Knowing When To Put The Camera Down

As a wildlife photographer and lover of all things wild, I try my best in every given scenario to photograph what I’m seeing. I love sharing those experiences and using the stories of my sightings to inform, build awareness and appreciation of the animals and environments I’m so enthralled with.

However, there are also those times when getting a photograph, a good one, just isn’t going to happen. It can be a frustrating realisation, but experience has taught me not to let that ruin the moment, and it shouldn’t for you either. Working with African Impact in the Greater Kruger area of South Africa, I’m living and working in an extremely privileged position. I’m out on game drives multiple times a week and whilst my attention is on teaching photography, I’m also completely open and exposed to the wildlife around me. To put it short, it’s an awesome position to be in and I never take a day or moment for granted.

However, I’m also incredibly aware that whenever I raise the camera to my eye, the viewfinder is essentially a barrier between me and nature. I’m blocked off from it, cut off from what I love and that’s ultimately a sacrifice that I’m making subconsciously every time I see a potential photograph. It’s something I accept and one of the very few downsides to the profession I’ve embarked upon.

There are those situations, however, where a camera can’t convey what you’re seeing or more importantly, what you’re experiencing. Keeping up with painted wolves as they dart in and out of the bush, that sense of excitement as you follow them, almost as if you’re one of the pack, as they go on a hunt. How to you capture the essence of that?