For me wildlife photography is about using your skills and knowledge of wildlife together in the pursuit of capturing an image from the wild where nothing has been changed by man, example bait put out, a perch put out or anything that changes an animal’s behaviour in order to get the image. As a professional I think I have a duty of care to not only the subject but also to the general public to show an image as seen on the ground. This approach is the whole foundation to my work. In an age when there’s lovely images everywhere you look I think images should be judged today on the amount of effort and knowledge and fieldcraft used in order to capture an image as personally I don’t like anything that is to contrived or set up where the animal is made to do something in order to get an image almost like a master and servant, where if you do something you get a prize for that, it has to be unplanned, unscripted and true for me.
My passion for wildlife goes alot deeper than just an image, I watch, study, listen and spend time in watching their behaviour, trying to work with the animals and sometimes when I get an image I feel I have cheated the subject by using my skills in capturing that given image by laying in weight having studied them I hope that makes sense. When I watch an animal I have that connection and I shoot with my heart and eye and I build that trust and care for the subject and when I have taken the image and captured that priceless moment I worry if I have betrayed that trust built up through patience, fieldcraft and care.
This image and several others I have been processing today took me back to yesterday, where I relived every moment as I was processing each special moment captured. I will be posting them next week on my final blog before Christmas but just wanted to share this image with you after my long rant :0). Hidden away having watched these owls now for some time I got alot of information about their ways and patterns and I chose to hide away. Low to the ground hidden and camouflaged away, the wind in my face to take any noise away from the approaching owl, no fast movements nothing that would make this owl jump or be scared in his pursuit of food. I saw him coming towards me and waited, waited and then once he was so close he almost filled my viewfinder I pressed my shutter capturing several amazing close ups, this is one I love the sense of movement captured in the wings by the slow shutter speed while I nailed the focus on his face.
I have others where he his sharp all over but for me this gives that sense of impending movement to the image. Every moment I spend with nature is special to me and everyday my life is enriched with its beauty and yesterday was no exception, a wonderful, close, special moment with this owl as he went about his business and I watched and marvelled at his skills in hunting and catching prey, his flight patterns, his calls, his ability to fly and turn without warning just amazing. I would just say those of you that take images and watch wildlife, watch more and closer and those ways and skills I have described will be there for you to see if you just take the time. This will then give you some much more knowledge and meaning than just pressing that shutter button.
I hope I haven’t lost you with my wording, I care about what I do and love nature, wildlife and nature means the world to me, has helped me in life and instilled a great peace from an early age., nature helps in many ways, its beauty brings joy in so many ways and its presence in people lives helps them to live and breathe I feel good luck :0)
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