Penny Robartes - Lake Nakuru

What’s so special about your Subject?

Gerry van der Walt All Authors, Penny Leave a Comment

I have seen it so many times. I still see it, and I have no doubt that I will carry on being witness to it.

I guess I was like that before as well.

We all get excited (well I hope you still do) when we go on safari as the possibilities of what you can see are undefined and there is nothing as rejuvenating than being immersed in the wild of the area. So, when approaching a sighting with a vehicle of wildlife photography enthusiasts, if one person lifts up their camera and fires away, it is like a chain reaction throughout the vehicle and suddenly it is bursting with sound.

It kind of seems like a switch takes place where the camera takes control of the photographer and it becomes an automatic function to fire when someone else is.

But why?

Is it that you are afraid that the other guests are ‘seeing’ something that you are not and that starts niggling under your skin? Is it because you are on a photo safari/workshop/course and the point is to take pictures, so hey, why not?

Don’t do it. Unless there is something that is grabbing your attention, begging to be experimented, or you are trying out something different whether it is a different composition, focal blur, underexposing to see what you can create etc, then what is the point? Just because other people might be firing away does not mean that you need to follow suit. If you are there, instead of just hoisting up your camera and machine gunning the subject with your shutter speed, stop and take a look at what is in front of you.

Ask yourself what is happening in front of you that you would like to photograph?

What is so special or unique about your subject that is grabbing YOUR attention?

The point of going on a photo safari is to be immersed in a group of people with similar passions (in this case, wildlife) where the guide teaches, inspires and encourages you to get the shots you want, master the the technical and tap in and explore the creative. But most importantly?

It’s about creating an experience for you that will leave you even more in love with wildlife and the subjects you photograph as you start seeing them as the unique individuals that they are, and your feelings for them.

Penny Robartes - Lake Nakuru

Lift up your camera to capture that.

Lift up your camera because you are experimenting with different techniques and creative ideas.

Lift up your camera because there is something special about your subject that calls out to you to capture it.

Penny Robartes - Masai Mara

What is so special about your subject?


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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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