What is Wildlife Photography about… For YOU?

Johan van Zyl All Authors, Johan 4 Comments

It is a question that keeps coming up, either on Safaris, or just as general discussions with like minded people, What should Wildlife Photography be all about?  I suppose a similar questions would be, What made you buy a camera in the first place?

With so many competitions, awards, social media content out there, how many people are going on Safari trying to create hero shot after hero shot?  Putting so much pressure on themselves and their Photography just so their work can get recognised?  Don’t get me wrong, we all want to create amazing images but at what cost?  Are we judging the Safari or experience by the images we have taken on the trip?

A few years ago Gerry did a blog on what Wildlife Photography should not be about, you can read it here.

I could not agree with him more.  You shouldn’t judge your images by the amount of likes, comments or shares you get.  Personally I feel it should be about the experience you had whilst capturing that moment.  The sitting around the fireplace listening to the sounds of the African Bush, waiting hours for Lions or Leopard to get up and move as the sun sets, enjoying the vast open areas, the fresh air…  This will last so much longer in your memory than just purely capturing the image.  Wildlife Photography should also be about putting the safety and wellbeing of the animals first, shouldn’t it?

I’ll leave you with this to ponder about…

What would mean more to you, chasing a Leopard through thick bush getting great images but disturbing his/her hunt, or sitting in Mana Pools with your camera’s down not taking any images, but in the company of a big Elephant bull a few meters from you peacefully going about his business?

Till next time.


About the Author

Johan van Zyl


The opportunity of visiting some of the wildest, undisturbed areas and sharing my passion for wildlife, conservation and photography with like minded people is a privilege that I am forever grateful.

Share this Post


Comments 4

  1. Jakes De Wet

    I am the kind that would pick a site and sit and wait. Spend the time looking at all the other activities around the waterhole, from the ants to the elephant the jackal and the birds. I take pictures of whatever fascinates me. For me looking at each image at a later stage is re-living the time and the moment. And sometimes I manage to capture some action or portrait or a wide shot with great light clean background. And maybe someday I might capture an award winning image.

  2. Karina

    I couldn’t agree more. The physical ‘end result’, i.e. photos, are great to have, but nothing beats the memories from the moment itself. Therefore I always advise people not to look for the ‘big 5’ (I hate that term) but cherish every moment in the bush with whatever animal, landscape, smell, sound etc you may encounter. Great blog!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *