Wildlife Photography is a Bit Like Golf

Morkel Erasmus All Authors, Morkel 1 Comment

A long shot, you say? (Pun intended)

Bear with me on this one…

Allow me to draw a few comparisons between the sport of golf and the genre of wildlife photography.

1. You are not in control…

Not of the weather, not of your subjects, not of the course (the environment). You are only in control of your own skills, and how you use your own clubs (gear) and knowledge of the conditions – of “how you hit the ball“.


2. We all have our off days…

The best photographers out there have off days in the field, where they make silly mistakes and miss that one crucial shot. Get over it, LEARN from it, and try to learn from the mistakes of others!

3. A guy who can properly hit a 7-iron can play a better stroke than a guy who is unsure of how to use his 1-wood

It’s not about who wields the longest lens. It’s about who can “hit the straightest shot“.

Learn to know your own gear intimately, and be able to make adjustments on-the-fly from muscle memory.

In 95% of the cases, YOU are the limiting factor in the images you create.


4. Games are won or lost with your short game.

Don’t be too dependent on your long lenses…learn to use wider focal lengths to tell better stories with your images.

5. The more you practice, the luckier you get!

Gary Player is credited with this famous line, and it’s true in wildlife photography as well. Yes, you are dependent on something amazing happening at the exact place you are in and at the exact time that you are there – but being in the bush often and for long periods of time increases your chance of getting the shots!


Morkel Erasmus


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Comments 1

  1. Carol Bell

    I really like what you have said Morkel… and yes this does apply to me!! …. I must get over not being able to get out my car in Kruger…. and drive “off road” to another position for what I might think would be a better photo…….learn to work with what I have… dont get frustrated and upset….. enjoy what I see and be lucky I can see it!!! A very good lesson learnt for me>

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