What is it about photography that ignited my passion to pick up a camera and start shooting?
I have been very privileged in my time living in the bush and have been fortunate to have had some incredible experiences. 10 years ago I took up photography for the sole purpose of remembering special moments and sightings I experienced in the bush. I started with a small point and shoot camera and as time went on I discovered that this ‘’photography thing’’ was something I really enjoyed and as my passion for photography developed so did the urge to understand more.
Now, years later I find myself looking through past images and reliving special moments that I have had during my journey as a guide. The beauty about photography is that it captures brief moments that will last a life time and a brief look through the archives brings back such good memories…
Below I have made 5 key points that have helped me along my photographic journey:
Understanding your equipment
For many of us we have saved up to buy new equipment, either in the form of a new camera body or a top of the range lens and believe that because it is so expensive and of the highest quality its going to take amazing pictures straight off the bat.
Sadly, this is not the case. Understanding your equipment is crucial and is something you should really research and understand before stepping foot out into the field to get the best results out of your new/old gear. This is where photographic workshops and tutorials are extremely helpful. It avoids frustration and disappointment when out in the field particularly in the heat of a great photographic opportunity. I was fortunate to have other guides and photographers around me to bounce ideas off and get a better understanding of how my gear works and, most importantly, when to change certain settings.
Practice, practice, PRACTICE
This is where the good old saying ‘’practice makes perfect’’ comes into affect. With so many different settings and techniques to learn it can become quite a daunting task. What I used to do, and still do from time to time, is simply sit in my garden and photograph random things, whether it be a bird in the garden, a pet or even flowers it allows me to practice changing settings, getting familiar with my camera and learning different techniques in a calm and relaxed environment without the stress or pressure of missing ‘’the shot’’
Keep both eyes open
Know this sounds ridiculous and maybe a bit basic but it is something I didn’t learn straight away and I missed a number of shots because of it. The idea behind it is to be able to photograph and at the same time being conscious of what is going on around you. Things may be happening outside of your view finder and before you realise it the opportunity has passed and the moment is gone.
Have images in mind
What do I mean by this? In wildlife photography there are some constants, but often every situation is different. So how do you you plan for specific images? Well you can’t. What I mean by having set images in your mind is that it is a good idea to go through other photographers work and try understand why (and how) they took a specific image to create a certain mood or feeling . What techniques did they use? What gave the image its impact? By doing this you subconsciously absorb all the fine details and by having all this information and images in mind when you are out in the field it will allow you to recognize specific photographs or a scene worth stopping to take a picture of.
Capture the moment
It is always important to have a plan in mind when heading out into the field. With so many external elements out of our control we need to make sure that we have planned and made adjustments on the elements we do have control over such as settings.
The key to making an image impactful, is to identify what drew you to taking that specific image. What it the detail of a close up image of an animals eye? Or a beautiful sunrise as a crisp new day begins? Once you have identified your subject, use the knowledge you have gained of understanding your equipment and practicing different techniques to enhance your subject and create an image that has impact and most of all an image that will leave you with a memory that will last a life time….
If there is anything specific about wildlife photography you would like to know more about or have a better understanding of then write it in the comment section and we will help you to the best of our ability.
Until next time,