Recently I went to go check out the Wildlife photography exhibition at the Cape Town Natural History Museum. The images there blew my mind. Such skill and patience went into each photograph, it was truly inspiring.
The exhibition is broken into different categories, they even had a category for 10 year olds and younger. Its scary seeing an amazing photograph by someone quarter your age, its humbling…and makes me a touch envious! The museum is quite dark, so the photographs were exhibited on colour transparencies on light-boxes. It really made the images stand out. Each photograph has a description with a back story to the image and a little narrative by the photographer explaining the scene and the moment, with it his camera, lens and settings for the photograph. The images drew me in and I was in awe. The sharpness of the photographs, the clever composition and originality inspired me. It left me with an even more of a sense of respect for the wildlife photographer. Their patience to obtain that perfect moment; the knowledge of their equipment so they can dial in settings in a few seconds of anticipation and their commitment to his or her subject. It becomes more than photography. It’s a study. They are able to tell a story using their camera to show a side to nature that only the truly committed will see. They will sit and wait in negative temperatures. They will meet a charging rhinoceros face to face and play a game of chicken. They have taken the time to study the habits and lives of animals we never get to see, but no matter how much they learn a wild animals body language, they are never 100% certain of what that animal will do. There is always that element of luck when it comes to wildlife photography. Sometimes it does come down to the right place at the right time, but without their knowledge and without their almost 6th sense of anticipation, they would not make such a powerful photograph come to life.
I highly encourage anyone who is interested in photography to go check out this exhibition. It will surely leave you in awe of just how beautiful and unusual nature can be, and the inspiration to try create photographs as strikingly beautiful and original as these commended wildlife photographers.
I am yet to try wildlife photography but to keep in the spirit of nature and animals, here are two I took. Not really wildlife as it was taken in an aquarium, but you get the idea.
P.S. If you would like more details on the Wildlife Photographic exhibition check out this link here.