My #ChallengeOnNaturePhotography to you…

Andrew Beck Andrew 12 Comments

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.

There is no challenge more challenging than the challenge to improve yourself

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.

About the Author

Andrew Beck

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Very few people can tell you what their passion in life is. Even fewer will be able to tell you that what they do for a living is in fact their passion. My love for the bush and conservation took me on journey which would not only allow me to explore the continent which fascinates me so much, but to share my passion for photography and conservation with others. Be sure to check out my my website and instagram account.

Comments 12

  1. Jakes De Wet

    Cannot agree with you more. There are so many images of our great wildlife, but a lot of them look the same. The past 12 months were a major frustration for me, not only because I had limited time and opportunities but also searching for new inspiration. Looking at the bucket list destinations and looking at the images coming out of these trips, sorry to say but all great sightings but limited “new” and special images. Technically all very good and not faulting that, but creatively I am searching for new life. That is why I am holding back on buying a new 600mm lens, challenging myself to use no more than a 300mm . So thanks, I am up for the challenge and eager to learn from what you are going to post.

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      Andrew Beck

      Hey Jakes

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and its great to hear that you share my sentiments. With the volume of images being shared it does become increasingly more difficult to stand out and create something original but I see that as a good thing.

      I’d love to see what you come up with over the next month or so. Perhaps you’d be up to sharing your journey and this personal challenge with us in a guest blog in the new year?

  2. Jan van der Walt

    Thank you for the challenge Andrew. Just yesterday I told a friend that I have grown bored with my portfolio and my usual way of photographing wildlife. Looking forward to seeing more on your Facebook page.

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      Andrew Beck

      Hi Jan

      Thanks for the comment. I had a brief look at your site and would be only too happy to catch up over a cup of coffee and share some tips and pointers with you in the new year if you like.

      I hope your calendar sales go well and thanks for following the challenge!

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  3. Andy Benaglia

    Fully agree with Jan. I feel the same and find myself looking at my pictures and say “I could have done something different”. Loads of great pictures but very few actually stand out and get you to say WOW!

    Is this one of the reasons why I have booked my 2016 trip with Wildeye professionals??

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      Andrew Beck

      Hi Andy

      Thanks so much for the kind words!

      We are looking forward to having you join us in the Mara next year and pushing you to that next level in your photography! Keep an eye on the blog for more inspirational content in the meantime…

  4. Martha Myers

    Like Jan and Jakes, I appreciated your blog about challenging oneself, photographically.

    Challenges come in all sizes, and for me standing out for hours in the cold at a NM wildlife refuge shooting blurs and panning shots of sand hill cranes and snow geese was both a frustrating and rewarding one. It took me out of my comfort zone in so many ways. But the challenge I remember most occurred when, as our photographic guide repeatedly and helpfully alerted us to the direction of incoming birds [much as you did when we were focusing on those bee eaters :-)], I said to myself: “Not now. I’m working on these two sand hills standing in golden light.”

    It was such a small thing: deciding not to capture what 7 other cameras were shooting. But it was an important step in deciding what *I* want to create as a photographer and in trusting my own judgment, not only during shooting but in post-processing as well.

    Thanks again.

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      Andrew Beck

      Hi Martha

      U always love seeing your comments on here as I find them to be really helpful to other photographers!

      I agree with you, it is a challenge and this is where the risk and reward comes in. If you’re happy to miss the shot that everyone else gets by taking a chance to capture something which is calling you on a personal level then that is great. I often think about this sort of thing when out in the field, if everyone is shooting with a 600mm, perhaps there’s something to be had at 200mm for example. That sort of thinking and attention to the scene is bound to yield results.

      As with everything in life I think this comes, and only gets better, with experience!

  5. Lynn Johnson

    Hi Andrew, I agree absolutely with your comments on the 7 day challenge on facebook. I do not really see the point. I am still at a stage were I am trying very hard to improve my wildlife photography. Please could you let me know if you are going to have a course at Nambiti in 2016. Very keen to attend.

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      Andrew Beck

      Hi Lynn

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and I can assure you you are not the only one that feels like you do. I’ve dropped you an email with some details and will hopefully have these all wrapped up and get you booked before the end of the week.

      All the best…

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