Something seems to be happening with wildlife photography and, from what I can tell it’s not necessarily a good thing.
Do you remember the days when you just got into wildlife photography when every subject and every scene held your attention completely? When you tried new things, chased every opportunity and made images with reckless abandon and without the creativity-killing concerns that, in today’s world, seems to dull the original passion and heart from where wildlife photography should come from.
Have we, through the never ending stream of digital content, become so desensitised to good and proper wildlife images that the photographic bar has been raised to virtually impossible levels?
Are the experts – and I use the word lightly – out there who carry on about how nothing is original anymore and that nobody is doing anything new in wildlife photography perpetuating the situation by shifting the focus away from pure and simple wildlife images to conversations revolving around gear and techniques which inevitably ends in a battle of opinions, egos and zero value to the community at large?
Have we really arrived at a point in time where the photographer with more likes per image or the loudest online voice is considered better than the guy who focuses on his craft and just gets on with it because he loves doing what he does?
What has changed in the last few years for an image, that was once applauded and admired, now does not even get a second look?
Does each and every image that you put out there have to be new, unique and different?
Is that even possible?
I honestly don’t think so.
Wildlife photography is, or at least should be about the moment. It should be about that special slice of time we borrow from nature to show people something we are passionate about.
You don’t need top of the range gear to create great wildlife images. You don’t need camera traps and remote control vehicles to create unique images. You most certainly don’t need the most followers on Facebook or to check back every 10 minutes to see how many people have liked your images in order to feel proud about your work and to share your passion.
Let’s keep it real.
Let’s not loose focus of why we do what we do.
Let’s stay true to wildlife photography.
Until next time.
Gerry van der Walt
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