Wildlife photography has to be a passion, otherwise a photograph becomes just a picture. The discriminating eye behind the lens capturing the subject is more critical than the equipment or even the object of attention. Why? Because it’s an experiential and critical component to a loop of value that cannot be broken. Seeing, experiencing and sensing the spectacular or unusual, all come from the person behind the camera.
The world is filled with the “spectacular and unusual”, but not with the talent it takes to preserve the image of such far beyond and into posterity. Those individuals are a rarity and don’t necessarily need roadside assistance when stuck in the dessert or mountain top aiming to get a shot of a lifetime.
National Geographic has been the premier source of jaw dropping wildlife photography for the past 127 years. It is top notch, respected and in a class all by itself. That is why I wanted to pay homage to a few of the great wildlife photographers who have brought us images of our world through this iconic publication. To sift through all the outstanding photographs within just the past couple of years has been a huge challenge. Narrowing down even just three wildlife photographers to highlight in this post was an overwhelming task. Here are just a few of my favorites – if in fact it’s possible to have just a few.
Winning NG Nature Photographer of the Year 2016, Leopard with Kill in a Tree, was taken in Kruger National Park. Patience paid off when having discovered this beautiful wild cat with its midday meal too hidden in the tree branches to get a good shot.
Deutzer waited for over an hour as the Leopard shifted its dining area from one limb to another finally exposing one of those spot on, photographs every wildlife photo pro looks for. Daniela has the talent to display emotion and beauty through her photographs no matter where she shoots, but her canvas of choice is Africa.
If there is one attribute every wildlife photographer must share it is patience. It is mentioned when describing every successful photographic rendition of Mother Nature. The lighting, air quality, time of year, along with the persistence and endurance of the would be award winning photo master are all important components to getting that shot.
Matthew Smith also awarded National Geographic Nature Photographer of the year 2016 took weeks of night diving to finally secure this otherworldly picture of an innocent southern calamari squid.
Red Fox won Ms. Cooper the coveted NG Nature Photographer of the Year 2016 after watching the little female struggle in a battle for her life with another fox. Located in the serene Swiss Alps among the spring snow thaws and budding flowers, the image clearly tells another story through the eyes of the beautiful, but somewhat beat up red fox. As Cooper tells it; she decided to withhold other photos that showed a few more battle wounds and let the story be told with this single shot.
This has been an impossible task to bring you just three outstanding, award winning artists in a short post. Look for more articles showcasing the exceptional, brilliant work of wildlife photography-art from around the world. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. In the meantime for all to remember:
If you have a particular wildlife photographer you’d like me to write about, leave me information and I will be in touch