It’s always a challenge when working in the field, I am my own worst critic and there is self-imposed pressure to succeed.
I am an artist, not a National geographic photographer therefore I am looking for a degree of abstraction and interpretation rather than simply ‘recording’ what lays in front of me.
It is tough, but with patience and having learnt to impose oneself on a situation rather than letting the situation impose itself on me, anything is possible.
My metadata shows that this image was taken after 2hrs 17mins with these beautiful creatures. A split second of magic turned a mental image into a psychical image, but had I not imposed myself and employed my determination we would have gone home empty handed.
I think the snow leopard is one of the most enchanting animals I have ever had the opportunity to photograph and I have been determined to capture an eye-level portrait for a number of years.
I came up with idea three years ago, and have tried to capture the image on several occasions since, but have been unsuccessful. Last year, 2018, was my third attempt and I got close — it was perfect apart from his eyes were looking left, and not into my camera lens.
Coming close to perfection is not good enough. I am my own worst critic and am well aware that anything less than perfect will not do, so this year I gave it another go. Finally, after 3 years, 4 shoots and many hours, I have the perfect image. Hard work pays off, and this was certainly hard work.
We have long failed to get a front-on portrait of a lioness, but last week we had an amazing encounter with this beautiful girl. My heart was beating a little faster than normal, thank goodness I pressed the shutter button!
I spent a while with her after nailing the shot, and learn’t a lot. I think we should all take a leaf out of the lionesses book — they are beautiful, intelligent and fierce creatures. Nothing or no one will ever stop her from doing what she wants to do, she is herself and nothing is more beautiful than that.
In a world of sheep, be a lioness. That’s what I learnt from this assignment.
I have failed consistently when photographing the cheetah and my archives pay homage to this fact, but this fills me with the determination to succeed and I will not stop until I have a strong image of this alpha predator.
I recently attempted the difficult mission again and, after a lot of patience and time, managed to get this image. I am not 100 percent satisfied with result, but perhaps this is a sign that the tides are beginning to turn in my favour.
We will revisit the cheetah time and time again until a strong image is captured and the beauty of this iconic animal is centre-stage. They deserve nothing less.
A dominant male African Lion photographed posing proudly.
These images can be technically challenging; I had to balance the ISO, F-Stop and shutter speed in order to create the dark background I desired.
If possible I prefer to get the image correct in-camera rather than performing dramatic changes in editing suits; that is a demonstration of digital manipulation rather than of photographic skill and I much prefer the later.
Of course the positioning of both the photographer and the subject add to the image, the lion was positioned in the shade rather than full-sun and thus made my work a little easier.
He is a beast. He protects his pride weather it be light or dark.
The tiger is a powerful being and I think this image captures the two conflicting sides of their personality — they are beautiful yet viscously dangerous.
This young male walked down a fallen tree trunk towards my camera, and even though I was a safe distance from him my heart was still pounding. He is massive and would have no problem in killing anyone that steps in his way with one swipe of his razor-sharp claws. When I saw this image full-size for the first time it gave me goosebumps. What an incredible animal.
I feel very lucky to have witnessed such an incredible animal at such close proximity. The life of a photographer maybe lonely at times, but the visions of the worlds natural beauty more than makeup for the bad times.
I have worked with the tiger on many occasions but I still feel extremely lucky when I spend time in their presence. At the forefront of my mind is the sobering thought that these cats could be gone within our life-time.
I wanted an image that did this stunning animal justice, and I had not yet achieved this. A successful portrait should tell the story of its subject — in this case the prowess of the tiger — but the conundrum was how to capture their powerful, trade-mark hunting behaviour in a singular and visually strong image.
After many hours spent with this species, and several failed attempts, I think we may finally have that image.
‘Jaws' is the culmination of many failures, a great deal of patience and a drop of luck. ⠀
I had wanted this image for several months and it was preceded by a great deal of failures or "nearly" perfect attempts. A great deal of patience is required to get such an image, lionesses do not yawn all that often, and we needed to not only be in the presence of a yawning lion but also in the presence of workable and strong light. ⠀
Through getting it wrong so many times we eventually managed to get it right. The resulting image holds the attention of the viewer, it is a powerful and humbling work.
The eye has plays a formidable and essential part in every-day life and has done so throughout the existence of Planet Earth. It is essential to read, to watch and to learn - in every corner of the world. This thought played heavily in my mind last year, bringing me to the conclusion that this warranted my photographic investment - this is the result.
Whilst many will say this image does not have an aesthetic beauty about it and thus does not deserve recognition I must disagree - it carries a strong sense of beauty, of pride and of life.
An adult female snow leopard photographed looking out over her rocky territory.
There are certain species that will play a major part in the story of our tenancy on Planet Earth. The snow leopard is certainly one of those species and should we continue to allow her to drift towards and then suffer the fate of extinction, our tenancy will forever be stained.
There can be no escaping from the fact that we, as humans, are failing the many species at risk of extinction - we do not own Earth, rather we share it and thus we should be the voice for those without one.