Let Their Light Shine…


I’m really wild for my new camera right now. As I learn how some of the buttons work, I’ve found I’m also learning so much more about my myself, the environment I work in, the job I love, the souls of the animals out here and the people I get to share it all with. Sweet. That’s a lot of stuff. I didn’t expect that.

As a duckling photographer, here’s my discovery for the week:

Your gorgeous photos will come. And they’ll shine. When you let the animal shine first.

The best wildlife photographers don’t go out on safari and roll their eyes around making ‘tsk’ noises until the animal ‘does something’ or the light shines on it nicely. They watch the animal. They enjoy it. They look for that moment where it’s personality shines through and they capture it. Click!

Mid-blog hoofnote: Oh my goodness, how satisfying is the shutter noise??? 

A face shot of a zebra in the right light is so darn boring. Where’s its complicated love life? Its flatulence? Its clumsines? Its famous karate kick?  Its head shot is definitely not where awards are won and it’s not something that’ll reach down into anyone’s heart and grab at it. Rather take on that zebra’s imperfections, its movement, its quirks and all those tremendous facets of its personality. Photography lets us do that! Who knew?! So take in that weird lighting, that low lighting, that no lighting, whatever lighting makes it shine. From the inside.

I adore this Rhino photo and what I love the most is that the ‘shine’ here comes from the rhino simply being a rhino. He’s walking away from us because that’s what rhinos do. It’s classic rhino. He doesn’t give a moose about us because he’s big and he’s badass and he only cares about what he can actually see – the grass directly in front of his nearsighted eyes. A rhino like him should have no natural predators. No worries. Hakuna matata. That’s what shines.

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