For the last month or so’ve been watching as many people take part in the #ChallengeOnNaturePhotography on Facebook, and to a lesser degree, Instagram and even Twitter. If you haven’t been exposed to the challenge yet it is essentially encouraging photographers to share a wildlife image a day for 7 days and then nominate (Tag) another wildlife photographer to do the same.
If you haven’t been exposed to this challenge yet then search for the user friendly hash tag on your favourite social media platform and you’ll very quickly get the idea of what its all about.
Whilst this “challenge’ is a great way of sharing wildlife and nature images, networking with other photographers, boasting about sightings or places one has visited and, in some instances, being exposed to the photographic potential in some of the more remote and obscure destinations, there is in fact no real challenge apart from making sure you get the # correct.
I’m not trying to be funny but I don’t see a challenge in posting images on social media, its something most photographers and teenage kids are doing on an almost daily basis.
What is a challenge however, is to change the way you see wildlife or nature photography. To change the way you assess and capture a scene.
To capture a biased interpretation of something rathe than simply re-creating it through the release of the shutter.
To step outside of what you are used to and to attempt something different.
To break the mould of stock standard documentary type shots and to create, really create, something different.
Now that is a challenge!
Are you happy with where your photography is at?
Are you frustrated by the fact that you have mastered the various technical aspects but still feel your images lack something? You should be. I am and dare I say that it is that frustration that is driving me to explore the art of wildlife photography in a much more intense and intimate manner and to challenge myself to capture something unique and different.
My challenge to you over the festive season and into the new year is to challenge yourself and everything you know about photography.
Break the rules. Try something new. Shoot a scene with a wide angle rather than at 400mm.
So what if you miss yet another stock standard shot of a Lilac-breasted Roller in flight shot? It’s about risk and reward.
Its not always ging to work out and not everyone will like what you create but when everything comes together it is an incredible feeling.
So, sure, I’ll share some images using #ChallengeOnNaturePhotography online but these will be chosen with the goal of trying to start a real and more personal challenge on nature photography in the minds of those who are looking to take their photography to the next level.
You’re welcome to follow my contribution to the challenge on my Facebook Page over the next couple of days.
Something we like to do with each and every guest that joins us on safari.