‘One more time sweetness.‘ – Ernie McCracken, Kingpin.
Sitting down to write this, John Barry’s wonderful Out of Africa suite tripping out of my headphones, tunnelling my way through some of these fabulous wildlife pictures, it’s soothing beyond compare. Almost so serene I feel like going back to bed after only surfacing less than an hour ago. Is Wildlife photography the zenith of a photographer? Like perhaps arguably learning Bach’s Goldberg Variations would be for a Harpsichordist, or performing the 7-10 split for a ten pin bowler, or my Dad mastering the remote control for the DVD player. I digress. Not all these wildlife photographers have Instagram, however I wanted to give their various accounts some exposure and with their kind permission, they have allowed me to use their imagery. With liner notes and commentary attached.
‘This place has got it’s magic, certainly I feel it, and love.’ – Anna Merz, Co-founder.
I have attached an image I took of a Dipper in Cornwall. It’s one of my favourites because I set my camera and flash up on tripods next to the Dippers’ nest and then retreated to a distance where I wouldn’t disturb the animals. I then waited till an adult bird returned to the nest with food and I fired the trigger remotely at the right moment to catch the action.
The time of day this image was taken and the thin cirrostratus cloud formation have combined to create an interesting stark quality to the light, which reflects the bitter cold of the day. This in turn serves to enhance the colours and tones of the horses and the winter heather, which compliment each other completely as natural camouflage and affirming the wild ponies as part of this unforgiving landscape.
The Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra) is one of Britain’s most charismatic mammals and seeing them in the wild is a magical experience. While in the Shetland Islands I was lucky enough to encounter this young female, and spend over an hour watching her hunting and feeding. This sort of behaviour is excellent to observe and shows that the young female is surviving well on her own away from her mother. It was the first time I had ever been this close to a wild otter, being no more than a few meters away from her lying completely still flat against the ground, and it is an experience I will never forget.
My objective is to rekindle an emotional connection between the viewer and the animal in order to gain a sense of affection and a responsibility for their protection as many of these species are IUCN listed or at the risk of extinction.
If you’re interested in developing your photography skills then listen to Amelia Robinson talk about conservation photography in the link to the podcast below.