Wildlife and nature photography is not about picking up your camera, aiming, and firing away at the fastest frame-rate that your camera allows.
Make no mistake, you will get a collection of images where some may be quite good, but most of them will probably be lacking that special something; that artistry that catches someone’s attention and makes them pause and really look at your image, connect with it, feel something from it.
I have seen this ‘lack’ specifically in images taken on photography tours where the photographer only focuses on, or where the main focus is on, the technical side of photography. A technically good image is a technically good image. Enough said. Next!
Think further and deeper; we live in a fast-paced world where we actively look to connect with the world around us. Photography is one of the biggest mediums that people can connect with. Not only do photographs present people the opportunity to live vicariously through the photographer’s image(s), they can also be moved powerfully by what the photographer presents, and by how she/he has presented it.
When on a photo safari, Ask yourself: what do you connect with? And importantly, why? I’m not talking about different photographic genres, rather that when you look at collections of images, what makes some of them specifically stand out to you more than the others. Is it the way the photographer captures the speed of a Wild Dog hunt through the use of panning? Is it how a ghost-like photograph of a rhino highlights its all-too realistic extinction through the use of a double-exposure?
Once you have that answer, it will help you identify what you connect with, and therefore the type of images you would ultimately like to create.
Your photography is an extension of yourself. It is a visual representation of your voice, and once you start listening to it, that’s when you start to create images rather than take them.
Everything you do in order to present your final image conveys how you saw the scene during your photography tour and its effect on you. This is where you bring life to your still captures of the moments you witness.
Photography is about creating. You choose what story you want to tell whether it is literal or poetic, what you would like to reveal and show, and so much more. By using the creative and technical aspects of photography together, that is when your images start to take flight and become powerful representations.