As a wise man once said, “never work with animals or children.” He may have had a point. He could certainly have been a photographer. But it’s the very unpredictably of wildlife photography which makes it so engrossing, infuriating, and every now and again so hugely rewarding.
Wildlife photography demands endless patience, considerable skill and experience, and let’s be honest, more than a decent share of luck on occasion.
Some of my boyhood heroes and influences somehow managed to make it all look so easy on the television – in truth there’s a lot more work goes into that one great shot than can ever be conveyed unless you’ve been there in the moment yourself – and if after 3 days of frustration waiting for the right opportunity you’re suddenly face to face with a bull elephant in a strop, there’s a fair amount of adrenaline involved as well!
I’ve spent over two decades traversing the expanses of southern Africa, the striking landscapes of northern Scandinavia and the Scottish glens in search of wildlife to photograph. The one absolute I’ve learned is that whether it’s a pride of lazing lions, a herd of wild horses, a rutting stag or pretty much everything else, wild animals are rarely predictable subjects, no matter how familiar you may believe you are with the species.
Photographing any animal is always going to provide opportunities for the unexpected, but at least in the showjumping arena or stables there’s less likelihood of being stung, bitten or viewed as a potential meal while trying to focus all your attention on the next shot!Wildlife photography demands endless patience, considerable skill and experience, a certain instinct and, let’s be honest, more than a decent share of luck on occasion. I wouldn’t have it any other way. We often use the expression ‘Hurry up and wait…’