I’ve just returned from Africa. Two full weeks in one of the most beautiful places on earth. I was fortunate to experience two safaris, a few days on a beautiful beach, and a visit to Cape Town. As you might imagine, the trip yielded thousands of photographs of a variety of subjects, many of which will be featured in upcoming posts. The highlight of the journey, though, was the opportunity to do some animal photography of a different variety.
It’s hard to describe accurately a safari experience. Early on it’s a bit overwhelming. Beautiful landscape, awesome creatures, unbelievable light, and a magical/mystical/spiritual atmosphere. In many ways it would be hard to take a bad photograph in Africa. And during my first few hours bouncing around in the Land Rover I pressed the shutter release with wild abandon. Then I settled down and reminded myself of the old adage that it is better to make photographs than to just take them. So I asked myself the question “What do you want your images to convey?” The answer was straightforward, and it was the same as it is with all of my photography, whether animal or people: I want to capture the essence of the subject. With that in mind I set out to make pictures that would convey who these amazing creatures are, their unparalleled beauty, the environment they live in, and the depth of their spirit. Their essence.
Even after reconnecting with that foundation I still worked the shutter release hard. But when I peered through the lens I sought the elements that would tell the story of the magnificent beings I was seeing. Just like I do with all of my photography.