Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife Photography - Creativity

Just Play

Gerry van der Walt All Authors, Gerry 1 Comment

Play is defined as engaging in an activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.

When was the last time you thought about your photography in terms of play?   With the only purpose being enjoyment and recreation rather than worrying about the outcome?  Come on, be honest.  I’ve been in the field with a lot of you and the fear of missing the shot, the stress of producing a great image is more often than not something we all struggle with.

Yesterday I posted this image and text to my Instagram feed.

Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife Photography - Creativity

I’ll ask the question from the post again.

When was the last time on safari that you pointed your camera at something other than wildlife subjects?

Or, let me rephrase it slightly.

When was the last time you played with your photography?

Note that I didn’t say ‘wildlife photography’ but just ‘photography’.  The reason for this is that we all – yes myself included – miss incredible photographic moments out in the field because we are so stuck on the next hero wildlife shot that we let these amazing visual opportunities pass us by.

With this in mind I sat down with a few of the images from the incredible Fever Tree Forests around Lake Nakuru and just played in Lightroom.

This is the original image.

Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife Photography - Creativity

I played and ended up wit this, a monochrome version.

Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife Photography - Creativity

But why stop there.

Why not play some more and flip it upside down?

Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife Photography - Creativity

So by playing around with a scene very few of us will even think of photographing – because there isn’t a Big 5 animal in there – I have ended up with three images which are actually pretty sweet.  I might just print one of the bottom two for my house!

The fact that Lightroom is non-destructive means you can play without worrying about loosing or hurting your images.  Try it.  Sit down with some of your images and just play.  You won’t be sorry and you might just find that some of the images you skipped during your first round of sorting – because you do that don’t you? – ends up being something quite awesome!

Oh, and just as a reminder that you can play in the field as well.  The results can be quite amazing even if you aren’t pointing your camera at wildlife.

Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife Photography - Creativity

Intentional Camera Movement with following settings: 1/20, f/8, ISO 100, 300mm

Know imagine if you take some of these same techniques and apply them to your wildlife images.  Incredible possibilities.

So now go and engage in your photography for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.

Until next time.

Gerry

About the Author

Gerry van der Walt

I am a private and specialist photographic safari guide, public speaker, co founder of Wild Eye and wildlife photographer. Visit my website at www.gerryvanderwalt.com or follow my journey on Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Periscope.  I look forward to changing the way you see the world! Have you checked out The Wildlife Photography Podcast?

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