This is a topic that I often discuss with guests out on safari and I have mentioned it in previous posts as well. What is the meaning behind your photography? My journey started many years ago when I purchased my first camera and the reason I bought it, was to remember moments, freeze moments in time to look back on one day and be able to relive those special times.
Why did you begin? What is the reason you take photographs? How often do you go through some of your old shots? Have you asked yourself any of these questions?
What I love about my photographs, is that each one I look at takes me back to that very moment, whether it was a specific sighting or a specific scene, I can remember everything that happened before or after that image was taken. To me, its not just about picking up a camera and taking a picture. Looking back at images, it doesn't just remind me of a good photo, it helps me remember the moments around that photo, the people I was with and how special that moment really was! That is what it is about, the memory!
It can be a very dangerous space to be in when you are looking for that specific moment instead of capturing the moment that is unfolding. I believe it is all about using your passion for wildlife or whatever it is you may be taking photographs of and using it to capture those smalls moments. I often find myself looking at other images and trying to identify what I really like about that image, or why that photographer took that specific shot, how did they use their passion to portray emotion and the way they felt? It is also eye opening as you can see which photographs were taken just for the sake of taking a photo.
When out in the field with guests, I constantly say: Remember to think of the reason resulting in you picking up your camera, what do you want your main subject to be, how are you going to highlight it by either composition or settings to maximize the image in a way that the viewer will feel how you felt when you took the image. These all sound simple and yes it is basic, but it is very important and many people forget about it. Would you rather take 1000 photos in a sighting where you have just held the shutter down and hoped to get something great, or would you prefer to take 200 photos and have a plan in mind to get the perfect shot that describes what you actually saw and photographed? I know which option I would choose.
I encourage you all to go look through older images, how do they make you feel? Did you take those images using your passion to capture the scene? In photography, we grow and learn by constantly reviewing images, understanding what we did right and what we did wrong, then going out and practicing. Specifically in wildlife photography, you may never have exactly the same scene, but it gives you a starting point to get a better image.
There are a few key points from above that I would like you all to focus on:
- Think about the photograph you are trying to capture before you pick up your camera.
- Use your passion to speak through your photography.
- Learn from past images.
- Remember to go back through past images and relive those moments, thats what it is about.
Until next time,