months away – print proofs, colour corrections, printing, binding, shipping, customs clearance and delivery to our door all still need to take place, but the finished product will be available well before the end of the 2021.  Before then though there is still more to be done, including preparing to send quantities of the book to both the United States and Europe to help make the distribution of the books easier and more cost-effective once it has been printed.  

Tanda-Tula leopard kill by Chad Cocking in Contrasts

So, if you live abroad and are wondering how you can get your hands on a copy of Contrasts once it has been released, fear not, as we will be able to get a copy to you.  To help with the planning on just how many books to send to each distribution point, it would be wonderful at this point if you could just let me know that you are interested by emailing me on [email protected], letting me know where you are based, and then I can allocate a book (or two!) to be sent to you later this year.  More details can be found by following the link to the book preview, but please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me for more information. 

Tanda-Tula lightning by Chad Cocking in Contrasts

For nowthough, here are some of the images that you will find in the book, but there are many, many more to feast the eyes!  So, enjoy these, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the continued support, kind words and wonderful feedback on all of the images I share with you via Tanda Tula’s social media platforms – it is always so humbling to read, and keeps me motivated to continue to share these moments with you.  

Tanda-Tula rhinos by Chad Cocking in Contrasts

Until next time, take care 


Tanda-Tula wild dog vs hyena by Chad Cocking



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