Quotes from the 2014 Wild Shots Wildlife Photography Symposium

Gerry van der Walt All Authors, Gerry 1 Comment

This weekend I joined Wild Eye team members Andrew beck and Morkel Erasmus in Cape Town for the 2014 Wild Shots Wildlife Photography Symposium.

Held once a year, the symposium, aims to bring together the South Africa wildlife photography community for a day of sharing and informative presentations by speakers from various backgrounds and links to wildlife photography.

Not being involved on the day meant I could sit down at the back of the lecture room, enjoy the presentations and get a feel for where the industry currently is and is heading to.  There were two themes that kept on popping up.  The first was the focus on the creative side of photography rather than the technical fixation so many people still have – thanks goodness for that – and the second was the conservation ethic and focus – the real kind – many photographers are including in their work.

During the day I recorded some thoughts from the various speakers so if you were not able to join I hope this will give you a small glimpse at some of the inspiration and passion shared on the day.

In order as they appeared on the day here are some of the quotes shared during the various presentations that stood out to me.

Vali Moosa

  • “The single biggest impact on the mind of ordinary people is when ordinary people just get to love nature. This happens when you see the pictures.”
  • “Wildlife photography is generally about love, not hate. You produce photographs about beauty that touches us somewhere inside and we fall in love with nature.”
  • “The contribution you are making to saving the planet is worth more than the money you get paid.”
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Sophie Stafford

Wild Shots Wildlife PhotographY Symposium 2014

  • “The missing element in many images is that there is not more to it than meets the eye.”
  • “The more you look, The more you see.”
  • “If you’re daring magic can be created.”
  • “You don’t have to be super technical to be successful in the competition.”
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Sophie’s Link:

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Marsel van Oosten

Wild Shots Wildlife PhotographY Symposium 2014

  • “A great photograph is hardly ever the result of great gear.”
  • “We have to make an extra effort to be original because our subjects are not.”
  • “Is that image you like so much the result of your creativity or were you just at the right place at the right time?”
  • “Being original does not always means it’s going to be good.”
  • “First take the photograph in your head and then take with your camera.”
  • “You don’t need technically tricks to make something creative.”
  • “More compositional elements, means more compositional options.”
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Marsel’s Link:

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Albie Venter

Wild Shots Wildlife PhotographY Symposium 2014

  • “I’m absolutely fascinated by wildlife in all it’s different shapes.”
  • “If I see something photogenic I will visit it again and again.”
  • “We should be photographing for the younger generation as they are the conservationists of tomorrow.”
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Albie’s Link:

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Isak Pretorius

Wild Shots Wildlife PhotographY Symposium 2014

  • “Photography is about capturing a moment in time.”
  • “It’s better to get the shot with your one camera rather than missing the shot because you have too many pieces of equipment.”
  • “Composition is in my opinion one of the most important parts of photography.”
  • “It’s not about photography. It’s about experiencing nature in a creative way.”
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Isak’s Links:

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Morkel Erasmus

Wild Shots Wildlife PhotographY Symposium 2014

  • “Social media is about getting more eyes on your work.”
  • “It’s about more than just “this is my work” and here’s my page. Give back.”
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Morkel’s Links:

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Bridgena Barnard

Wild Shots Wildlife PhotographY Symposium 2014

  • “You need to know the behaviour of your subject in order to plan your images.”
  • “A safari is, to our family, like a theatrical event. You could see romance, comedy, drama. You never know.”
  • “Don’t blink, don’t hesitate and get your wild shot moment.”
  • “You can inspire people, especially the youth.”
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Bridgena’s Links:

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Matthew Schurch

Wild Shots Wildlife PhotographY Symposium 2014

  • “When asked which spots to use to identify a leopard? All of them!”
  • “Its like recognising human faces.”
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Matthew’s Links:

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Heinrich van den Berg

Wild Shots Wildlife PhotographY Symposium 2014

  • Plan a photograph instead of grabbing it.”
  • “By taking the colour away you see deeper.”
  • “Publishing is changing but printing is still a superior way to show photographs.”
  • “Don’t be a finger photographer. Use your mind to photograph.”
  • “Don’t judge your own photos with your ears – by what other people say.”
  • “Don’t look at other people photography through a mirror and all you see is a reflection of your own ambition.”
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Heinrich’s Links:

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Andrew Beck

Wild Shots Wildlife PhotographY Symposium 2014

  • “We’re forced to think that we need to over process our images for them to stand out.”
  • “Watching the histogram is awesome but you have to see how it relates to the mood and story of your image.”
  • “As much emphasis we place on post-processing, it is far more important to get it right in camera.”
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Andrew’s Links:

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Alex Mazuna

Wild Shots Wildlife PhotographY Symposium 2014

  • “A wildlife photography journey starts with patience… and lots of it.”
  • “I want my photographs to inspire people to help conserve Africa’s wild places and animals that occur there.”
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Alex’s Links:

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David Rogers

Wild Shots Wildlife PhotographY Symposium 2014

  • “Make sure that when you go on a photo workshop that it’s about your images.”
  • “Having a photographic goal in mind is a beautiful thing but sometimes you have to appreciate the smaller thing.”
  • “Shoot for the image that’s going to go on your wall!”
  • “Never forget the fun side of photography.”
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David’s Links:

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Neil Aldridge

Wild Shots Wildlife PhotographY Symposium 2014

  • “I wanted to do more than simply documenting their (Wild Dog) plight.”
  • “People are the centre of every conservation photography story.”
  • “Identify a hero to tell your conservation stories.”
  • “I’d like to see more photographers working with other photographers.”
  • “It’s important to find beauty in the things that we see.”
  • “Gone are the days when you can claim to be a conservation photographer simply because you were there to take a photo of something.”
  • “We should be brave enough to ask ourselves if there is not something more we can do.”
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Neil’s Links:

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Sophie Stafford

Wild Shots Wildlife PhotographY Symposium 2014

  • “You will be more likely to sell your images if you tell compelling stories.”
  • “Think editorially.”
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Sam Reinders

Wild Shots Wildlife PhotographY Symposium 2014

  • “Looking at an image you need to feel what it feels like to be there, in the frame.”
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Sam’s Links:

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Skye Meaker 

Wild Shots Wildlife PhotographY Symposium 2014

  • “I started taking pics because my dad said that we should be grateful for every animal we see as they might not be around forever.”
  • “I hope to create an awareness with my photography.”
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Skye’s Links:

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Greg du Toit

Wild Shots Wildlife PhotographY Symposium 2014

  • “Fascination, love an appreciation and understanding of our subjects is the true source of inspirational wildlife photography.”
  • “Take time to know and enjoy the environment and the good photograph will come naturally.”
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Greg’s Links:

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Looking at some of the quotes above it seems that the South African wildlife photography scene is in a pretty good shape and it was great to catch up with old friends and put faces to some of our social media friends.

Look forward to doing it all again next year!

Where you at the symposium?  What was your favourite quote from the day?

Until next time.

Gerry van der Walt

Comments 1

  1. Derek Evens

    Hi Gerry,

    Thanks for sharing this post with us, picking out these quotes for those that could not be there is highly appreciated. This is a post you can come back to time and again to remind one of some focus points.

    Thanks again,
    Derek

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