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Game Warden

What is the future of African Wildlife Photography?

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Game Warden

What do you think future trends will be? What will magazines, websites, books be looking for? Close ups? Detail shots? Wildlife in the landscape? Images that tell a story?

 

What do you want to achieve with your photography in Africa?

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Tom Kellie

What do you think future trends will be? What will magazines, websites, books be looking for? Close ups? Detail shots? Wildlife in the landscape? Images that tell a story?

 

What do you want to achieve with your photography in Africa?

 

~ @@Game Warden

 

As to future trends in popular media, I have no idea.

What others prefer in African wildlife photography often baffles me...maybe occasionally a bit too slick and polished for my taste.

As to my own photography in Africa, it's definitely storytelling, especially as regards seasonal changes.

Including subtle signs of seasons is a favorite challenge. I love to photograph any species where the ecological context is at least somewhat apparent.

My photographs are primarily intended as instructional aids in ecology courses, thus that remains my primary objective.

Eventually I'd like to branch out to illustrating less appreciated species, including plants, invertebrates, reptiles and smaller or nocturnal mammals.

For now, simply going to Africa to be outdoors is more than enough, thus the photography reflects my experience.

Which is why I'm beginning to gear up for the departure to South Africa one week later.

Tom K.

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KaingU Lodge

I think that whether we like it or not, technological applications are going to increasingly influence photography. We are already seeing this to quite an extent, e.g.. Burrard Lucas and his drones, beetle cams, sophisticated camera traps etc.

 

Increasingly technology will be used to capture these "wow" type images. Which have their place if done well and sensibly.

 

As for what I want to achieve... Hmm. Not sure. I would be happy right now with an un-cropped, frame filling, low ISO, razor sharp, 16MP, perfectly exposed shot of a skimmer at the very split second the lower mandible leaves the water with a tiny fish... droplets streaming off the bill and a razor sharp wake behind it. ;-)

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xelas

Myself I really have no idea about trends as I do not follow much magazines and social media. From following trip reports, I can see that the quality and affordability of DSLR and long zoom lenses increased the number of sharp and detailed photos.

 

For us, the future trend will be ... photographing the African wildlife as often as possible :) ! Still new to this continent everything is amazing and worth photographing. However I can see in the future that we might become more "specialized" ... BIF and close-up portraits is probably the next step. And for me personally, I would love to increase the number of "lone animal in the vast landscape" photos.

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Soukous

I've come to the conclusion that I must be a wee bit dyslexic.

When I saw the title to this thread my first thought was "Why is @@Game Warden taking such an interest in my business?" Of course what we think we see is affected by our own prejudices and, once again, I had not read the title properly.

 

As for the future of African Wildlife photography:

A few - disjointed - thoughts.

 

We are seeing more and more people abandoning 'real' cameras in favour of smartphones and iPads. A lot of people carry these devices anyway and so why take the extra weight of a real camera? This trend is being fueled by the invention of bolt on lenses and apps that will help your smart device perform even better. As a result I think more videos are being taken and fewer classic wildlife photos. This works well with the rise of social media.

 

A growing number of guides - mostly South African - are building reputations as photographers. Their 24/7 access to parks and wildlife that most of us can only see for a few weeks a year, if we are lucky, means that they are producing some outstanding images. And, when it comes to grabbing public attention or selling images it is these images that ours will be judged against.

The bar has been raised - a lot.

 

For those of us travelling on safari as a holiday, I think the aim is probably the same as it ever was; to get some images that we are happy with that capture the sights and spirit of our holiday. If we happen to witness an extraordinary incident and capture it on film - or video - then there is a chance it may have wider appeal.

 

My own aim is to try and ensure that the pictures I take on each safari are better than those I took on the previous trip. Because the competition is so stiff, I find myself thinking more about how what I want the end result to look like, rather than just taking the photograph.

 

Like @@KaingU Lodge I'd be ecstatic with a pin sharp image of a skimmer as it skims. But I think he has a much better chance of realising that ambition than I have.

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ZaminOz

As for what I want to achieve... Hmm. Not sure. I would be happy right now with an un-cropped, frame filling, low ISO, razor sharp, 16MP, perfectly exposed shot of a skimmer at the very split second the lower mandible leaves the water with a tiny fish... droplets streaming off the bill and a razor sharp wake behind it. ;-)

Make sure you post it once you've taken it! ... after winning all necessary awards of course! ;)

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ZaminOz

 

Increasingly technology will be used to capture these "wow" type images. Which have their place if done well and sensibly.

 

I have been enjoying some of the Luangwa aerial photos that Patrick Bentley has been taking recently. I think he does them well and sensitively

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twaffle

@@ZaminOz I also enjoy Patrick Bentley's photos.

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fictionauthor

The flagship outlet for African wildlife photography was just sold to Rupert Murdoch two weeks ago. They had to do it because print magazines are tanking. NG has already seen the Fox effect on some of their TV partnerships with Fox, so there is a lot of concern from the NG staff about this. So we'll have to see how it shakes out.

 

Good wildlife photography will be seen less and less in print (magazines and books) and more in a digital format. I read the announcements of book sales that will be published in one and two years and coffee table photo books are for the most part a thing of the past. But people will always enjoy viewing great photography. For example, the screensaver that came with my Apple TV (a device hooked up to my plasma) is a cycle of stunning wildlife photos.

 

Photographers can look to producing fine art and posters or the many digital opportunities including sites where they can license their photos.

 

But the real future of wildlife photography is -- animal selfies!

Edited by fictionauthor

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