Don’t Just Take Images

Gerry van der Walt All Authors, Gerry Leave a Comment

When you are out in the field the type of images you get will largely be determined where you are shooting, your subject and a healthy dose of luck.

At the risk of oversimplifying the process, wildlife photography is purely taking an image and showing your viewer a true to reality version of what you saw.  There are certain steps along the way which you can use to influence the final look and feel of an image but the overall goal is to simply show people a great scene or beautiful subject.

There is however a whole world of creative options out there which will not only keep you on your photographic toes but will also give you the opportunity to make images rather than just take them.

Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife Photography

A Crash of Rhino
Nikon D3s,  185mm, 1/15, f22, ISO 400

It is going to be a serious challenge for anybody to get exactly the same image as the one above because I intentionally made it.  I used a slow shutter speed and zoom blur as the two massive males crashed into each other.  The intent was to create something different.

Is everybody going to like it?

Absolutely not and I couldn’t care less and neither should you. If you are making, or taking for that matter, images for anybody other than yourself you are bound to be disappointed somewhere along the line and that is the fine line we walk when posting images online and hoping for likes or shares but let’s not digress.

I love making images like this because they are mine.  My vision, my moment, my image and it’s definitely not easy to do again.  To me it’s the definition of photography as I have manipulated time and painted with light.

Sure, the same can be said for a standard lion portrait or landscape scene but the power of possibility is an amazing incentive for me to try things like this.  Yes, the risk of completely fluffing it and ending up with nothing is quite big but to me the reward definitely makes it worth it.  And it’s a helluva lot of fun as well.

By specifically trying to make images, even of a subject that you would normally not pay much attention to, your eyes will open up to a whole new photographic world with the only risk being that you actually care what people are going to think of your images.

I’ve used this quote a lot the last while as it really captures how we should all feel about our craft but gonna leave you with this from Andy Warhol – “Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”

Don’t just take images.

Head out there and make them.

Until next time.

Gerry van der Walt

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