What I Have, What I Have Seen, My Journey Towards the Wild

Gerry van der Walt All Authors, Penny 1 Comment

As I mentioned in my first blog post ,Oh the Places I’ll Go, I studied photography in Cape Town and only recently relocated to JHB.

Finding myself lacking in having images of wildlife (as I have had basically no time to go to the bush in the last 6 years) I have been scanning the internet, looking at fellow nature photographers’ work, and listening to the opinions and advice of the Wild Eye team.

For me, this has been a really great and completely necessary exercise.

You wonder why?

There is no need to as I will share with you this aspect in my Journey Towards the Wild.

Spending as much time as I could in forests, zoos, bird and animal parks, I was able to start building a wildlife portfolio of sorts.

The following three images are ones that I took for a section of my portfolio from my studies.

barn owl watermark

owl watermark

vereaux owl watermark

All of these images were to a large degree taken under controlled circumstances.

Whether being in an enclosure, or being tame enough to photograph them from a meter away, the setting and circumstances were not “wild”.  With these owls, I was able to really photograph them exactly how I wanted and as many times as I wanted. I’m by no means complaining. It was fantastic. I was able to take my time setting up my shots, get the images I envisioned, and also work on camera skills. But, it obviously is nothing compared to being in the bush and having the uncertainty and thrill of I am going to get this shot or not”.

And then of course, nothing compares to the feeling you get when you do get the shot you wanted, or the warming surprise when you see that you have more great shots than you originally thought.

Looking at other photographer’s work, I do feel the static-ness of my photographs. I want that thrill of the moment. I want to have to wait hours before I can get a single shot of an animal or bird. It is all part of the experience that I miss and want.

For me, the point of wildlife photography is not just photographing wild animals – one can go to a zoo for that. Its about photographing the wild in the wild, and being immersed in it.

Soon I will be there again. Soon I will be able to feel the welcoming frustration of not getting the shot, and the pure joy that I did.

When will you go and take a trip into the wild?

Penny Robartes

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Comments 1

  1. Adam Kotze

    Hi Penny

    I really really enjoyed this post this morning! Cant help but feel down about our photography some days as we only get to be in the wild maybe once a year, money always a problem.

    Thanks again for your blog, we sometimes tend to forget that there is so much out there to photograph even if it is not wildlife or in the bush.

    Thanks again


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