Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife Photography

Do Not Overthink Your Images

Gerry van der Walt All Authors, Gerry 2 Comments

Do not overthink your images.

Yes, understand and think about the technical basics.  Yes, have an appreciation for the various compositional elements that all work together in the frame.  Yes, think about how you put all of these things together when you click the shutter.

But do not overthink your images.

You need to feel your images.

If it feels right to break the rules of thirds, do it.  If it feels right to not have a crystal clear and sharp image because it conveys the mood you are feeling out in the field, keep it.  If it feels right to under or overexpose, do it.

If it feels right, do it.

Last night we sat at Tlou Dam in Madikwe as the sun dipped below the horizon and photographed herd after herd of elephants as the crossed the dam wall to come and drink.  The light was gone and were we worried about creating technically correct images we might as well have packed our gear away.

Focusing was difficult as our autofocus systems were struggling to lock on to anything. Composing was tough as we could hardly see anything and there were some ISO settings in the vehicles which would quite possible scare quite a few of you.

But none of this mattered as we were enjoying the experience of wildlife photography.  Make no mistake, this exercise was great  to teach some of the guests about low light shooting but that was not the goal.  The goal was to enjoy the experience and capture the feeling of the moment.

It just felt right.

Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife Photography

Yes, always keen the basics in mind and have a goal.

But do not overthink your images.

Until next time.


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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 or follow my journey on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter a look forward to changing the way you see the world.  I also host a Wildlife Photography Podcast and I Vlog!

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