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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Wildlife Talk 
Thread started 08 Oct 2012 (Monday) 01:55
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Why photograph wildlife?

 
OhLook
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Apr 03, 2013 11:31 |  #91

I call myself OhLook here because it's what you say to your companion(s) when you're out walking and you see something beautiful or interesting. "Oh, look!" Often these sights involve wildlife. Photography is a way of preserving them.


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ChrisSearle
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Apr 04, 2013 02:38 |  #92

OhLook wrote in post #15786876 (external link)
I call myself OhLook here because it's what you say to your companion(s) when you're out walking and you see something beautiful or interesting. "Oh, look!" Often these sights involve wildlife. Photography is a way of preserving them.

Perhaps the best response I have seen thus far... Excellent, I like it.


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Andrew ­ Tingle
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Apr 04, 2013 03:26 as a reply to  @ ChrisSearle's post |  #93

Personally, I get a real thrill when being around, and especially when photographing, nature...but that really doesn't sum up the true and fairy complex reason why I'm so keen on nature photography.

In our lives we are so busy that often a great deal of what goes on around us evades us because our minds and attention are elsewhere, invariably because they have to be. Yet, through a lens, the viewfinder acts as a barrier to all that external (and internal) noise and it frames what we see not just as looking but as studying. In that frame we see things we otherwise probably wouldn't see as we focus not only our lenses, but our minds and attention, into the framed scene projected into our eyes.

The noise, the kerfuffle, the pressures and stresses and, more so, the immunity to what truly happens around us, is pushed aside as we become at one with the subject being studied.

At that point something very magical happens - we form a relationship with the subject, a very private one-on-one relationship that bonds the photographer and the subject into a locked sense of unison. Quite literally, as the camera attains focus on the subject our mind focuses equally and all but the subject at hand become externalised, and that moment - the at one relationship with the subject, the filtering of everything but the subject - is a feeling of total abandonment and freedom.

Nothing else matters except for capturing that moment forever and if the subject is, by its very nature of being wild, a non-complicit element in this equation it adds that sparkling sense of spice whereby control is wilfully lost and we are at the mercy of them (rather than them us).

Trying to makes sense of that sense of abandonment, to work with the unknown, when we so seek control of everything around us, just adds more wonder to the occasion.

Then, when the subject departs (or we do), the moment is lost, the noise filters back in until, once again, we pull the frame up and marvel at what we have before us should we ever take the time to actually look as opposed to just see.


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OhLook
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Apr 04, 2013 09:59 |  #94

ChrisSearle wrote in post #15789175 (external link)
Perhaps the best response I have seen thus far... Excellent, I like it.

Thank you!


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gewb
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Apr 12, 2013 13:29 |  #95

I enjoy the outdoors, nature, all that the terms entail.

BUT after reading this news flash, I'll think twice before taking pics of wildlife. :p

"A fisherman in Belarus was bitten to death by a beaver, and all he was doing was trying to take its picture, Sky News reports. The man spotted the beaver while fishing with friends at Lake Shestakov, but as he approached to take a photograph, the beaver bit him on the thigh. The animal managed to sever an artery, and his friends couldn't stop the blood flow."

Regards,
GEWB


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Leo ­ Martinez
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Apr 15, 2013 05:10 |  #96

ChrisSearle wrote in post #15093155 (external link)
I'm both a photographer and naturalist and yet I don't do much wildlife photography. Why? Because 99.9% of the photographs that I could take have already been taken. So many 'nature' photographs these days are simple documentary photographs of the animal, the majority give absolutely no insight into behaviour or often, environment. If I want to see a technically excellent picture of an animal I can go to Google, Flickr etc and find hundreds, why then take more?
As a some-time birder, I'm struck how often I see a group of people all taking the same photograph, what on earth is the point? OK so I guess there maybe an element of self gratification, and why not? But, I would love to see more wildlife photographs where the photographer moves away from the purely 'documentary' style or at least shows me an interesting aspect of the animals behaviour or sets it in an environmental or ecological context.
I have a group of friends who constantly compete to see who can generate the 'best' ( sharp) picture of a bird. With 600/800 mm of fl they make technically stunning and yet to me utterly sterile photographs. And yet this type of photograph seems on the increase, at a birding spot I recently visited there were far more people with long white lenses than there were with binoculars! Whats going on?

I think 'possibilities are endless" can be applied on this - I don't discriminate...I love to take photographs, regardless of the subject, as long as the occasion calls for it.


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Apricane
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Apr 15, 2013 15:16 |  #97

Andrew Tingle wrote in post #15789230 (external link)
Personally, I get a real thrill when being around, and especially when photographing, nature...but that really doesn't sum up the true and fairy complex reason why I'm so keen on nature photography.

In our lives we are so busy that often a great deal of what goes on around us evades us because our minds and attention are elsewhere, invariably because they have to be. Yet, through a lens, the viewfinder acts as a barrier to all that external (and internal) noise and it frames what we see not just as looking but as studying. In that frame we see things we otherwise probably wouldn't see as we focus not only our lenses, but our minds and attention, into the framed scene projected into our eyes.

The noise, the kerfuffle, the pressures and stresses and, more so, the immunity to what truly happens around us, is pushed aside as we become at one with the subject being studied.

At that point something very magical happens - we form a relationship with the subject, a very private one-on-one relationship that bonds the photographer and the subject into a locked sense of unison. Quite literally, as the camera attains focus on the subject our mind focuses equally and all but the subject at hand become externalised, and that moment - the at one relationship with the subject, the filtering of everything but the subject - is a feeling of total abandonment and freedom.

Nothing else matters except for capturing that moment forever and if the subject is, by its very nature of being wild, a non-complicit element in this equation it adds that sparkling sense of spice whereby control is wilfully lost and we are at the mercy of them (rather than them us).

Trying to makes sense of that sense of abandonment, to work with the unknown, when we so seek control of everything around us, just adds more wonder to the occasion.

Then, when the subject departs (or we do), the moment is lost, the noise filters back in until, once again, we pull the frame up and marvel at what we have before us should we ever take the time to actually look as opposed to just see.

bw!
I love the way you're putting it.

I think it can also be added that the experience of photographing wildlife doesn't happen 100% on the sensor. Going out "in the wild" and photographing animals is also about the time that it can give you to spend time with your family.

I don't have a family myself, but the other day I was out shooting in a remote corner of town, and there a mother and her son were doing the same; the mother was the photographer, and the son carried seeds to feed the birds and ducks and squirrels. It gave even me an opportunity to see some animals interact in a way I hadn't been able to see them before, and I'm sure that, for them, the pictures will be more than just about the likeness of the animal the mother had captured on sensor.


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Methodical
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Aug 17, 2013 21:34 |  #98

Shear enjoyment


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Aug 17, 2013 21:45 |  #99

Methodical wrote in post #16217268 (external link)
Sheer enjoyment

Yes, it is!

There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of this thread, and the question posed by the OP. Glad to see you bumped it; thanks, Methodical!


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jhayesvw
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Aug 20, 2013 00:08 |  #100

I think of this thread every few weeks and wonder if the OP has changed their mind or has given wildlife another try.



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briser_fae_the_broch
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Sep 11, 2013 07:43 |  #101

@Chris - whilst I can understand all of what you have said, I personally am one of those people who loves birding (and in fact all wildlife) but never goes without my camera as well as my bins. If I see a rare bird I am pretty pleased with myself. If I get a good photo of it, I am doubly pleased and I can prove it to my friends.

Put simply, I love the outdoors, I love wildlife and I love Photography. I live in an amazing country (Scotland) and therefore I can combine all of these for a rewarding hobby. The photos are a visual reminder of where I have been and what I have seen.


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Methodical
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Sep 11, 2013 10:50 |  #102

I'm a cyclist and I do it for the recreation and for fun. I've always said that the day it becomes a job or competetive, such as having to train for races, I am done with it because the joy is no longer there - it's now a job. The same goes for photographing wildlife. When it becomes like a job, then I am done with it.

I get to go out and be one with nature. If I get some images, great. If not, I am still ok with it. I see things that many will never ever see. I grew up watching those PBS and other nature shows (still do to this day) and found them fascinating, especially how they were able to capture the lives of the animals. I'm sure the challenge kept them interested in what they did.

To keep things from getting sterile, like anything in life, I mix things up a bit. I shoot sports. I do portraiture photography and learning how to play with light. This keeps things fresh for me. Plus, there's a whole lot out there I have yet to experience. I plan to do some traveling to different places for wildlife photography this season.

Like I said previously, wildlife photography for me is Shear Enjoyment and it's a challenge to try a capture that image of a bird or animal that has eluded me (that $%$^# Belted Kingfisher).

To the OP. It sounds like there's no longer a challenge in wildlife photography for you and I can understand. I mix things up to keep that from happening to me.

Just One Man's Opinion

Al


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briser_fae_the_broch
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Sep 12, 2013 08:00 |  #103

Methodical wrote in post #16288020 (external link)
I'm a cyclist and I do it for the recreation and for fun. I've always said that the day it becomes a job or competetive, such as having to train for races, I am done with it because the joy is no longer there - it's now a job. The same goes for photographing wildlife. When it becomes like a job, then I am done with it.

I get to go out and be one with nature. If I get some images, great. If not, I am still ok with it. I see things that many will never ever see. I grew up watching those PBS and other nature shows (still do to this day) and found them fascinating, especially how they were able to capture the lives of the animals. I'm sure the challenge kept them interested in what they did.

To keep things from getting sterile, like anything in life, I mix things up a bit. I shoot sports. I do portraiture photography and learning how to play with light. This keeps things fresh for me. Plus, there's a whole lot out there I have yet to experience. I plan to do some traveling to different places for wildlife photography this season.

Like I said previously, wildlife photography for me is Shear Enjoyment and it's a challenge to try a capture that image of a bird or animal that has eluded me (that $%$^# Belted Kingfisher).

To the OP. It sounds like there's no longer a challenge in wildlife photography for you and I can understand. I mix things up to keep that from happening to me.

Just One Man's Opinion

Al

Now I can really relate to what you have said - I almost feel I am suffering burn-out going out looking for wildlife, taking a hundred pics and dumping them dissatisfiedly onto my PC as none are ever good enough then repeating the process next day, same result.
I am slowly beginning to think I need a break from wildlife, maybe back to Landscapes etc but where to go? I have exhausted my local area so I try macros of spiders... nope, still not good enough without better glass. This is probably hobby-saturation point and maybe I should take a break from it and start cod-fishing again.


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Sep 12, 2013 10:10 |  #104

briser_fae_the_broch wrote in post #16290454 (external link)
Now I can really relate to what you have said - I almost feel I am suffering burn-out going out looking for wildlife, taking a hundred pics and dumping them dissatisfiedly onto my PC as none are ever good enough then repeating the process next day, same result.
I am slowly beginning to think I need a break from wildlife, maybe back to Landscapes etc but where to go? I have exhausted my local area so I try macros of spiders... nope, still not good enough without better glass. This is probably hobby-saturation point and maybe I should take a break from it and start cod-fishing again.

I only have the weekend to do my wildlife photography, but during the week, indoors, I can play around with portraiture work and messing with lighting. I probably would get burned out too if I went out almost every day and as you said take a crap load of images and dump them to the computer. If you go cod fishing, just take your gear with you that way you get the best of both worlds and you may get the unique image.

Al


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smasraum
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Sep 13, 2013 13:46 |  #105

What a weird thread. I've read most of it. But the original question is pretty silly.

Why would anyone play golf? -- because they enjoy it

Why would anyone play tennis, basketball, baseball, etc...? Because they enjoy it

Why would you take candid street photos? because that's what you enjoy photographing

Photography is generally done because it's something the photographer enjoys doing. Even if sometimes the enjoyment is about challenging yourself to do something that you have to struggle to do what you feel is your best so that it doesn't seem enjoyable. Do I take photos for others to look at. Hey, it would be great if others enjoy looking at my photos, but ultimately, I enjoy taking the photos and looking at them myself. I enjoy taking photos of all sorts of stuff and would like to try other types of photography.

If you don't enjoy taking pics of wildlife, birds, buildings, trees, mountains, people, etc..., then don't.


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