Is experience always the best teacher?

Marlon duToit All Authors, Marlon 1 Comment

“Experience is the best teacher”.

I am sure this is something you have heard many times before. It sure is something I grew up hearing from my parents all of the time!

As I grew older I started questioning this theory. It almost seemed as if people were proud of the fact that they made the mistake over and over again.
Don’t get my wrong here. We are all going to make mistakes and at times, over and over again.

BUT…what if we could save some time by getting it right from the start?

My advice to you, is to learn from the mistakes of others.
By applying this to your photography, time spent behind the camera can be a whole lot more productive than before.

Check out 10 tips to improving your photography.

There are many photographers out there who sit behind their camera’s on a near daily basis. If you scroll through some of the Wild Eye blogs you will find information on photographic tips like composition, animal behaviour, post-processing skills and so much more. Why not use these tools, apply them and save yourself the drama and hassle once you are out in the field. This can be hugely frustrating.

The less mistakes you make in wildlife photography, the better. You don’t often get second chances out there, and often crucial moments are fleeting. Guys like Gerry, Andrew & Morkel, and myself are out there often and through OUR mistakes you can learn and immediately raise your photographic skills to the next level!

Why should YOU make the mistakes, when you can learn from the mistakes that OTHERS make?

I have been serious about wildlife photography for the past 8 years now. When I look back at my early days and the quality of images I took, I can see definite progress. I was fortunate to have work as a field guide/ranger for many years and this allowed me to spent loads of time in the field as I honed my skills. I made many mistakes and missed many glorious moments in nature because of a lack of knowledge, poor understanding of my camera, bad processing skills and so much more.

That said, I have learnt the hard way and have come a long way to where I am today. I by no means know it all, and hopefully never will. I love the quest for knowledge, the passion to be better than yesterday.

I want YOU to learn from me, and the many other professionals out in the field. There’s so much valuable content out there today, and it is so easily accessible. Yes, it is important to sift through it wisely and not to accept everything everyone says.

Ask questions, test theories and enjoy the journey to becoming a better photographer, TODAY.

Below I share some of my older images. I can see I have come a long way bv looking back at them. I value the journey I have been on as a conservationist and a photographer. These images will likely not make my book one day, but the EXPERIENCE will forever be etched my my heart.


Captured this in January 2009. I was on foot and just loved the moment. Back then I was mad about this image. Looking back at it now I still cherish that tracking session with my tracker Johnson, but the image is obviously of poor quality. 

Understand animal behaviour better by following the link below…

* Repetitive Behaviour
* Something Different


Loved this sighting of a pride in the Lebombo Mountains. Captured it in 2008. 

Processing & composition skills, check the links below…

* Lightroom Tutorial
* Complimentary Compositions


I was thought this was a great photo back then. It is by no means bad but I am sure I can do better today 🙂

Some great tips on bird photography below…

* For the Birds (part 1 of 5)
* Birds in Flight


Loved seeing the un-habituated leopardess drinking from the Nwanetsi River. If only I put some more thought into this scene, it would have been so much better.

Check out some tips below on capturing the scene, instead of the subject…

* Exploring Space
* The Bigger Picture


Just because a photo is old does not mean you should look at it in a negative way. They will bring bvack fond memories of days gone by, and will serve as a reminded of just how far you have come 🙂

Till next time,

Marlon du Toit

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Marlon’s Links:

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