Derek Nielsen Photography

Kwizera (Rwandan for Hope)





Rwanda, 2022


Limited edition fine art print of 6 – On my last trip to Rwanda to see the magnificent mountain gorillas, I wanted to capture beautiful portraits of some of our closest ancestors. To protect them from being overexposed to humans, only a few groups are allowed to be around tourists. In addition, of the groups that are exposed, they are only exposed for one hour. This makes for an adrenaline-filled rush to grab as many great compositions as possible in that timeframe. Learning from the mistakes of my first encounter, I had every setting dialed in perfectly on my camera to get clear, sharp images. At first, I focused on the big adults, including the group’s silverback, because they were out in the open. Then, I narrowed in on the playing juveniles.
Suddenly, though, I spotted a young mother with her baby off in the distance, away from the group. She was eating, and the baby was playing curiously with flowers. I knew if I could get the right angle, this would be the one shot that would blow the rest away. I squatted down really low to get down to the baby’s level. Quickly, I noticed I had sat down in a stinging nettle plant, and now my entire backside was on fire. Somehow, I was able to ignore the pain and get the shot. It looked my way just for a moment and then back to the flower in its hand. It was such a beautiful moment. Then, crunch, it decided the flower was a perfect snack to try, and I had to address the pain from the unfortunate bite of the nettles. Worth every second. Photo © copyright by Derek Nielsen.


Additional information

Weight 5 lbs
Dimensions 32 × 3 × 48 in
Print Edition

Artist Proof, Limited Edition Print

Print Finish

Fine Art Photographic Print, Framed Lumachrome HD Fine Art Acrylic, Lumachrome HD Fine Art Acrylic

Print Size

24×36, 32×48, 40×60